Hello! I have a licensed at home bakery, going on 6 years!! I have moved and was really considering not having customers come to my house to pick up their orders. I was thinking about meeting at a location close by.
The reason I would like to do this is
1. Privacy, I have two little ones and usually it's just us home when customers pick up cakes. (I feel uncomfortable knowing that my home address is out there on the Internet for anyone to see)
2. We have moved into a nice neighborhood and I don't want to cause any issues with people coming over every weekend to pick up orders .
Does anyone else do this? I was hoping to find out what customers might think of this? (I was thinking some may not like not being able to see my kitchen, to see that it is clean) but then I'm sure some would respect the fact that my family and I would like privacy!
I would like to set up a p.o. Box to recieve payments and put a little blurb on my website and facebook page, explaining that we would like privacy and we hope our customers understand and from now on picks ups will be at "said location".
Please give me any feedback you can and if you have any ideas of how to word a blurb for my website I would appreciate it!
I'm totally with you!
Have normally only friends and friends' friends come to my house, other people I meet at a very nearby restaurant which is well known in the area.
Unless of course I deliver the cake. But quite frankly, I hate doing that because I've also got two little ones at home.
I, too, am an "at home" baker. I really prefer to either meet customers at a convenient public location or to deliver to their door. My home is my scared space and I would rather not have strangers, even though they may be customers, coming to my home. And, yes- there is also the concern of neighbors. I would imagine by taking pride in your work people would assume that you take pride in your workspace, too.
As far as a blurb, maybe keep it simple and mention something about not having a store front and location for pick up orders is...xxxx or location for pickup will be determined at time of order. You could send your regular customers an email personally letting them know your wishes to not have pickups at your home.
an idea for you is to set up one or two distinct pickup times like saturday noon and 6PM then tuesday through friday 6PM only -- then if someone needs a cake for 4:30 on thursday they pick it up at 6 on wednesday -- it helps you not go crazy too --
and i made it clear that this is an appointment not an extended period of time -- decide in advance how long you will wait like 15 minutes but don't disclose that and of course this means all cakes need to be paid in full in advance -- if someone is late without calling then they have to wait for you to come back -- which will make them believers --
i would just say something like 'new location/time for pick ups' -- done - no need to explain -- just like any other business has hours of operation --
and with 6 years in business you don't have to show anyone your kitchen -- you are well established -- maybe put some of your feedback from clients on your webpage/fb -- you typically do not see the baking/cooking areas of most establishments --
best to you
I deliver everything or meet at a convenient public location. I prefer to deliver because it makes it easier to group orders together and not drag it out all day. I take almost all payments ahead of time through PayPal. I meet new brides at the local Starbucks. I have a PO Box that forwards the mail to my home mailbox. Customers have never asked to see my kitchen or seem to have any interest in where the food comes from. I have an inspected kitchen but they don't ask.
The thing I don't like about meeting the customer somewhere is all the wasted time. Very few customers are right on time. I'm trying to figure out a way to configure my porch so I can just bring the boxes to the door and not have the customers actually come into my house. It would save me a lot of time and stress not having to "clean up for company" all the time especially when I am mid way into another project. I have a bench for them to sit on, I just need some kind table that can be situated to hold the boxes.
I kind of do what pastrybaglady does. I have a console table in my hallway, so customers don't have to trawl all the way through my house.
I shut my kitchen door so they only enter the hall, take payment and wave bye bye :-)
I hate home pickups because you end up waiting for the customer with your kitchen sparkling clean so they'll get the right impression of your sanitation - they're always late or early and the kitchen is off limits in the meantime when you really need to get busy with your next order. Plus hubby has the garage door open and lets just say he isn't anywhere near as organized as you are (aka a hoarder). So that being said..........you really need to give customers the option of picking the cake up because of the price of delivery (some don't want to pay it) and let's face it they're coming to you for a better quality cake so they will seek you out. If you meet them someplace the same applies, they're always late or early so you sit in your car with two extremely bored kids and the motor running to keep everyone warm. On my website it always urge people to visit the kitchen where their cake will be created because NH has fuzzy rules - if you earn under a certain amount your kitchen doesn't need to be inspected so they need to visit for sure. After all these years thats the one topic that has always bothered me but it's part of the "at home decorating package".
i simply met them at the door with the cake in my hands and proceed to their car to make sure it's placed securely -- but yes all that's annoying --
K8memphis: I tried that but they still need to come back in to write out the check because they never think to bring a pen with them. Sigh...........................
you have to do all their thinking for them huh -- they're like kids except with time they don't grow up heheheheh
or put a pen in your pocket and have them sit in their car to write it!
Wow I thought I was the only one that felt this way about not wanting customers come to my home.
Oh and I forgot to mention the best part. Once in your house they want to chat and chat and talk about all the plans they have for their childs birthday party or all the speedbumps they've hit during wedding planning. AND in the North East we also have snow and ice to contend with. Yes, there's a lot of snow shoveling before a pickup or taste test, sanding, salting, ice removal because - fingers crossed - someone could slip and sue you. Oh it's so much fun being an at home cake decorator - all this for tire kickers and bargain basement customers. That's why I hike up my prices. Gives me more time to fuss with each design and I don't feel cheated when it's out of my hands.
oh glory what an added dread/mess to have to shovel the snow too --- mercy!
a.) making me tired (because i feel yah)
b.) making me even more glad i'm retired :)
c.) so so right to make more money
you're right they can have a perfect dumping session on yah too -- see #b lol