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Cake tasting - What could I have done different if anything?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had a tasting Saturday for a possible Sweet 16 party for 60 people. The mother wanted a sampling of chocolate and vanilla cake. The theme was Hello Kitty with background polka dots in pink, brown, and white.

She liked the chocolate cake and wanted a two tiered round cake consisting of a 10" and 8". The bottom tier sides would have the three colors of polka dots and the top tier sides would have three large bows similar to what Kitty wears. I told her no faces due to infringement laws. I was going to add a fondant 16 on top or she could maybe do a stuffed animal(that she would provide)on a cardboard round and she wanted 12 vanilla cupcakes with a circle fondant accent.

After the designing phase and tasting I quoted a very generous price of 150.00.

She called back later that evening and told me that was too much. I wished her luck with her event and told thank you for the opportunity.

This was my first taste testing and dummy me I didn't charge (I won't do that again).

What do you other CC'ers think? Is there anything I could have done differently???

cakeymom
post #2 of 12
nope, sounds like you did fine. Only thing I can add is definitely charge for the tasting next time. I charge $20.00 and it gets applied to their cake order (as long as the order exceeds $100.00), other than that maybe next time ask ahead of time (before the tasting) what their budge is?
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
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God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
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post #3 of 12
I agree with the PP - find out what their budget is before you do the tasting so you don't waste your time.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #4 of 12
That's what I was thinking. Before the consult, let her know your price. If I did this for a business, I don't know if I'd do a tasting for 60 servings. Maybe if I charged, but I think I would put a minimum of 100 servings or something.
post #5 of 12
I agree you did everything right... the only thing I do differently is send them an estimate via e-mail stating everything discussed prior to the tasting, this way they know coming in what price range to expect... they either go ahead with the appointment or cancel... saves me time...

(However do be careful on how much detail you give as I have had clients take these e-mails to other designers who will under cut you.. )

Also having an open house regularly ( once a quarter) helps with the tasting department.. people can come, taste your products, & see the prices (have a chart ready).. Then I make appointments for brides only in between.
Army Wife Serving Sweetly
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Army Wife Serving Sweetly
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post #6 of 12
I think you agreed to the tasting too early in the proceedings. If you'd had some communication with the mother beforehand about what she wanted - even just how many servings were required - you could have given a rough price and she would have known whether her budget was sufficient.

I only offer free tastings for cakes over 100 servings, and am thinking of moving to a once a month open house system, because I find it such a hassle to prepare for just one couple.
- Natalie
"Blessed are the cheesemakers?"
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- Natalie
"Blessed are the cheesemakers?"
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post #7 of 12
I agree with the others - quote a price first and set a limit on who gets tasting or charge for them if they are under your limit. My website states that I will not do tasting for cakes that feed less than 100 people. If they want one, they can pay $25 and it will be applied to their order.
post #8 of 12
I agree. I've always quoted a price before a tasting ever happens. I also charge $20, and if ordered, I deduct this from the price of the cake. I haven't had a tasting yet where the client DIDN'T order, because they were already pretty well informed by the time we got to that point. But otherwise, sounds like you did great!
"Name your limitations and they become yours" - Richard Bach
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"Name your limitations and they become yours" - Richard Bach
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post #9 of 12
The best advice ever is to have a minimum numbers of servings for tastings. You do not want to do a tasting for a cake that feeds 30. There goes some of your profits. You can give the client a heads up with a price estimate, but some will still do the tasting and not order. Serving minimum.
post #10 of 12
I do mostly birthday cakes so their budgets are a little different but I do a phone/email consult where I find out what they want and I give them estimates for their servings, flavors, etc. Once they agree with my price ranges, I schedule an in-person consultation to fill out contract, do sketches and receive 50% deposit and have a tasting if they want. I don't charge for tastings because I schedule them usually the day after I got done baking a cake so I have little extras left made into mini cupcakes.
I learned my lesson, early on. A lady asked for a sample mini cake, I told her I'd have to charge her so she got a couple of free mini cupcakes. She had just stated she wanted to place two cake orders. Then I find out she wants them to be at the most 15 servings each. I wouldn't do it so she got the smallest cake possible with the lowest priced selections. Oh, then she calls to cancel the second order because she already went over her budget -first order was 40$
I am not making the same mistake again.
A fool is a fool five minutes if he asks
A fool is a fool a lifetime if he doesn't....
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A fool is a fool five minutes if he asks
A fool is a fool a lifetime if he doesn't....
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post #11 of 12
Thank you everyone for your advice. I just lost a client this morning because my tasting wasn't organised, even though they really liked me. I've never been to a tasting as a client (and would feel wrong booking one now with a competitor) so I didn't know what to expect. There's so much to learn in this industry!!!! Thank goodness for Cake central,eh? icon_wink.gif
PopCakes of Canberra, experience the PopCake revolution!
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PopCakes of Canberra, experience the PopCake revolution!
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post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmmaHols

Thank you everyone for your advice. I just lost a client this morning because my tasting wasn't organised, even though they really liked me. I've never been to a tasting as a client (and would feel wrong booking one now with a competitor) so I didn't know what to expect. There's so much to learn in this industry!!!! Thank goodness for Cake central,eh? icon_wink.gif



Keep your head up...It will ONLY get better the more times you do it; Maybe practice with a friend or family memeber, but you must use a person who will challenge you and ask ALOT of questions.... My BF helped me this way, now I have an answer for almost every REASONABLE request...lol
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