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I currently have a very nice customer, who is being a bit unrealistic with what she wants. I don't think she means to be, but here is the synopsis:

She wants the below cake. We have gone back and forth for about 2 weeks now on the sizes, but she finally decided she wants the bottom tier 12 that will taper into an 11, the middle tier an 8, and the popcorn bag to be 6X4 inches. FYI, the height of all my cakes are standard 4 inch tiers. Anything more than that, you pay for it. So last night, I get the following email:

"The bottom tier will have 2 cakes stacked on top of each other to make the elephant drum, right? So, it would make that tier 8 inches tall, the middle tier about 4 and the popcorn bag about 6 inches tall? Which would make the entire cake about 18 inches tall?"

So basically for the height of the cake, she wants the bottom tier to be 8 inches, the middle 4 and the bag 6. So I replied with this:

"The elephant drum won't be 8 inches tall, it will be around 4-5. If you want it 8 inches, there's an extra charge for the extra cake. The popcorn bag will also be about 4 inches tall. In the photo, all the tiers are the same height for symmetry, so it would be the same case here. Right now, everything will be 4 inches. The price I quoted you was for 4 inches, so anything taller than that will be a percentage more. If you want 6 inches, it will be 1.5 times (50%) more per slice, and for the 8 inches, 2 times (100%) more per slice."

And then today she said this:

"I have a quick question, and Iâm sorry this is getting too complicated. Iâm just confused. Itâs sounding like to me the total height of the cake will be about 12 -13 inches. Which is the height of a rulerâ¦.and when I held it upâ¦it just seems way too small. Also, is each tier a double layer cake and how tall was the cake you made for Jacksonâs birthday (Mistyâs son)?"

I really want to help this woman, but I am afraid her expectations are completely unrealistic when it comes to what should be standard on this cake. 8 inches tall seems like a huge cake. Can anyone help?

As a side note, if any of you remember the shame spiral of the Spider Man cake several months ago, the same person that referred that client has referred this one. So........I have to do a really great job so I don't lose her business forever.

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Okay, first off, that is such a cute cake! I love Sugar Creations cakes! She is awesome! I would think, IMHO, that those cakes are taller than 4". They do look all the same height but taller than 4". Since the bottom is tapered and it looks like the top is slightly topsy turvy, I would say they are at least 6" tiers. I always make my tapered and topsy cakes taller because otherwise they can look kind of squat. I would email Sugar Creations and ask her how tall they were. I think she might even be a CCer!
HTH,
HeatherMari
Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.
Love is what makes you smile when you are tired.
Well... more cake more\$\$\$ no room to argue. Your price was for a basic size and no more, if she does not understand the size show her once more ,and if she still does not get it it sounds like a PITA thing to me.
I always have dummies on hand to show the size,maybe this could be an option for some cases,I also use the cutting grids to show serving sizes.Some people can not "see" things in their minds.

Anne Laurie

Anne Laurie

You also need to think about the plate it wil be served on. Generally dessert plates are 6".
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
Perhaps a discussion of what constitutes a serving size would help your customer visualize the total number of servings per 4" cake layer (by pan size) and then the total yield of servings for this cake.

If you could actually fabricate a "serving" out of a sponge or wooden block; the realization that a serving isn't a 3x3x4 slice (or whatever size she's thinking) might sink in.

If she's cutting the cake, providing her with a copy of indydebi's cutting guide would be invaluable:

http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page19.html

If she insists that the cake is too small; she always has the option to order more cake at an additional charge. (As you so politely stated.)

HTH
I agree that the cake in picture has tiers taller then 4 inches. I think having it only 4 inches would make it look to funny.

If this was a good client and refers lots of business your way I would cut her a break.

I would add the extra cake for free. The cost to make the cake is not what really adds up it's all the time and work that does.
Joanne "It's all about the cake!"
Joanne "It's all about the cake!"
Well, 8" may seem tall for the bottom tier, but looking at the cake, I think it could be that tall. I am not sure what the real dilema is; is she complaining about an increase in price? Work up a price for the cake exactly as pictured, and give it to her... you have already explained the extra work and expense involved.. she has been sufficiently educated..
They will remember the quality long after they've forgotten the price..
..the philosophy of my beloved pastry professor..
They will remember the quality long after they've forgotten the price..
..the philosophy of my beloved pastry professor..
She hasn't said no to the \$\$\$ yet. Tell her, okay for the 8" bottom tier, plus the two 6" tiers (that's what it looks like to me), the cost is \$XXXXX. If you went with 6" bottom and two 4" tiers, the cost is \$XXX. That is your choice. Period. And you need to know by such a date.
Good luck! Totally sweet cake! HTH
Eat Smart... Eat Cake!!!
Eat Smart... Eat Cake!!!
I can see where your client is coming fromâ¦ Iâve been looking at pictures of all the âstandardâ 3-tier 12-9-6â with 4â per tier cakes and always thought âWow, that is huge, itâs a lot of cake!ââ¦ But then, I made one of those myself and was gravely disappointed at how small it appeared in fact. Heavy â yes, fed our party of about 50 or so â yes (Wilton servings donât not apply here, people come for The Cake, lol), but it LOOKED small.

Soâ¦ if your client wants the BIG cake and has no problem with the additional charge for an 8â bottom and a 6â top, then you can just do a 2-tier bottom, doweled and all, with the additional instructions for her on how to cut it, being two 4â stackedâ¦ Thought Iâm thinking that a 7-5-6-inch height may seem a little more balanced than 8-4-6, with the topsy-turvy effectâ¦
If I were you, the customer would send me the design and how many servings they need...and then I (BIG I) would figure out how large each tier is to be to match the design according to how much cake the customer wants to pay for. Customers generally do not know how to size cakes...all they know is how they want it to look and how many guests they are going to have. It is our job to then take that and make the right amount of cake. Anything more than that is too confusing.

If it were my customer I'd say "These are the sizes the cake will be in order to serve XX guests. If you want it larger, then it will then serve XXX guests and cost XXX much."
You could PM Rebecca.. she's is a SUPER nice person. Looking at that I'd say that each tier is 6" tall... the middle one is a whimsical shaped tier so it's 5" on one side and 6" on the other... and the top looks like it's 6" tall too.

Tell her that your price per serving is \$X.XX/serving and that is for a standard 4" tier. If she wants them to be taller the price is your standard price plus 50% of your standard price.. so if it's \$2/serving.. then a 6" tier will be \$3/serving.. they are getting 1/2 a cake extra so they pay for that.
It sounds from the email that she wrote that she is looking to get as close as she can to the picture.....I would just quote her a price from the picture and then go from there....price will change their mind every single time. Also, the bottom layer does appear larger than a 4 inch....also does the middle since it is on an angle....
I definitely think the middle tier is topsy, I also don't think that a 1" difference in the sizes on the bottom is going to be steep enough especially if it ends up being taller.
I definately think in the pic that bottom tier is more like 6", then the other two are 4". Remember, the smaller the diamater, the taller it will look.
A 6"x4" round *looks* much taller than a 10"x4" round.
The center tier may look wonkey but that's easy to produce by torting the layer on a slight angle, then turning it when replacing the cake after filling.

Mommyle said: okay for the 8" bottom tier, plus the two 6" tiers (that's what it looks like to me), the cost is \$XXXXX. If you went with 6" bottom and two 4" tiers, the cost is \$XXX. That is your choice. Period. And you need to know by such a date.

RIGHT ON!!!! You hit it right on the nose
Another thing to consider, when you have someone who admits they are confused is this: CALL them on the phone. Believe me, a 10-minute phone call will save you DAYS of emailing back and forth with:

Day one: Her: "So, you mean the cake will be this big and cost XX?", ...You: "No, I mean it will be this big and cost XXX." ...
Day two: Her: "I'm confused. If it's that tall, why will cost XXX?" ...You: "Because it takes more time and cake to make it taller."
Day three: Her: "What about if we made just the top tier to X size and then the bottom tier XY size?" .

You can see where this is going...A simple phone call can save you about a week of aggravation and waiting for emails. Call her and explain that the cake JUST like the picture will cost XX, and even taller tiers will cost more. Her choice. You can clear up confusion a lot with just speaking to someone instead of trying to explain it by email.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

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