I Have To Vent - Cake Cutting Fees

Decorating By FromScratchSF Updated 14 Jan 2011 , 4:16am by FromScratchSF

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FromScratchSF Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 5:50am
post #1 of 7

I have a referral from one of my past clients, the bride contacted me about doing a wedding cake for them in May. We send several emails back and forth and discuss designs. We discuss budget, but because I love what I do I sometimes offer to do extra work at a discount just for the chance to to a cake I'll really be proud of - in this case the bride and groom are really quirky so we discussed making a super original whimsy tiered rainbow themed cake. Bride tells me she needs has a tasting at venue and once they pick their menu they'll get back to be about flavors.

Well, she emails me a few days later and tells me the venue they are using (a wannabe fancy restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the ocean in San Francisco). I roll my eyes because I know what's coming...

First, Venue freaks my bride out claiming that they have never heard of me (because, you know, in an area of 7 MILLION PEOPLE they personally know each and every baker {sarcasm}), and heavily warns against illegal bakers, not being licensed, and told her "horror stories" of people getting sick and the baker having no insurance. Then they proceed to tell the bride about their "preferred vendor" if the bride really wants a cake, the venue will discount their cutting fee if she uses them.

So guess what? Despite my charity, bride tells me she can no longer afford the cake from me. At all. Because venue charges $4 per person as a cake cutting fee. The venue will take 20 minutes to hack up my cake and charge MORE then I charged for the whole cake (because of the discount I was planning on throwing in just because I really liked the design, never mind the 15 hours it'll take me to make it). Four. Dollars. The hotel that the President of the United States stays in when he come to town only charges $2.50, and that place is NICE!

This is not a giant venue, at their largest they can only hold 80 people so the weddings they attract are small and on a budget. Where do they get off forcing people to sacrifice the wedding cake, a tradition almost as old as the ceremony, so they can force their crappy creme brulee?

Anyway, I told Bride that yes, I'm legal and have insurance, and told her to think about it and see if she can get the venue to work with me, but I'm not holding my breath. I'm so irritated. This is the 3rd bride I've lost because of this venue!

Thanks for reading.

6 replies
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JanH Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 6:14am
post #2 of 7
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Where do they get off forcing people to sacrifice the wedding cake, a tradition almost as old as the ceremony, so they can force their crappy creme brulee?

The venue doesn't offer wedding cake as part of any of their packages?

Since the site has such cost prohibitive "outside cake" cutting fees it's a wonder that they can book any wedding parties without providing some type of wedding cake that brides can afford to serve.

I wouldn't choose them because, although I'm fond of creme brulee - on my wedding day the dessert is going to be wedding cake.

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Jennifer353 Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 2:02pm
post #3 of 7

Sounds to me like they have some sort of back handed deal going on with the "preferred" cake supplier and just price every other cake maker out with the ridiculous cutting charge.
One way around it if you were prepared to go to the venue and find out what it takes to be on their "prefered" list? It might be difficult to even get them to talk to you though, I dont know, or the other supplier might be a family member of the owner or something in which case it may be a loosing battle. Otherwise I hate to say it but perhaps cut your losses for this and future weddings when you hear that is the venue and focus on other venues' weddings? (a bummer I know)

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sweetmonkeycheese Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 2:12pm
post #4 of 7

Oh man, that is crazy... I would have been pissed as a bride if the venue tried that crap w/ me. I guess that is why I went w/ a place that was just a place and all food had to be catered. I went to a wedding at a fancy pants hotel and the bride had to use them for her food and I am guessing also the cake.. it was horrible cake.. and cake is like pizza to me.. even bad cake is still good cake.. I'll eat it. I could not eat mine, so I tried my husbands slice (he had chocolate) and it was bad too!!!!

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KakesbyKris Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 3:48pm
post #5 of 7

Is there a possibility of you offering a cutting service. I've read where various cakers do this. I saw one just the other day where they do it for $25/hr with a 4-hour minimum. Even at that $100 is cheaper than the $320($4*80ppl) they would have charged. It's even cheaper than the $2.50/person.

It's really a sucky situation they are putting brides in. I wonder if they have a "preferred" florist too.

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CakeCrystals Posted 13 Jan 2011 , 4:01pm
post #6 of 7

After hear the horror story, i'm pretty sure that they do have a preferred florist on the payroll.

I also agree with everyone else. When you hear the name of this venue come from a potential client, RUN FOR THE HILLS!!

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FromScratchSF Posted 14 Jan 2011 , 4:16am
post #7 of 7

Thanks for all your understanding! I know that I won't be able to get on their vendor list, I did contact them at one time and was shot down. As for offering cake cutting service, I wonder if they'll let me do that? Thanks for the idea, I don't think that is a common thing in my area. It's just sad that in this economy couples are on such tight budgets, so really it's hurting them, you know? I mean, yeah I want the business (and I loved what we came up with for the design!) but I have a good chance of booking other cakes that weekend and I'll have other chances to make something cool. But they only get one wedding. Sigh.

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