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Home bakers...How do you arrange pick-up?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Once again, I'm sitting around waiting for someone to pick up a cake. I'm curious how other folks handle this. Some customers are specific with their pick up times and others want to give me a 2 hour window. I get the feeling some people just think I'm home all day and anytime they want to pick up the cake is fine. It's frustrating because I have a family and a life outside of this and hate waiting around all the time.

How do you work this?

Thanks!!
post #2 of 27
I would recommend giving customers a one hour pickup window, and explaining that you may not be available outside that window. If they can't commit to a one hour window, don't take the order.
post #3 of 27
For me it depends on MY schedule. Usually for weekend pickups I set a 10-10:30 window and tell people that if they're going to be late they MUST contact me or there's no guarantee I'll be around. So far I've been pretty lucky that most people are conscious of being on time. However I know the day will come when I'm waiting for someone to come get a cake and have to leave - that will suck icon_razz.gif
post #4 of 27
I can relate, I work, have two littlies & lots of volunteering obligations as well. I have a cake order form and on it they customer needs to state what time pick up will be. If they say 4pm on the form I say "oh that suits great because I'll be heading away to xxxx at 5pm". That way they know I have other obligations & I let them know if its not before that point then I won't be there. And they sure as heck wouldn't be getting a refund either if they didn't show and missed out on their cake at the time they wanted it!

Generally its a big fat lie and I could be hanging around all day but I am not going to let other's dictate my day. My Mum and Dad own a business that is run from home as well and have the exact same problem. I think people presume that because you work from home you just sit around with your feet up all day and they can just come whenever they can be bothered getting around to it. grrr!!!
post #5 of 27
If I am not delivering the cake I always meet them somewhere. Never at my home. I will pick a public place and say I will be here at x time. It seems to work out really well for me.
post #6 of 27
I always get their number. Then, I ask if they want am or pm pickup. Then *I* give *THEM* an hour window.

Conversation:
You want afternoon pickup? That will work fine. I have a (insert wedding delivery or appt) at 3pm, so I can either do 1-2pm or 3-4pm. Which will work?

Only had a problem once, and when I contacted them, they apologized profusely, ran right over and gave me a huge tip! Train your customers!!!
life is short, get a cakesafe.
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life is short, get a cakesafe.
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post #7 of 27
I don't i just always deliver, than i have the control. they feel like they are getting great customer service. if i deliver very far than they either meet me or i charge a larger delivery fee.
"dreaming in cake land is always the best place to rest." Heidi Varden
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"dreaming in cake land is always the best place to rest." Heidi Varden
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post #8 of 27
DELIVER may be the word here... you'll have full control of the time and condition the cake arrives icon_smile.gif

You can either set an additional fee for delivery (let clear how many miles are inlcuded and how much will cost the extra mile) or include in your costs, when you estimate add the corresponding considering the distance.
Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing -- Goethe
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Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing -- Goethe
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post #9 of 27
Immediately at the ordering i let them know they can pick up between 10 and 11 on the particular day. I have phone # to reach them, I've never had a problem. To be honest I think to be fair although we are dealing out of your home you are still providing a retail service so you should be a little flexible with your pick ups in other words give them a window of time but make it clear that that window is firm. If there is a little give and take with your client relationship they will appreicate it and continue using your service.
post #10 of 27
Like wiht any other appt, it is rude to be late. icon_mad.gif 2 hour window? oh brother! My would-love-to-say response would be, "I'm sorry .... do you honestly think I have NOTHING to do all day but wait for you to show up whenever you feel like it?" how utterly rude and inconsiderate. You're NOT walmart ... you're NOT open 24/7 with staffers behind the counter any time of day or night.

When I did consultations at my home and later in my shop, my confirming email flat out said, "If you are running late, give me a call. 15 minutes past the appt time, I consider you a no-show and I pack up and go home."

can you make a dr. appt and will he give you a 2 hour window to get there just whenever the hell you feel like it? I know mine won't! And he'll bill be for a missed office call and MAKE me reschedule!

"My pick up times are between 2 and 3. I have obligations after that and will be leaving at 3;15 and will be gone for the rest of the day. Just so you know, I do NOT give refunds for missed pickups."

Train your customers. thumbs_up.gif
post #11 of 27
agree with everyone else. I do this out of my home and i always give them two options. An AM and a PM window. They can choose. I tell them in my email that I can not gaurentee that I will be available for pick up out side of this window. I don't tell them why, for all I know maybe i'll be taking a nap with my kids, or outside playing. But i'm NOT available for a pick-up.

I do always tell them if these two times don't work to let me know and we can work something out the day before as i'm available between such and such a time on that day.

They don't tell me, i tell them.
It's better to be Hated for who you Are,
Than Loved for who you're Not.
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It's better to be Hated for who you Are,
Than Loved for who you're Not.
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post #12 of 27
My customers always come to my home as well. (I used to meet them at a Starbucks a few years ago, but I would end up waiting, with all 4 kids in the car forever... that was a dumb idea!)
Now, I tell my customers a time frame, and allow them to choose the time that best suites them. (I have pickups at 3-4 or 10-11, what time within that will work best for you?)
I've only had a couple of clients be really late. The last one was almost 45 minutes and that was BAD because I had to get to a Parent conference. I like Indydebi's idea of making it clear that more than 15 minutes late and you won't get your cake icon_smile.gif
They are your customer, but you don't have to live your whole life for them!
Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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post #13 of 27
I rent space out of a restaurant kitchen so I almost always deliver which I would prefer either way because I hate the idea of someone picking up a cake and not knowing how to transport it. Takes skills IMO icon_wink.gif Seems that no one has a problem paying a $10 delivery fee.
post #14 of 27
I agree with Indydebi and Leily....I allow pickups Friday after 1pm until 6pm and Saturday Mornings before 12 noon only...No sundays etc...I send out an email wednesday saying your cake will be ready fro friday after 1 or saturday before noon.Let me know what works for you.If they email back and state another time I simple say no and these are my times.90% set a specific time and are there within 10 minutes of the time they tell me..Ocassionally I will get a dipstick who thinks I have nothing better to do than wait around and believe me...I let them know...Just this weekend I had a pickup and she changed the time on me 3 times but it was fine as I was home..The last time she was an hour and half late and when I called to ask where her person was to pickup the cake ...she blasted me..."I'm sick she said" ...well TOO BAD...I was so pissed..and she was the business owner and started to bitch and complain about how she should have done it herself Yadda Yadda Yadda....People's ingnorance just really peeves me off....So that will be the last time I even email her to get her GD cake..she can get ahold of me!! Most people are very respectful of my time!!

Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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post #15 of 27
A window of time? You people are too easy.


I make an appointment and if they're not here on time, then neither am I.

Dr. Phil always says, "You teach people how to treat you."
And I do not suffer fools easily.
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.
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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.
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