Decorating For A New Resturant-What To Do?

Business By stefkovic Updated 21 Jul 2013 , 11:48pm by kikiandkyle

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stefkovic Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:55am
post #1 of 7

Ok, so I was so excited, found a cake decorating job at a new Bistro that has just opened 2 months ago. He does breakfast, lunch and dinner and also has a small bakery that he sells asst pastries, cookies and cakes. He has a baker but the baker doesn't decorate. So he hires me to decorate but since he is new there is not many cake orders yet. So he tells me that if I am willing to cook also he can give me full time hours. I agree because I want the decorating job. He also tells me since he has no pics of cakes that I can display my photos so people could see my work and see what kind of cakes to expect. He also wants me to make dummy cakes to display on the counters. Sounds wonderful, finally making cakes for more people other then friends and family. So here is where I need advise. I have been there a little over 2 weeks, first cake I get a call because I am not scheduled to work, I took a cake order for tomorrow can you come in and make it, yes I can, so I get there and he shows me a pic the customer sent him on his phone and he says they want something like this. Ok it a camo cake done in fondant with a helmet and something else on the top, I cant remember now. I look at him and say there is no way I can get that done like that for tomorrow. He then says I told them you couldn't do the fondant but they like that look but in butter cream. Ok, thank god for me reading CC every night and learning how to make butter cream camo. It turned out ok, but was not my perfect cake, the way I like them. Then yesterday he text me can you come in early tomorrow to do a cake and 24 cupcakes, nothing special just butter cream, ok, no problem, done in 1/2 hour no problem, very simple cake. But then I get the cake order book down to mark them done and I see a order in there also for 40 sugar cookies. The order was written-40 sugar cookies with Aaron written on half and # 7 on the other half. So I ask the owner, am I suppose to do these cookies? They are a 10 am pick up tomorrow. Oh I forgot about them he says. So I say what color icing? He doesn't remember, calls the customer and ask. Looks at me and says camo. Ok I am thinking to myself, camo writing? But I swirl the green, brown and black in my decorator bag and start piping, all done. Look not bad and then the owner walks back and says, oh no they are to be covered in camouflage and then written on top of the camo. OK, now its like I cant do that and make them look good. Royal icing is what needed to be done on them but no time, I now have to start cooking for the restaurant, so I try to make the butter cream look as good as I can on these cookies. Not happy, they look like crap. He ask me to price a cake, its a 9" butter cream iced, raspberry mousse filling and a large fondant ruffle flower in center with streamers coming out from under the flower, I tell him at least 70 to 75 dollars. He then tells me he can't charge that much for a cake. So far all my decorating has been crappy work because of the rush jobs and because he has no clue about cake. I try to explain but to no avail. It sounded so promising, do I stay and try to educate him or do I run?  I know I am being paid either way but I hate doing work that just isn't up to my standards. Sorry so long, just don't know what to do. Thanks for listening 

6 replies
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Boyka Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 5:54am
post #2 of 7

AI think your boss needs to learn what cake mean, how to do it and how to sell it. For bistro I think it's good idea to have a menu with few tasty cakes, some mouses, a fruit desserts, ice cream, cupcakes and that is mOooore then enough. If he wants a special backery, than we can talk for custom desserts. Everything you wrote sound so unorganized and confused:( Good luck:-)

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scrumdiddlycakes Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 6:24am
post #3 of 7

The only way I would continue to decorate there is if you start taking the custom orders yourself. Someone who has no idea how it works has no business booking them.

Price wise, those are his decisions sadly, even if he makes stupid ones. If you are being paid a set wage, it doesn't really matter to you, but if it's commission, then I would demand control of that as well.

The way you are doing things now is a recipe for burn out.


I would try telling him to at least check out other custom cake shops and see what they are charging though, that might at least help with pricing.

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MimiFix Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 2:25pm
post #4 of 7

This could just be growing pains for a new business owner, but anyone who "forgets" an order will not be in that line of business much longer. He clearly needs help. You must give him guidelines such as: his bistro needs to have a set menu so customers choose from a standard list; and all custom orders go through you. 


If you like this job and want to stay, you have to set some rules. Otherwise, this job won't last long enough to find a place on your resume.

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Pyro Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 4:04pm
post #5 of 7

lol when the OWNER asks the EMPLOYEE how much to price stuff, it's going to be a bad day. It's his business, his supposed to know how much the cakes his other baker costs him, then fix the prices according to how long you may tell him you need to finish the cake and the materials required + whatever you get paid.


How come you have to rush the jobs you were hired to do to run to cook in the kitchen, isn't that the " after I decorate " job ? It sounds like you're a cook with a " to order " second job in decorating. But you're paid by the hour and not commission.


Sounds like you will end up with custom orders you can't turn around in a day soon.

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stefkovic Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 11:10pm
post #6 of 7

AWell, thanks everyone for the advise and i agree, i think after today i have decided to leave. I go into the cooler to get the something, and on the rack there sits 1/2 of those dumb camo cookies. They didnt even give the lady all her cookies, only half of them. Couldnt believe it. So i carry them over look at the owner and say, do you realize you didnt give her the whole order. He says, I don't know, I wasn't here when she came in. Oh well, back to job hunting. Thanks again

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kikiandkyle Posted 21 Jul 2013 , 11:48pm
post #7 of 7

ADoes he have someone running the bakery? If not then I'd suggest asking if he's up for you doing that - if it's well run he'll be making more than enough to cover your salary, if it continues as it is he'll be closed before Christmas.

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