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Unrealistic budgets...wasting my time! - Page 2

post #16 of 52
Lesson learned...charge for tastings. I'm still very small, just starting out and chances are the bride has had my cake at another event but for those few I have booked for bridal showers they didn't have a tasting. I've only done two weddings in the past two years, another coming up this year, but if they ask for a tasting I will be charging and stating that the fee will be applied to the cake order...you guys are wonderful!
post #17 of 52
I was watching Rich Bride Poor Bride today, and it was about all I could do to not smack this girl through the tv. This was the bride who wanted everything at cost, because she said that she didn't think she should pay more than what things actually cost the vendors. What got me was that almost everyone she went to interview let her get huge discounts after she whined and cried and wheedled them! It might have been that they felt they had to because there was a tv camera in their face, but come on! That gives people the idea that they can bargain for anything and if you're pushy enough people will give in to you! Drives me nuts.

I think that those shows make people think that all vendors are so desperate for business, they're willing to discount everything to get a little money. Not true, my friends...Send some of those brides to me and you'll see the first vendor to say no to a bridezilla and point her in the direction of Walmart when she leaves! icon_twisted.gif
post #18 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I was watching Rich Bride Poor Bride today, and it was about all I could do to not smack this girl through the tv. This was the bride who wanted everything at cost, because she said that she didn't think she should pay more than what things actually cost the vendors.



Well, isn't SHE special! I think they called that slave labor. icon_rolleyes.gif

Let's define "cost". icon_twisted.gif

Cost to buy the food.
Cost to TRANSPORT the food to my kitchen.
Cost to TRANSPORT the food to your reception.
Cost for the staff to prep/cook the food (unless you want the frozen bag of meatballs just laid on your reception table).
Cost of the equipment to serve the food from.
Cost of the table linens. Cost of delivery and return of the table linens.
Cost of cleaning supplies.
Costo of the accountant's bill to invoice the bride and take care of my taxes.
Cost of payroll taxes.
Cost of amortized insurance.
Cost of overhead ... rent for the building to prepare your food; utilities to cook your food; water to make sure you're eating off of clean dishes.

Cost of the food? Hell, babe, I'll DONATE the freakin' cost of the food. That's not the EXPENSE of your event.

Dumba$$es.
post #19 of 52
Well, ladies and gents, I guess I'm in the minority here -- again -- because I try to always provide a 6" sample at my wedding cake meetings. I will generally ask on the phone the date of the wedding, location of the party, how many people expected to serve, and your favorite type of cake. I then try to have a 6" layer baked and iced, including borders and maybe -- maybe -- some simple sidework. This sample is to give the idea of what I can do (in the event they've not seen or had my cakes), how fresh their cake will be, and serving size (I cut a slice the same size as I would at the wedding, but show them that their cake will have 2 layers, so they are only sampling 1/2 of what a serving will be).

They get one flavor. That's it. I also ask what their favorite icing is, if it's sweeter, or less sweet; soft, or does it have a "crust" on the outside? This helps me to customize the sample, which shows the Bride that I am willing to provide fresh cake, decent sized servings, and try to customize to their specifications as best I can.

How often do Brides not give me the deposit? Less than 1% of the time. I think only 4 or 5 in the last 34 years is a pretty good record, don't you?

Also, I think you need to realize that how you treat your clients/customers tells them a lot about not only what they can expect from you, but how far you will go to be on their side. I've got a lot of repeat customers, partly because I treat them quite well, and I'm always nice about explaining why my prices are what they are.

I just finished another meeting about an hour ago, and for over $900, the cake I just sold is someone who was recommended by a prior client. They LOVED the sample strawberry cake I made for them, and we worked together to make the design work for both the Bride and the Groom.

I have given discounts in the past (most notably for a Bride who was getting married in 3 weeks because fiancee was due to be shipped overseas, and also for a Bride whose family had suffered a house fire that caused them to lose almost evrything), but only for good causes that I felt were worthy. I make my decisions about how much to charge, and I determine who is worthy of a discount, if any.

I guess it may also just be a difference in style based on location, too.

As for Brides who want to taste more than 1 flavor, I explain that I only offer one flavor at a tasting. If they require more, I am always willing to bake them a cake for an event (or just for the opportunity to have it) at a price that is reasonable. I've not had anyone complain about "only" getting to taste one thing. They just understand that I have a policy, and that's what it is.

'Nuff said.
The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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The Client doesn't generally understand the creative process we go through to make them a gorgeous confection ... it really IS more than "just" butter, eggs, and flour!
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post #20 of 52
Thread Starter 
hahaha you guys are so great! (I agree, if they want the FOOD part free, that is no problem! That is why I laugh that "fake tiers should be cheaper. I tell them Styrofoam is more expensive then cake! If anything, the fake tier should cost MORE!)

I had this one bride who was BRAGGING how she was going to every bakery in town because she wanted to make sure she tried Everyone's cake! (I guess I won that one, because I booked that wedding)

I agree with y'all, I really do blame TV. I dont remember going to a tasting when I got married either, we just picked a cake out of a book and told them what flavors we wanted. But in our area, everyone does tastings. For free. Some charge for "extra" cake, like if you want to order a 6 inch cake, but a couple of bakeries give out like 10 cake flavors and filings!

Does anyone do open houses? (like once a month, quarter, whatever) Do you charge for them?
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #21 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

[Let's define "cost". icon_twisted.gif

.



ha ha, the girl's planner gave her this exact list when she said that she wouldn't pay the $1500 a belly dancing troupe wanted for their performance, but that she was going to pay them $250. That included a snake that was going to be wrapped around one of the dancers and five people performing.

Then when she was at the catering meeting at the venue, she told the catering manager that she didn't see why she had to pay anything extra just because she wanted a specialized menu that they didn't regularly do. The catering manager didn't budge on the price, bless her! The brat said to the planner "Why should I have to pay for the extra expenses they're going to incur?" and the planner replied "Because that's how the real world works." icon_twisted.gif
post #22 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms


Does anyone do open houses? (like once a month, quarter, whatever) Do you charge for them?



I want to move to that system, like Jamie does. I'm going to be renting consultation space with some other wedding vendors and when I do I'm going to try out the open house system. I still won't charge for them, though, it just isn't something that people do around here.
post #23 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar


"Why should I have to pay for the extra expenses they're going to incur?"



umm, because if it weren't for you, Ms Zilla, they wouldn't be incurring the expense.
Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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Housework makes you ugly.

It's marshmallow, not marshmellow! Aaargh, I have the strangest pet peeves!
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post #24 of 52
I have a customer who orders from me several times a year, all her friends and family order from em as well , so she has tasted basically every flavor I make, yet still she asked for a tasting with every order?

I don't do it because I only do tastings for 100 servings or more and she's a serial minimum serving purchaser.

But it cracks me up when she wants to have a tasting for the same flavor cake she had ordered previously, as if she forgot what chocolate tasted like?
post #25 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

But it cracks me up when she wants to have a tasting for the same flavor cake she had ordered previously, as if she forgot what chocolate tasted like?



Had a bride who requested to taste "fresh fruit" at the sampling.

What? icon_confused.gif She's never ate a freakin' strawberry before? dunce.gif
post #26 of 52
cc is good for my health.....I spend way too much time on the forums but comments like just posted by cakemommy and indy that make me laugh out loud make it worth it! Hasn't laughter been proven to be good medicine? Thanks
post #27 of 52
This is an interesting discussion. I'm new to the business and since I'm young and also had a very tiny wedding (cake was from Kroger!) I'm learning a lot of things with hard knocks and from this site.

I always do tastings, so far. Until recently, I thought it was just something everyone did and always had done. It would be far more convenient if I didn't have to but at this point I don't really mind. I am starting to think that charging for them is the way to go though. I think that's what I'll do next year, for sure. That way I don't have tastings that are no-shows. What a pita!
post #28 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

I was just talking the other day to the wedding coordinator at a venue I do a lot of cakes for, and we started talking about tastings and she said it is such a strange phenomenon right now that all the sudden all the brides are asking for tastings. She said last year she had maybe 2 brides ask for tastings and so far this year almost all of them have asked for tastings. I told her I think it's a lot of these wedding shows on TV that show brides and grooms going to cake tastings and that it's started this idea that you are missing out on some part of your wedding experience if you don't do a tasting.

I just started implementing a $25.00 fee for tastings because of this. Tired of going through all the work for some brides who are just "playing" and getting the "experience" but aren't serious. I remember doing a tasting for my wedding cake years ago, but it was to choose the flavor of the cake. We'd already chosen them as our baker.

Not only that but some of these brides expectations are ridiculous. I've had a couple brides want to try 8+ flavors! Seriously! They got to choose 4. Some people's children.



YES I have so noticed the "tasting" thing totally being expected...and the party moms are even starting it, its not just weddings anymore! I get so annoyed when someone wants a 35 serving cake but a "tasting" first just to what, make sure I'm not selling cardboard???
post #29 of 52
This post is GREAT! So my sister's BFF is getting married in March and of course I am making her cake. I am NOT a pro- and her reception is being held at a community center, so it is not a problem for me to make it.

Here's the thing: because I am not a pro baker my friends and family get to be my guinea pigs for all my cakes. Pretty much every event our family has, I bring a cake. So the friend has had my cakes TONS of times. I can't even think of a flavor she hasn't tried. The kicker... she wants a tasting!!! Not just a simple tasting either- she wants 4 cakes, 6 different filling options and 4 different frostings!!!!!

SERIOUSLY???!!! Like others have said, I am convinced that she just wants to have the "experience" of it. The issue I am having is that while I appreciate that every bride wants the full experience, I am already making her cake at or below cost and all the time I put into is my gift to her!

I know she gets free cake from me all the time, but don't people understand all the time it takes to do these things??? UGH! I don't know how you all do it!
"Right now I am having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before."- Steven Wright
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"Right now I am having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before."- Steven Wright
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post #30 of 52
I know, I have a friend who I"m doing a wedding cake for, and I'm giving her a discount...but she wanted a tasting too. *sigh* Oh well, I gave it.
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