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they weren't happy with the cake, so now what? - Page 3  

post #31 of 56
I just wanted to suggest that if you HAVE to take your children, see if you can find a friend to come along with you and sit with them in the car. People look down on others leaving their kids in the car (especially with all the press about kids crashing cars into buildings when left in a running vehicle, people stealing cars w/ kids in them, and of course, children dying from being left in a car when it's hot out).

I have an 11 yr. old son who always BEGS to go with me (he finds the cake business to be interesting) and I've always told him "no....you can't, because it won't look professional if I have a kid in tow". Then I thought about it and realized he could be an "asset" to me. So for Christmas this past year I bought him a black chef's coat w/ my business logo on it (matches mine) and he now goes with me to deliver wedding cakes. He looks professional, he grabs the doors for me, as I unbox cakes he takes the boxes and stacks them inside eachother, runs them back to the van and comes back w/ my clip board.

He also manages to field a lot of questions for my business cards, where we're located, etc. and is always ready to hand them out when people ask. When people comment about him being young for a cake decorator, he laughs and points to me working on the cake and says... "you have to start young to get this good!" Gotta love that kid! lol (I've only been doing this 2 yrs.....but they don't know that lol)

He tells people he's my sous chef! Hopefully he won't expect to start getting a salary! : )
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
post #32 of 56
KHalstead, I LOVE how you have worked this out with your son... your biz will soon be "... & Son". That wouldn't work with certain events, but what a great experience for both of you. He sounds like a very intelligent, clever, responsible 11 yr. old who will probably have his own bakery at 13.
post #33 of 56
Tina, you are brilliant! I love it!
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I just wanted to suggest that if you HAVE to take your children, see if you can find a friend to come along with you and sit with them in the car. People look down on others leaving their kids in the car (especially with all the press about kids crashing cars into buildings when left in a running vehicle, people stealing cars w/ kids in them, and of course, children dying from being left in a car when it's hot out).

I have an 11 yr. old son who always BEGS to go with me (he finds the cake business to be interesting) and I've always told him "no....you can't, because it won't look professional if I have a kid in tow". Then I thought about it and realized he could be an "asset" to me. So for Christmas this past year I bought him a black chef's coat w/ my business logo on it (matches mine) and he now goes with me to deliver wedding cakes. He looks professional, he grabs the doors for me, as I unbox cakes he takes the boxes and stacks them inside eachother, runs them back to the van and comes back w/ my clip board.

He also manages to field a lot of questions for my business cards, where we're located, etc. and is always ready to hand them out when people ask. When people comment about him being young for a cake decorator, he laughs and points to me working on the cake and says... "you have to start young to get this good!" Gotta love that kid! lol (I've only been doing this 2 yrs.....but they don't know that lol)

He tells people he's my sous chef! Hopefully he won't expect to start getting a salary! : )



That's ADORABLE!! Love it!!
Why do people say, "You can't have your cake and eat it too?" WHY would someone get cake if they can't eat it?!
Why do people say, "You can't have your cake and eat it too?" WHY would someone get cake if they can't eat it?!
post #35 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

So for Christmas this past year I bought him a black chef's coat w/ my business logo on it (matches mine) and he now goes with me to deliver wedding cakes.



Great story, would love to see a picture of the two of you in your matching jackets.
post #36 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathysCC

Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

So for Christmas this past year I bought him a black chef's coat w/ my business logo on it (matches mine) and he now goes with me to deliver wedding cakes.



Great story, would love to see a picture of the two of you in your matching jackets.



Ditto thumbs_up.gif
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
post #37 of 56
I'll have to have someone take one next time he goes with me (he's at his Dad's for the summer right now), usually it's just the 2 of us so I guess I never thought of anyone snapping a photo. Lots of photographers have taken photos of us getting stuff set up together though.

He loves being a part of it, and honestly this summer delivering without him has made me realize how much he REALLY does help me. I'm usually there before too many people are around, so I'm having to make multiple trips to the van, open and prop doors for myself, mess with boxes and just when I think I'm done I've got to run back and get my clip board for someone to sign off on the cake.

He never touches the cakes, and I let people know that...but he does a lot of the little stuff, mostly running back and forth bringing in my tools, taking out boxes, bringing in clip board, carrying out tools.

I get to carry the cakes, unbox, stack, put on borders and he does the rest.....HUGE time saver and a BIG help!

Not sure the OP's kids ages.....but if you've got any over the age of 10 or so, stick em' in a chef's coat lol

I got my son's for about $20 and then paid $7 at a local shop to have the business name put on.
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
God's Word will either keep you from sin;
or sin will keep you from God's Word.
post #38 of 56
Did I miss something? icon_confused.gif I didn't see anywhere in the OP that she brought her children with her? Where did that come from?

The reference to TV was NOT about children watching TV, but a reference to people-in-general who watch the Cake Shows on TV and see them all delivered pre-assembled so they think all cakes are done that way.

I also believe all decorating should be done before delivery. I agree there are some things that need done at the venue (adding flowers, some borders, etc), but I rarely took more than 10 minutes (15 max) to set up a cake. I spent years delivering all cakes unassembled but as volume increased, I had to start delivering them assembled or partially assembled. I just didn't have time to do the work on-site.
post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by steph95

I haven't done very many wedding cakes. I didn't charge her alot because of that. I am not a big city decorator. The cakes I have done have been for back yard weddings and receptions at fire halls. As for my children, they were in the car with the A/C on watching a movie. They were never out of the car and I was able to see them from where I was working. Ok, I should have maybe done the scrollwork before leaving, but I am always so worried of something happening to the cake on my way there. (I don't do fondant, just BC.)



indydebi here you go! she didn't say it in the original but later on down in the posts.
post #40 of 56
SPCC, thanks for posting that! Now I'm on the same page! thumbs_up.gif
post #41 of 56
Yes, Debi, you missed this part of the clients letter:

Quote:
Originally Posted by steph95

I was busy, and upset that the cake was not finished, but should have offered for you and the children to go inside . They could have watched TV while you worked.



and then someone asked later and she said her children were in the car...
post #42 of 56
oh.. I guess I'm a little slow icon_smile.gif
post #43 of 56
Having your customer tell you that something is wrong IS a mortifying feeling, but, unfortunately, in this instance, the customer is justifed.

First, you "weren't happy" with it, but you also "thought it was OK" - which is it? If you are not happy with it, why on earth would you think that the customer would be? You are the professtional, and if it is not up to scratch, then you have to suck it up and do it until it is right and you are happy with it.

Second, why would you attempt a cake (you have said that you have not "done many") that you are basically completely unfamiliar with, for a wedding? There is no other day on earth for stressful situations to turn into disasters like there is on someone's wedding day. If you accept the order, then you have to deliver, even if that means doing a real-time practise run first to make sure you can do the job. You now know what happens when you are unprepared.

Then there is assembling at the venue, made so much worse by the fact that a) you have your kids on your mind, even though you left them in the car, and b) you are running late because of poor time management skills.

All round, this is an unmitigated horror job, and to only offer the customer a justified apology (it becomes justified when you add an explanation, no matter what that explanation is) as your first response is unacceptable. Frankly, if I was the customer, I would be expecting a minimum of 50% back, and I would be telling you in no uncertain terms of what I think of an offer for 10% off a subsequent order - what subsequent order?

Any apology must be sincere, brief and to the point. No "I'm sorry, BUT" should ever be uttered.

You have decided to accept payment for your work - that makes you a professional. You MUST act like it 100% of the time, or you business will fail before it has begun.
post #44 of 56
Steph95- I wish I could give you a big hug! Yes it was a wedding day, it is important, but if that's the only thing that went wrong for the bride,(which is what the MOB said) well then, she had a great day! if you consider what could've gone wrong!
I'm sure you know what you can do differently next time. You need to do what you need to do, to move past this. Weather it's giving the bride a full refund, or as someone else suggested, refund the labour cost because they obviously loved eating the cake (which IS VERY important) and the guests will remember that more than the tiers leaning. Or even make them an anniversary cake next year.Whatever it is you need to do. That way you're validating the bride's feelings on the matter and yours as well.

And tomorrow is a new day!
post #45 of 56
Bakescupcakes, why is a back yard wedding less important than a wedding held in a church or a reception centre? Does that mean you should be happy with whatever you receive and just take it? I don't think so!

The perspective, as you put it, is that this poster is a professional cake decorator; therefore there is an expectation on the part of the customer that they will receive what they have paid for, no matter what the price, and no matter what the location. To provide anything less is the very definition of "unprofessional".

If this situation had happened to you, would you tell the customer that they needed to put their wedding "into perspecitve, after all, it was just in a backyard"?
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