Hi guys! So I was delivering a wedding cake on our our way there the top tier fell. The damage was pretty bad so I paid a local bakery $60 CAD to fix the damage. Of course the cake didn’t look exactly as it was supposed to but it was definitely the best I could do as I hand no other choice. I haven’t charged the client yet, but her cousin told me that the client didn’t want to pay for the cake. I still delivered the cake (later then scheduled only because it took an hour fixing it at the bakery) it didn’t look exactly as it was supposed to but it was still a decent fix. What should I do for compensation? Please help!! I don’t feel it’s fair to completely not charge! (The cake and delivery was $310 together) how much should I charge and how much should I wave?
I think i’d start with 25% off and be prepared to go to 50% —
you are right a full discount is not really fair — the cake has two purposes — to be eaten for dessert and to be a focal point— so you got one out of two —
yeah and then you spent another sixty bucks — yoiks — ouch — so I hope you get at least the ingredient costs out of it —
forget the percentages — maybe offer $50 refund then cap it at $125 back to her — because I subtracted the sixty and that leaves $250 so half of that I think is plenty —
you did your best — sh*t happens and you went the extra mile — feel good about it!
going forward — consider getting paid in advance!
Ahh thank you so much for the response.
That totally makes sense. She just seemed to be a hard client. I collected her 25% deposit when she placed the order. Her cousin told me the bride (client) was going to ask a refund etc etc. I understand it’s her wedding and she wants everything to be perfect but accidents happen and I would never do that on purpose. I felt so drained and tired. I was unsure how to respond and what measures to take. Thank you so so much!
So the first image is how it used to be, then the second picture is what happened (I removed the roses in order to fix it) then I took it to a bakery, the baker there frosted the top two tiers and added gold lace and airbrushed it a little. Then I replaced the roses. Of course the cake wasn’t perfect, but it was still a very decent fix.
I although I haven’t seen the fix — I hope you can hold this to the fifty dollar refund — that could easily be put back together — I am wondering why you weren’t able to get it back to your own home/shop to fix it — it’s a very well done cake — how did it come to split like that? looks like it got punched in a fight and someone sat on it —
was it not cold when you delivered it — the roses were the ones that split the top?
Since you did deliver a perfectly acceptable cake and it was eaten and enjoyed by the guests, I think you should charge at least $250. As -K8memphis said, in the future, get all payment up front. It is easier to give a refund than it is to get paid by an unhappy customer.
The side of the cake got damaged because the driver slammed the breaks. The top started to split when I removed the roses. The cake after being fixed was acceptable for sure but wasn’t exactly what they wanted. I couldn’t go back to my place to fix it since the delivery location was an hour away from my house (the accident happened 15 minutes away from the destination)
I’m assuming you’re Canadian since you mentioned $60 CAD for replacement cake. I don’t know where you’re located. But here in (Burlington) Ont, I would have charged 650. (Home Baker) #1. For the hour delivery #2 buying pesticide free organic roses. But the others in my area easily $850. When I was selling I always got a non refundable deposit. Paid in full the month before. You didn’t explain why the driver slammed on the car breaks?? If it was to avoid a collision, or something similar, that couldn’t have been avoided. . And you did purchase a new cake to replace the tier. Considering how low you charged, and replacement tier, I don’t think you need to refund anything. You rectified the problem. Would have liked to have seen a picture of the reconstructed cake. But you probably didn’t have time. I know if I had been traveling an hour for delivery, would have brought all the tiers separately and put together at the venue. Less chance of damage and cake melt in transit.
I love that décor on the bottom tier -- did you pipe it -- it kind of looks like shells -- really cool
I gotta look at that on my phone so I can make the picture bigger...
oh are they petals, rosebuds, ruffles -- idk for sure but they are really pretty
Yep, the drivers slamming breaks was inevitable.
Thank you! It’s the Wilton 104 cake tip!
sorry that happened — you handled it really well — let me/us know what happened if you can — best to you
Well, I see from your post it was unavoidable the slamming of the brakes. Sometimes, life happens, there’s nothing you can do!!! As I said before, considering you were able to replace the top tier, and at your expense, you did an exemplary job in the situation. No one can foresee something like this. I do not believe you need to refund any $$$ to the B & G. But that’s obviously your decision. Since this post is a day old, and obviously the wedding is done and over, what transpired with this. We’re the B & G ok with everything?? I have read many decorators now putting clauses in there contracts about cake delivery in case of unavoidable situations. Which an unforeseen accident is one of them. Or getting stuck in a traffic gridlock for some reason. B & G sometimes assume we decorators have a special refrigerated truck/vehicle for cake delivery. Even The Cake Boss, Buddy and Duff Goldman just use a regular cube van/truck to deliver their cakes. Hope you’ve gotten over this hiccup. Such a beautifully done cake.
just for the record -- i forgot about this actually -- I used to do entire cakes with rosebuds this same way -- sometimes a mix of super light pastel colors swirling in waves around the cake -- sometimes white on white or pink or whatever -- we had to pipe all night long often fifteen hours on a Friday night -- we'd get the cakes we were to go original with near the end of the shift when brain cells were a far distant memory --
it is a straight forward and stunning décor -- brava!
i also like to use the teeny tiniest fondant blossom cutter -- i think mine is like a quarter inch and just blanket an entire tier with blossoms -- because then you had that depth/texture all over and the beautiful blossoms and polka dots in the center -- so much to feast the eye on -- and place them on a contrasting color of course for a little more drama -- ahhh the good ole days hahahahaha
"if a little is good a lot is better"
K8memphis you’re cake description sounds absolutely beautiful. I just love a beautifully piped cake.
thank you june
@Jchuck you’re right, life happens. I felt really bad when it happened. I’ve never had something like this happen before. I spoke to her family member who said they just wanted a presentable cake. I rushed it to a bakery and got it fixed for $60. It wasn’t a 100% fix but at desperate times there’s only so much one can do. I understand their frustration as it is their wedding but we can’t really do anything about it. I feel like there is a difference between something inevitable and carelessness.
That being said, I wanted to come up with a solution that’s fair for both parties. I proposed a wave of $100 (so instead of $310, I’d charge $210. Since fixing the cake charge was to fix “my mistake”, that would just come out of my pocket. They were displeased and from the sound of it, they want to pay nothing more for the cake other than the deposit of $80 they’ve previously made. I explained that the discount should be something fair for both parties, regardless of then inconvenience it may have caused them as we have to be reasonable and rational for both parties. If they don’t pay anything more than the $80 deposit, that cake actually made me lose profit. The cake topper itself was about $20, I had to pay the delivery man $35, cost of ingredients as well as $60 for having the cake fixed.
after discussing this matter with one of the cousins for an hour, I decided that this is only one cake amongst the cakes I make and I’ll let the clients decide what they feel is fair. God knows what’s in our hearts and he will always justify. I had already said what I needed to say and I didn’t want to discuss further as it wasn’t very apparent that they had made up their minds and I guess they felt that the emotions they had connected with their wedding cake was disturbed and so they don’t need to pay the remaining balance of $250 or having a bigger wave than $100. After further discussion later on the day, they said they’ll speak to me tomorrow (Sunday, the incident happened on Friday) because I had another cake delivery for them due on Sunday anyway so they said we’d discuss it further in person. I have just delivered their cake and no one was there to talk about it— they were busy with something. I told them I just wanted to get paid for the Sunday event and they can just call me on Monday to discuss the cake that was due on Friday as I had already been waiting for 40 minutes at their venue. I’m not sure what’s to come but I really just wanted to make it fair for both parties. I truly respect their emotions and I am sorry for what had happened but for the sake of keeping everything professionally and fair for both parties, I wanted to conclude with a payment that was reasonable for both parties.
I really like the idea of having contracts about the delivery. This like this happens sometimes and we really just have to be fair.
I totally agree with you. You did your best under the circumstances. And you want a fair settlement. Emotions run high in the wedding day. And although B & G were disappointed, it wasn’t something that could have been avoided. It’s not like you did this on purpose. But some people cannot give grace. So did you actually deliver the cake?? You stated you paid a delivery man $35. You bought a cake at a bakery, so I assumed you were on the delivery. Yes, God knows you’re heart. If this B & G don’t pay the balance owed, minus your generous refund, you have learned a valuable lesson. Never, ever hand over a cake, regardless of the celebration....wedding, birthday, baptism, etc, without being paid in full BEFORE pick up or delivery. You sound very kind hearted. But you deserve to get paid for your work. Look at this way. If you went into a department store, you wouldn’t pick up merchandise and then tell the sales clerk, I’ll pay you next week for it. Of course not. You pay first, then bring your merchandise home. I don’t really know anyone who provides a service, from a plumber to a mechanic who would do work and not get paid. Unless it was for charity. Ditto for your cakes. Payment in full, or NO CAKE. It’s just too easy for a customer to renege on payment. I mean, once they have the goods, the cake, you are relying on them to be honest enough to pay what is owed. Unfortunately, there are just too many that will not follow through. You have provided a service, fulfilled what was contracted/requested. You don’t work for free. You have expenses and bills to pay, just like your customers. Your customers don’t work for free, and neither should you. If you don’t have a contract for customers to sign, you need to create one. There’s a website Cake Boss ( not the decorator ) where you can get a free contract download. Lots of advice on the website too.
I now send an email invoice with a version of the contact below attached...it then says “by reading and responding to this email, you agree to the contact above”.
I still need to improve, because I don’t collect full payment until i deliver the cake and I know one day that going to bite me in the hiny. (Ex. My next door neighbor hasn’t paid me for a cake I made her 2 weeks ago!!!).
But at least now I’m covered for other issues...
That’s supposed to say CONTRACT :)
Your cake was lovely before the mishap. Sorry this happened to you but you certainly did everything to make it right. You sound like a very honest and nice person.
I agree that your prices do sound low but I also know prices vary a lot here in Canada.
Happy Canada Day and better luck next time!
Agreed with everything you said SquirrellyCakes. Prices can very vastly depending on Province...small town, big city, rural. You wouldn’t pay a Toronto price in Nunavut..
@jchuck thank you very much! I’ve learnt my lesson and taken everyones advice—I have updated my contract; no more than 30% will be refunded due to any mishaps from delivery. Thank you @jchuck and @mermadebakedgoods for the links, they are very helpful! As for the refund, I know that I deserve to get paid but since the couple don’t see it in that way, I don’t want to argue and just leave it as a learning experience. There will be all sorts of clients I will encounter and I understand that it’s best to have the term laid out and have them be reviewed by the client so there is no reason for them to argue in the future. Hopefully nothing like this happens again but thankfully, I have updated everything which would mean I would receive the full payment before the event and i am not liable for any damages during delivery, at most 30% can be compensated based on damage.
Happy Canada day to you too @squirellycakes! It was actually my birthday as well
The last part is a little confusing. If you're not liable for damage during delivery, why would you offer up to 30% compensation for damage? Am I misunderstanding? It's been a long day lol
Oops, I didn’t word it correctly. I will only be liable of 30%. Idk, I feel like the client would deserve some compensation right?
Now how about that Cakesbybliss ...it was also my birthday too on Canada day!! What are the chances...Hee Hee