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How do you handle cake tastings?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
how do you present your cake/filling choices to potential customers? and how many choices do you give them? do you ask ahead of time what they are most interested in? what if they truly have no idea?

do you give actual slices of cakes, use pieces, etc?

just wondering if you could share your experiences start to finish with me =)
thanks!
post #2 of 11
There are lots of threads with great ideas on this topic. My laptop is at HP for repair so I dont' have access to all of the saved links to them or I'd post them for you.

What I did ....

- Baked 8" square of each of 3 flavors. Cut into 9 pieces (3 rows by 3 columns ... slightly more than 2x2" squares).
- Put in big zip lock bag in freezer.
- Pull out one of each flavor for a tasting.
- Serve naked with icings and fillings on the side so they can mix and match. (Point out how a white cake with white icing has SUCH a flavor difference with different fillings! Point out how the chocolate cake gets a real flavor pop when the plain choc fudge filling is replaced by choc-raspberry filling!)
post #3 of 11
yeah what indydebi said!! Lol
I charge for my tastings $25.00 for up to 4 people and it includes 3 flavors of cake, 2 flavors of icing and fillings and fondant. If they book with me the money gets applied to the cost of the cake. I just did a tasting today and and I used plastic souffle cups to put the icing in. I provided them with bottled water to wash it down between flavors. I put each slice of cake on a small doilly and placed the whole thing on a clear plastic platter with a dome. I passed it around to each person and let them get theirs off the platter. I also had forks and a napkin for each person. This was the first time I had done it and I think for me at least I will do each one like that. I also bought a cupcake box for them to take the leftovers but it wasn't needed. Oh and I used everything disposable for now, until I have my own store.
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Failure is not an option!!
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks guys! i appreciate the help! i was searching in the forums for stuf font his, but i couldnt find anything initially so finally posted this. indydebi, if you do come across those other threads, please let me know. for now though, i have somewhere to start =)
post #5 of 11
I just started in the wedding cake end of things. I rent a kitchen but I don't meet clients there. I usually meet them at a coffee shop or their home. They like that I will travel to them. It take a lot of my time but I'm getting established so I make that sacrifice of time. The tastings are free for a limited time eg. ends April 30, 2011.

I bring along a rectangular white cardboard container that is like a candy box. I put a decorative grease resistant liner on the bottom. I put 4 slices of cake inside and separate them with wax paper. The cakes are 8x8 square cakes that I cut into pieces that fit in the box. It's a 2-3 inch high cake, torted to make 2 layers and filled with buttercream and iced in the same buttercream.

I put my company sticker on the box and tape down the cover. I bring along a fork and a fancy paper napkin for each taster. People love this presentation and so far I've booked every consultation I've had. They don't even ask about fillings! I save money this way but if they asked I would tell them about it.

Really, it's the taste of the cakes that's doing the selling. I just let them taste and they make their choices right there and we move onto other details.
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What would you do with your life if money was not a consideration?
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post #6 of 11
We offer samples based on what we have orders for during a 2 week period. We bake 12x12 squares, split them in half and stack them so you have a 4 layer cake with 3 places for fillings or buttercream. We cut them into roughly 2in wide and 4 in tall pieces and put the samples in pie boxes on waxed paper and wrap them well for freezer storage. This size is about what they would get at an actual reception. We try to do 8 -10 different flavors per box. We don't freeze our wedding cakes, so it really shouldn't matter if the samples have been frozen! Of course we don't volunteer that information.

We can take requests for flavors but say "we can't guarantee because we do samples of what we have orders for during a given week." That keeps us from having to keep track of a bunch of order-specific sample boxes. We offer fillings on the side if we have them available. That way, they can try the sample with whichever flavor they want. The tastings are free and tell customers that there is seating for 4, including our representative. HTH!
post #7 of 11
My input might be slightly different because I run a cupcakery, but I think it would still work great for a cake business too! I offer five cake combos at my tastings: two traditional flavors, two funky flavors, and one flavor that the customer picks. Similar to Hayden, the flavors that I pick are typically whatever I have orders for.

Then, I make mini cupcake samples. I bring them in a cake box, and set them up on a purple foil doily for presentation. My cupcakes all have fun names, so I set out little place cards with the cupcake names on them. This way, the client has a reference when we're discussing options (helps to prevent confusion over this flavor or that flavor). In addition, I bring a treat box to leave as a souvenir of two full-sized cupcakes. I charge $15 for a tasting (which can be applied toward a future order). It helps prevent cancellations!

I hope this helps! I love doing cake tastings. =]
Hire me to write the copy for your brochure, website, flyer, or commercial!
I currently offer this as a free service so that I can add samples to my dayjob portfolio (as a copywriter).

Message or email me for details or to see my work. =]
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Hire me to write the copy for your brochure, website, flyer, or commercial!
I currently offer this as a free service so that I can add samples to my dayjob portfolio (as a copywriter).

Message or email me for details or to see my work. =]
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post #8 of 11
Every time I make a cake I make a cupcake or two extra... I keep them wrapped and frozen and just pull out my top 3 flavors for samples. Just pipe a little buttercream on them... voila, easy, cheap and very tasty. I display them on my great grandmothers clear glass pedestal and set a table with silver, antique dishes and napkins. I like the idea of signs for flavors. going to word right now!
post #9 of 11
I have a shop so what I do is make 1 to 3 six inch (single layer) cakes of each flavor we bake that week....1 of the lesser requested flavors and up to 3 of the most requested flavors. The flavors we are giving out we keep on a counter. We just cover the cut edge with a piece of plastic wrap. The cake stays moist. The "back up" cakes are kept in a cooler and brought out to replace the cakes that have been eaten. We give people a slice of the cake for tasting. We let them taste anything we have available. We type a list of the flavors available for sampling that week and have it on the table to look at, along with a list of all the flavors we offer. We try to remember to tell them to check our website for a list of all flavors. If they want to taste a specific flavor,then they must let us know the week before their appointment, then we will bake it just for them. The flavor is aded to our list so now others also have the opportunity to taste. We give samples out to anyone who asks, party or wedding.

We have all the fillings on hand, so if they want to taste a filling we either put it on the plate with the slices, or put it on another plate.
post #10 of 11
How long in advance do you unfroze your cake for tasting?
post #11 of 11

Since I work in a restaurant that has a large wedding business, I only offer 8 choices of flavor combinations.  It would get too crazy if I let them all pick and choose everything.  

Our wedding coordinator does the tastings, unless I need to sit with the bride for a complicated cake design.  I have a wedding coming up that will be a stack of antique books, so I did the tasting/consult for that one.

I make my tasters from half sheet cakes.  I cut them in three strips, and assemble them in the flavor combos I offer.  My cakes are all four layers of cake, but for this I just do three. I keep these in the freezer, and slice them when we have a tasting scheduled.  I pull them in the morning, plate them, and leave them in the fridge until a half hour before.  Then I let them sit at room temp until the tasting.

This is a photo of a recent tasting.  We charge $25 for a choice of three, with each additional being $5. (this place has no problem charging for anything).

Carrot, White Chocolate, Coconut with Passion Fruit Mousse and Almond with ganache, raspberries and white chocolate buttercream.

I prefer this way since I do more than just wedding cakes.  I don't have time to make up each individual cake tasting.  I did have a request for peanut butter filling in a chocolate cake, so I made a cupcake for them to try.

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