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How many flavors do you offer at tastings?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
When I first started, I use to put out just yellow, chocolate and white cupcakes. Then I started playing with filings and started making little cakes with different fillings. TOO time consuming. Then I started making all kinds of just cake, no filling, nothing, of about a dozen flavors and about 10 fillings. I noticed most people are competly overwhelmed or they eat everything and leave here sick. So I want to cut back my flavors...I was thinking of just yellow, white, chocolate and french vanilla and just van mousse and chocolate mousse and tell them they can request other flavors at their design consult? Or do you ask them to request flavors they want to try? What do you do to prevent overwhelming?
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #2 of 33
I used to just give them the basic chocolate and white, unless they specifically requested something. I would make 5" rounds, cut them in half, and put them together 1/2 and 1/2 and box it up for them to take home. Back then I did bridal shows and almost everyone had tasted at the show, so I had few requests for tastings.

Now almost everyone expects a tasting and I've started keeping small loaf cakes in the freezer in almost every flavor, then I just cut off a slice, pipe some icing on, and let it thaw. I generally limit it to 4 flavors, of their chosing, unless they really can't narrow it down. If they ask for specific icings/fillings, I'll have those, but they usually don't and I just provide a few, not many, that I think compliment the cake flavors they've chosen. I don't mind doing more, but what I found when I did was that they were completely overwhelmed and it seemed to be more stressful for THEM if they had too many flavors, especially fillings. Most people want white, chocolate, and one or two other flavors. I usually give them vanilla, choc., and strawberry BC, raspberry curd, and either white chocolate or cream cheese mousse, sometimes choc. ganach. These are my most popular icings and fillings, and compliment most flavors, and represent the main types of fillings: flavored buttercreams, fruit purees/curds, mousses, and ganach. I tell them each type of filling can come in a variety of fruit, nut, or chocolate flavors.
Jen
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Jen
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post #3 of 33
white, choc, and one other flavor. then little samples of white BC, choc fudge icing, cream cheese icing and some other flavors/fillings for them to mix-n-match. Here's a pic of my gen'l set up. It shows 5 cakes, but I pretty much just set out 3 now.

I tell them "My lemon cake will taste just as good as my white cake except it will taste like lemon. These are not the only flavors/fillings I offer, but it gives you a good idea of my baking and of how you can mix-n-match flavors."

Since this pic was taken, I chnaged how I bake the cakes. I bake a 10" square of each flavor, then cut it in 9 squares .... slightly bigger than 3x3". Perfect size for 2-4 people to sample. Then I just pull one of each flavor out of the freezer for the samplings. I only have to bake once for every 9 samplings.
LL
post #4 of 33
I do tastings three ways-

Every six weeks we have a cake tasting on SUnday Afternoons. We make eight different filled six inch cakes that prospective brides, moms etc, can taste.

Someone can schedule a consultation, where I give them some brochures, talk to them about design, schedules and pricing and hand them a couple of cupcakes. They can taste whatever is in the case, ususally they just try chocolate and vanilla.

If someone wants to book a private tasting, it's $35, and they can choose up to three cake/filling/icing combinations. They can eat them here, or take them home to share with friends or family.

We convert about 85% of people who attend our general tastings ( they are pre-qualified leads from local hotels) and over 95% of those who get the three samples.
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Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
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Scratch bakers of the world UNITE !!
Inrideo ergo sum ~ I snark therefore I am.
Cake or Death?......Cake Please!
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post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Deb: Your little sample photo is wonderful! Mine isn't much different, except I found these little flags I can write on at Bakery Crafts, and I label them that way. I just wanted them to try everything and you could tell the were overeating when they were here! haha! I also am baking little 8 inch square cakes and cutting them into squares...but doing this for like a dozen flavors! Thats just too much, for me and the brides! With wedding show season coming up (Have one next month and then in January) I wanted to revamp my tastings.

I really don't beleive in "mass" tastings. I find brides love the individual attention and we have a really good time just sitting down and talking about their wedding and cake. I was booking almost every bride that walked in here, but I raised my prices and now I am booking about 85 percent, which still aint too shabby! (will see how I do after the January show...I booked almost my whole season from that one show last year! It was wild! We had people coming back for seconds! hahaha!)
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #6 of 33
I do pretty much what Indydebi does - I hold monthly consultations, and I serve a choice of 3 cakes and 3 fillings (all separate so that the couple can mix and match). I bake a loaf and just cut a slice off for each cake sample - then cut that into individual bite-size squares. Works very well. At this time of year though, I am having to hold bi-monthly consultations...too many requests and not enough space! icon_biggrin.gif
What we learn with pleasure we never forget.
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What we learn with pleasure we never forget.
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post #7 of 33
I hold private tastings and I don't offer options when they come in. That being said, my tasting plate is pretty thorough. I present a plate with 5 different cakes and 12 different fillings (most of which are flavored SMBC). I bake off cakes and cut them into small pieces and freeze that in a vacuum bag and I keep fruit purees and lemon curd and such frozen into cubes on hand so I can make up small amounts of fillings when I need them. I also have a map of what is on the plate so they don't get lost.. LOL. I know it sounds like a lot, but it's the equivalent of a party sized serving of cake and just 1 TBSP of each filling.

I charge $30 for a tasting and if they book I'll take that off of their bill. People have been loving this set up so I am sticking with it. I used to make a 6" cake and 6 cupcakes.. it's WAY too much cake for a tasting.. so I like this a lot more.

This is what it looks like:
LL
LL
post #8 of 33
This is a very helpful post. icon_smile.gif

Indydebi ~ thanks for simplifying this with a photo... the tasting process has always overwhelmed me.
post #9 of 33
Hi there,

When I schedule a consultation and they ask for tastings, I let them know that they may choose 2 flavors and filling options for free with the consultation. If they want 3 to 4 flavors I charge $15 and for 5 to 6 flavors/fillings, I charge $20. I know this may sound low as compared to all of the rest, but it's good for the area in which I live. I usually do cupcakes with the fillings/frostings that are ususally cut in half for the people they bring with them. I don't provide extras for them to take home.

Thank you!
post #10 of 33
I keep things simple - I only offer basic flavors for my cakes and fillings. Maybe one day I'll venture out and make different cakes but for now keeping things simple works best for me and helps me to keep my cost in line.

For my testings I charge $25 - they can pick 2 flavors. If they book with me then I deduct the testing fee. I'm not large enough to offer free testings at this point.

I make cupcakes - I provide 4 of each flavor or 8 of one if they only select one flavor to sample. And I only do testings 3 times per month.
Stephanie
"Faith is not believing that God can BUT knowing that God will"
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Stephanie
"Faith is not believing that God can BUT knowing that God will"
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post #11 of 33
Depends on the tasting.

I do group tastings once a month and only offer basic flavors and it's a free event. If they want to try any specialty flavors, they must book a private tasting, and the fee is $50 and they can choose up to 6 flavor combinations. (Which could be 6 flavors cake, 6 flavors filling and different icings)

If you watch Duff, he offers 6 options as well. The variety helps justify my high private tasting fee.
It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
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It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
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post #12 of 33
I need some help with wording an email please.

I dropped off cuppies for a tasting, got an email response that they were "so delicious" (yay!), and wanting to know when she and her fiance could schedule a formal tasting, "we see some flavors on your website that look so good, and we'd like to try them".

How can I say I don't bake samples of specific flavors without sounding snooty? I WANT to say, as Debi so eloquently puts it, "my lemon cake tastes just as good as my chocolate, only it's lemon flavor"!

Thanks, y'all icon_smile.gif
post #13 of 33
I've been doing tastings for years, but who knew there were so many different ways of conducting them?! icon_biggrin.gif
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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 #14 of 33
I do what snarky does. I have also added open houses at venues into the mix. They want to try cake, they can go to the open house. I have just implement the tasting fee (like yesterday) so I don't know how that will work for me yet.

@kjt

"Thank you so much for the compliment! The next steps are to get the details for your wedding so I can reserve your date on my calendar. The deposit is 50% and this secures my services and I turn down other requests for that date.

After that point we can schedule a meeting and you can select 3 more flavors to try. If you are not ready to sign a contract, additional samples are $xx."

Don't give them any more free cake until they commit to a contract!
post #15 of 33
Well, hold onto your hats, everyone, 'cause I am about to post a picture on CC!

This is what my sample tray looks like. I never bake especially for a consultation, except when I need a specific flavor anyway. I actually make up about seven or eight trays all at once and cover them with plastic wrap and freeze them like they are. It saves lots of time rather than take out all the Tupperware containers with fillings and slices every time I have a consultation scheduled.

They don't get a choice of what to sample.
LL
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