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How do you conduct your cake tastings? - Page 5

post #61 of 88
Indydebi,

Great idea!! I've bookmarked your post as an idea for when I setup my own portfolio!!
Lord walk with me, your arm around my shoulder
and your hand across my mouth
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Lord walk with me, your arm around my shoulder
and your hand across my mouth
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post #62 of 88
wow thank you so much for all the info, you have no idea how helpful this has been for me.. Thanks!!
post #63 of 88
bumping up for a new member who needed some ideas! thumbs_up.gif
post #64 of 88
Thanks for bringing it back up! It is an oldie but goodie!
My drug of choice is FROSTING!
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My drug of choice is FROSTING!
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post #65 of 88
This is a great post. Full of great information.

* I email/call the client 4 days before the consultation just as a friendly reminder and to make sure they have directions etc. Also to make sure of a count of people coming. I work out of my home and most my consultations are done at my kitchen table.

* 2 days before I make the samples and frosting. I do the same with the wedding cake. Just in case something happens, I'll still have time to re-bake. I do this, like other posts, so the couple knows exactly how their cake will taste on the day of their wedding.

* Day of the consultation, I put out plates of samples and plates to eat off of. I also provide water. I think that tasting lots of sugary things makes it all taste the same after a while. So a little water helps to cleanse. I don't want all my samples to taste the same.

* I will take down notes about the wedding and what kind of cake they are looking for. I usually do most the talking as they are eating. I'll show my portfolio and make suggestions for designs. We'll flip through books etc.

* I never pressure a couple to pay for a deposit right then and there. I tell them to take their time on make a decision and to shop around. But I let them know my strong points and how I started doing this. I also say that I'll send out a quote within the next 2 weeks. I always get flustered doing math in front of people. icon_redface.gif Plus this gives them 2 weeks to decide and think about things.

* I will walk them to the door, thank them for taking the time to come and see me and let them know I will be in touch with them.

I only do consultations on Friday or Saturday nights. I have 2 small children and want them to be in bed before anyone comes over. I find clients like coming over later because they can come home from work, get dinner, then head for some cake samples later.
~Erica

"Cake is just a Frosting Delivery System" - My husband
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~Erica

"Cake is just a Frosting Delivery System" - My husband
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post #66 of 88
Thank you for bumping this up and WOW!!! thank you for the very useful information!! thumbs_up.gif


Heather
post #67 of 88
bumping up! icon_smile.gif
post #68 of 88
Cake Central members rock! Thanks for all the info. Thank you much Antonia for bumping this up for newbies like me. From 2006 to 2008, still helpful.
post #69 of 88
Thank you so much for bumping this up ya'll! I never saw this the first time around and I have my first wedding consult tomrrow night -and frankly I was freaking out! Now that I 've read through all of this I'm feeling much calmer. You guys are great! I was feeling sooo pressured to set a price per slice before I even know what she is looking for, now I know I can take some time to write up a full pricing and sketch package! dunce.gif

Has anyone thought of compiling all of this fantastic into a article for CC so it's a quick find? thumbs_up.gif

~Truly
post #70 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

I can't share my actual cake recipes I'm afraid. I made a deal with my partner that any of her/our cake recipes would not be published if I used this chat group. Sorry...I have to keep that promise. icon_wink.gif

But...my icing is all based with Martha Stewart's Italian Meringue Buttercream, then these are added:

mocha chocolate - add 1/2 cup of very dark Dutch cocoa, 6 oz of unsweetened chocolate + 2 Tablespoons of coffee crystals dissolved in just enough hot water to make a thin paste

madagascar vanilla - different from the flowery Tahitian style vanilla, smoother and deeper scent, I add 1 T per recipe (I use the Nielsen-Massey brand. Truly $$$, but come on...it's only a tablespoon! The wedding cake is hundreds of dollars.)

fresh lemon - simple! get a very fine kitchen rasp and grate 2 washed and dried lemons into the buttercream, I use 3 or 4 drops of the Boyajian brand lemon oil as well

cream cheese frosting - any regular recipe + 1/3 cup of full-fat sour cream and the zest from one orange

walnut - toast about 2/3 cup of walnuts in the oven until you can smell them (about 8 min at 350), cool and chop by hand as small as you can get the pieces (or food processor for about 10 seconds), mix into buttercream



Where did u learn your topsy turvy and smooth b/c technique?
What type of cake turntable do u use for the tiered cakes?

Enjoy your posts informative

K
post #71 of 88
great ideas for wedding cake consults-thanks!
How you think when you lose, determines how long it will be until you win.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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How you think when you lose, determines how long it will be until you win.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
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post #72 of 88
I hope this thread didn't die out -- has anyone tried these techniques and how did they work for you?
To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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To find "THE RECIPE LINKS ARE HERE" thread, click on "Forums", then "Recipes" and it's the first sticky. Latest updates are on (the bottom of) page 10 here: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopic-625803-135.html
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post #73 of 88
Thank you so much for this! Great information icon_smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74 View Post

I'll share mine here if you'd like...


-I book off one Sunday (or two if I'm not booked for weddings!) per month to hold the consultations throughout the day


-I make a timetable from 10am to 7pm and fill it in with appointments each hour


-one week before the appointment dates, I email the client to re-confirm their scheduled time/give them driving directions and tell them what to bring to the appointment (i.e. fabric swatches, invites, photos from magazines, photos off my website they liked)


-the night before/morning of the consultations, I bake all my samples fresh and ice them only that day. I want the client to taste exactly how fresh their wedding cake will be, so I NEVER freeze samples!


-I greet each couple personally and sit across from them in my studio


-I introduce myself and tell them a bit about my experience, my style and how long I've been doing this (always a question because I look about 25, but I'm 32!)


-I then ask them to tell me about their wedding/theme/feel of the day/colours/flowers/guest count and I write EVERTHING down


-I ask if they want their cake to feed everyone a main dessert slice, or is it to be on a buffet table later in the evening after the meal? (great for guessing sizes/numbers they'll need)


-they show me the materials they have brought and for each item I ask what it is that they like/dislike about it (this is the BEST question, you learn so much quickly!)


-I then show examples from my portfolio of cakes that seem similar to what they are asking for and see what sketch we can come up with on the spot. I personalize their cake to exactly what colours/design/feel they are going for.


-when that is roughly decided, I bring out the freshly-baked cupcake samples with big swirls of matching buttercream on top (which are the 5 main cake flavours that I offer) though I tell them everything is personalized, so if they can think it up...I can probably make it! I do leave the room at this point so they can honestly and privately say which ones they like/don't like to each other.


(I go to my kitchen where I pack a little box of samples and wait for 5 minutes for them to eat privately.)


-after about 5 minutes, I return and they have usually chosen a flavour or flavours.


-I give them a little box of extra cupcake samples to take home to let other friends/family try it out. THEY OOOOH AND AHHHH at this every time! It costs about $2 to give them 5 extra samples packaged in a gorgeous little box, tied with a ribbon with my business card on top...and it really makes the sale!


-I always walk them to my door and shake their hands again, letting them know it was nice to have finally met them face to face and that I will email them their information package within the next 2 weeks (IF YOU SAY 2 WEEKS...THEN MAKE SURE YOU ONLY TAKE 2 WEEKS!!! THIS IS YOUR FIRST PROMISE AND YOU ARE JUDGED ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU MEET YOUR DEADLINE!!!!)


-within 10 days/2 weeks, I type up their cake quote with a great colour sketch and email it to them. They either send their deposit cheque to confirm their booking, or pass. I'd say my ratio of booking to not booking is about 12:1 and I credit it to the little things like private consultations, fresh big samples, beautiful boxes of yummy cupcakes to take home and a fun sketch of their potential wedding cake.


thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif
post #74 of 88

Thank you for this reply. This is awesome!

post #75 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74 View Post

I'll share mine here if you'd like...

-I book off one Sunday (or two if I'm not booked for weddings!) per month to hold the consultations throughout the day

-I make a timetable from 10am to 7pm and fill it in with appointments each hour

-one week before the appointment dates, I email the client to re-confirm their scheduled time/give them driving directions and tell them what to bring to the appointment (i.e. fabric swatches, invites, photos from magazines, photos off my website they liked)

-the night before/morning of the consultations, I bake all my samples fresh and ice them only that day. I want the client to taste exactly how fresh their wedding cake will be, so I NEVER freeze samples!

-I greet each couple personally and sit across from them in my studio

-I introduce myself and tell them a bit about my experience, my style and how long I've been doing this (always a question because I look about 25, but I'm 32!)

-I then ask them to tell me about their wedding/theme/feel of the day/colours/flowers/guest count and I write EVERTHING down

-I ask if they want their cake to feed everyone a main dessert slice, or is it to be on a buffet table later in the evening after the meal? (great for guessing sizes/numbers they'll need)

-they show me the materials they have brought and for each item I ask what it is that they like/dislike about it (this is the BEST question, you learn so much quickly!)

-I then show examples from my portfolio of cakes that seem similar to what they are asking for and see what sketch we can come up with on the spot. I personalize their cake to exactly what colours/design/feel they are going for.

-when that is roughly decided, I bring out the freshly-baked cupcake samples with big swirls of matching buttercream on top (which are the 5 main cake flavours that I offer) though I tell them everything is personalized, so if they can think it up...I can probably make it! I do leave the room at this point so they can honestly and privately say which ones they like/don't like to each other.

(I go to my kitchen where I pack a little box of samples and wait for 5 minutes for them to eat privately.)

-after about 5 minutes, I return and they have usually chosen a flavour or flavours.

-I give them a little box of extra cupcake samples to take home to let other friends/family try it out. THEY OOOOH AND AHHHH at this every time! It costs about $2 to give them 5 extra samples packaged in a gorgeous little box, tied with a ribbon with my business card on top...and it really makes the sale!

-I always walk them to my door and shake their hands again, letting them know it was nice to have finally met them face to face and that I will email them their information package within the next 2 weeks (IF YOU SAY 2 WEEKS...THEN MAKE SURE YOU ONLY TAKE 2 WEEKS!!! THIS IS YOUR FIRST PROMISE AND YOU ARE JUDGED ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU MEET YOUR DEADLINE!!!!)

-within 10 days/2 weeks, I type up their cake quote with a great colour sketch and email it to them. They either send their deposit cheque to confirm their booking, or pass. I'd say my ratio of booking to not booking is about 12:1 and I credit it to the little things like private consultations, fresh big samples, beautiful boxes of yummy cupcakes to take home and a fun sketch of their potential wedding cake.


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=======================

I thank you for this invaluable information!

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