Back Story: Hubby's a firefighter and I do a lot of cakes for other firefighters. My information, including flavors, have been circulated quite a bit. I have about 35 flavors of cupcakes that can be made into cakes as a special order. I'm doing a wedding for a firefighter and his fiance in October and have set up a tasting next month. I just received an email from her that reads:
I've looked over the cake flavors. They all sound so yummy! The ones that Jordan and I have picked to taste are:
Peanut Butter Cup
Apple Pie A La mode
We are available on monday, thursdays, and fridays of any week in June.
Um....she wants me to make SEVEN different flavors for tasting?? All of which require special filling and frosting, etc.
How do I firmly, but politely put to her that this is not what a tasting is for, or that I'll do the above for a fee??? This is a first for me....
Well, ideally you should have told her how many flavors of cake/filling/frosting she could pick for the tasting beforehand. With 35 different flavors to choose from, she probably feels heroic having narrowed it down to 7, and has no idea she's being "greedy". I'd suggest something like: "Dear Bride: Because everything I offer is fresh and made to order, I can provide only (X number) of complimentary cakes/fillings/frostings at our tasting. Flavor requests in excess of this amount may be added for $XX.XX each."
How wonderful to hear that you are eager to have my specialty cupcakes be a part of your wedding.
Please know that tastings are conducted as follows:
1) the tasting is by appointment only
2) there is a $50 fee for the tasting that includes 3 flavors. This fee is applied to the total cost of you wedding cupcakes order if you should book with me.
3) additional flavors beyond the included 3 flavors may be tasted at a cost of $10 each. Again, this fee will be applied to your order if you should book with me.
Thank you for considering <name of business> to be a part of your special day.
I look forward to booking a tasting with you. Please call me at xxx-xxxx so that we can agree upon a mutually acceptable time.
Thank you again and best wishes for your upcoming wedding.
so at $50 + $10 x 4 --- that means she's going to be paying $90 up front to taste that many flavors. Fair amount even if she doesn't book.
I don't really sell much and I've never done a cake tasting but I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to reply that you will do x number of flavors free and any additional will be $x for each flavor.
You would have to decide what your limit is.
That way if she wants all the flavors she can still have them for a fee.
Some CC members have a tasting fee anyway and it's deducted from the price of the wedding cake if the bride books with them.
I had one bride that emailed me and said she wanted to set up a consultation and asked what she needed to do.
So I wrote her back what I write to everybody,
A consultation consists of you sampling any 2 cakes and fillings you would like to taste along with my delicious buttercream and small tasting of fondant. It costs $25, which will be deducted from the total cost of your cake.
And then I give a time and date I am available for a meeting.
So this particular bride writes me back and says, that time sounds great, my fiance and I were looking at your website and would like sample... 8 different cakes and fillings!
I went back and re-read my original email which totally states *2* and wrote her back and asked her to narrow it down, or she could pay an additional fee that will NOT be deducted from her cake. I also gave her suggestions from her list that were the most popular and my personal opinion.
You think it's bad with cakes? Try it with catering food!!
Usually for a catering tasting, I do meatballs (plain & BBQ), chicken (in chardonnay wine and teriyake); green beans with bacon & onion; rice pilaf. If they want to sub ham for a chicken, for example, I can do that.
I get a bride who wants SIX meats, THREE starches (rice/potato), and she'll let me choose the 3 hot veggies to sample. Oh .... and she wants to sample "fresh fruit" (what? She's never eaten a freakin' strawberry before? )
I did as mentioned above: emailed and relayed that I am not a restaurant and cannot just go into the kitchen and scoop out a little of everything; and she needed to narrow down her preferences to a couple and I will TRY to have those available (I'm not buying a 20 lb case of pork chops so I can cook ONE for her to sample!). Oh ... and did I mention the sampling is FREE????
SHe still complained because she didn't get very much "Free" food at the sampling!
I'm hope she goes with someone else .... 'zilla in the making.
I agree with the others. Let the bride know you only provide xx amount of cake flavors and if she wants to try more there is a fee.
At the tasting I just had I chose 3 cake flavors. Vanilla, Chocolate and Lemon. I told the bride these are the most popular flavors but if she wanted to taste something else that once she puts her deposit down I could work with her on other flavors.
I made different flavored buttercreams which was easy. I just made IMBC and from that I made strawberry, raspberry, vanilla, chocolate, and white chocolate.
I agree with Kelly.. I'm sure she has no clue. I'd write her back saying she can sample 2 flavors combos and if she wants more she can pay so much per flavor will not be deducted from her total.
And next time make sure that it is clearly stated that you have a limit for tastings.
sounds like the problem i had with a bride i had......some people really just want stuff for free........or really really cheap remember wedding cakes are not for free it takes lots of time and love
Thanks all. Some great tips here. I'm going to take ya'lls advice and respond as suggested. And Indy - yikes! I'm obviously going to have to be more specific about tastings....