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Venue Called - Where's The Wedding Cake? HUH? - Page 5

post #61 of 108
OP-
(HUGS)..... icon_biggrin.gif

NOT your responsibility to run someone else's business. YOUR hands are clean, YOUR business runs. I am impressed you have notes from a February "looker" (MOB) that came in to ask a few questions. Clearly, YOU did YOUR job.

The venue/ planner... that's their problem. I won't even excuse the MOB- heck, even ordering a cake a WalMart they ask what flavor, how big, what color icing.
post #62 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasey

Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross


I don't think Foxicakes intended to insinuate that you were in any way at fault (at least thats not how it read to me). She seems to just want to give some ideas to avoid a repeat of this incident that was a loss for everyone ... the wedding parry had no cake, the MOB is caught with egg on her face, the venue has an unhappy customer and you missed out on a cake sale. It's clear you did everything you could do with checks and balances but every slip is an opportunity to plug holes in the system.




Ditto that! thumbs_up.gif



Ditto, ditto that!
I think she was just presenting ideas for you to CYA in the future so you wouldn't be getting any more calls like that on a Saturday. I did not read that post thinking she thought it as your fault. NO one can think this situation lies with you!! It's just how can you avoid any confusion from others down the road that's all. It was well-intentioned advice that you can take or leave.

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #63 of 108
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I just wasn't in a good mood at the time I read the comments so my apologies. icon_biggrin.gif This has been a valuable lesson learned from the standpoint of further protecting ourselves. People read our contracts and are amazed at the contents, but I tell them these things actually do happen. As I said previously, I made the decision to have a separate contract for this venue's clients and a procedural list if they don't decide to contract with us at the initial meeting. I plan to give them a copy of the procedures so that the process is clear and they understand it is not the venue's responsibility to contract their cake, select the design, or flavors. I plan to send the venue a copy of it for reference so that they know that each of their clients will have the process clearly in writing. This really should be done from the beginning by the venue, but I certainly don't want to go through this again. From what I found out, similar situations have happened in the past with other vendors. Hopefully this will prevent us from being in the middle of something like this again. It definitely takes stress to a whole new level. icon_lol.gif
post #64 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeacakea

Thanks, everyone. I just wasn't in a good mood at the time I read the comments so my apologies. icon_biggrin.gif This has been a valuable lesson learned from the standpoint of further protecting ourselves. People read our contracts and are amazed at the contents, but I tell them these things actually do happen. As I said previously, I made the decision to have a separate contract for this venue's clients and a procedural list if they don't decide to contract with us at the initial meeting. I plan to give them a copy of the procedures so that the process is clear and they understand it is not the venue's responsibility to contract their cake, select the design, or flavors. I plan to send the venue a copy of it for reference so that they know that each of their clients will have the process clearly in writing. This really should be done from the beginning by the venue, but I certainly don't want to go through this again. From what I found out, similar situations have happened in the past with other vendors. Hopefully this will prevent us from being in the middle of something like this again. It definitely takes stress to a whole new level. icon_lol.gif



I'm just curious as to what is in it for the venue to order the cake from you? Do they have a markup on the cake? I guess I'm really wondering how it works if they (the client) sign a contract with you and they (the client) have to go over everything with you and sign your contract and then turn around and sign a contract also with the venue and pay the venue. I really don't see what the point of having a package lined up for the cake with the venue themselves. Seems like a lot of extra steps.

Now I'm only curious because I have a venue that has told me they have accounts with wedding cake places that agree to pay the venue a markup on the cakes they contract from these specific cake shops. So essentially they push certain cake shops where they will make money of those cakes. In this case I can see the benefit.
post #65 of 108
Thread Starter 
[quote="love2makecakesI'm just curious as to what is in it for the venue to order the cake from you? Do they have a markup on the cake? I guess I'm really wondering how it works if they (the client) sign a contract with you and they (the client) have to go over everything with you and sign your contract and then turn around and sign a contract also with the venue and pay the venue. I really don't see what the point of having a package lined up for the cake with the venue themselves. Seems like a lot of extra steps.

Now I'm only curious because I have a venue that has told me they have accounts with wedding cake places that agree to pay the venue a markup on the cakes they contract from these specific cake shops. So essentially they push certain cake shops where they will make money of those cakes. In this case I can see the benefit.[/quote]

The venue provides many of the services in-house. There are only three services that are outsourced with other vendors. We have a standard per serving price we offer their clients unless it is an extremely elaborate cake. The package deal is supposed to give the client a "piece of mind" knowing that most everything is taken care of and the venue has vendors pre-selected. It certainly didn't do that in this case...lol. The price of the cake is within the range of the starting price for our basic cakes so I'm making my usual profit on the cakes. It does help knowing that we are getting some consistent business, but it is mainly set up as a service for the client to make things easier on them as well as keep services in-house with the venue. Of course the venue is the one making additional money by not having those services outsourced. I'm not sure if there is a finders fee incorporated into the package for having vendors pre-selected for the clients. And I don't have any sort of contract with the venue. I am going to discuss this with the venue, however, after what happened. I think there needs to be some sort of contract between us and the venue regarding payments along with each of our responsibilities. Things have worked so smoothly up to this point, but now it is definitely warranted.
post #66 of 108
One thing that no one has mentioned as far as the OP's reputation: I bet everyone atttending the wedding heard/was told that her bakery didn't show! icon_sad.gif Those people are not goiing to learn of the outcome - that it probably (looks like at this point) is the venue's fault. They are still going to think it was the baker icon_sad.gif
post #67 of 108
My thoughts are tht Foxicakes was right on the money with her advice. I'm sure people who have supervised or been in managerial positions are aware of the importance of follow up and recheck.

Very obviously someone in charge of these details at that venue dropped the ball. And judging by the fact that the MOB has called you twice, is it possible that the venue is taking the blame off themselves and placing it all on you?

What I would do is write the venue a very courteous and friendly letter explaining much as you have said it here, and expressing your concerns for any negative reviews that may affect your business (due to THEIR negligence).
But put this in writing, I think it's a situation serious enough to warrant that.

As for the MOB, remember, her daughter had her wedding without a cake!
Not because of your fault, but because of the venues. It's enough to make anybody cry and for a long time!
I would be as sympathetic as I possibly could. If she should call you again, give her your undivided attention and put all the blame on who deserves it, but let her vent and then you explain again that humanly there was nothing you could do. She'll understand.

As for the venue, well, next time I would check and double check and triple check on what cakes are due, but then, who has the time for that? icon_wink.gif
I was made in Gods image, so I create
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I was made in Gods image, so I create
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post #68 of 108
Thread Starter 
I forgot to mention that we aren't the exclusive cake vendor for this venue. There are two other cake vendors that can be selected for a client's package deal. When I never heard back from the MOB, of course I assumed she went with one of the other cake vendors for her daughter's package. When we met, she did indicate she was visiting at least one of the other cake vendors. Therefore, I did not feel it was my obligation to contact the venue prior to the wedding for any sort of checks and balances and why I disagreed with Foxicakes comments. It would have helped with the big picture had I provided that important information. icon_lol.gif I do agree with Foxicake's comment that if the venue had our business listed as the cake vendor and never received an invoice, there should have been some sort of follow up on their end. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

Lili7568 I am very concerned about the fallout and why I am still very stressed. I appreciate all the support, and it does help tremendously. However, I too am concerned that the 150 guests at the wedding and the other vendors think that we did not deliver the cake. Rumors spread like wildfire, and I do not want to be known as the cake vendor that failed to deliver a bride's cake. They are not privy to all the details, and this could have serious repercussions for us.

My business partner and I did provide a shoulder for the MOB to cry on yesterday. She was hysterical! We have such sympathy for her and the bride and let her cry and vent. Had someone called us at an earlier point the day of the wedding, I could have whipped up something or could have at least taken one of our display cakes so that the bride could have some decent pictures. With a design not being selected, any of our display cakes would have worked. The venue purchased a grocery store cake for the ceremonial cutting of the cake and photo op, which made the MOB more upset.
post #69 of 108
bakeacakea, do you blog, and if so, do you link it on Facebook? This is a good opportunity to post a thread about contracts and maknig sure things are in writing and confirmed. You don't have to point it out and use names (of course not), but you can make it in general, and reference "an unfortunate incident that occured recently" that is specific to someone thinking they had a cake coming, when they didn't. If people who were at that wedding happen to see it, it may be an aha moment for them.
post #70 of 108
I actually posted a blog once that mentioned what a great cake free weekend I had once, where I got to catch up on all the upcoming orders, in the hopes that people from a wedding I didn't do saw that and knew I didn't make the train wreck of a cake that was there. The bride didn't want my prices, and boy did she get what she paid for. I did a lot of business for this wedding planner, and didn't want anyone thinking I had anything to do with it, so that's why I posted a blog that day. It worked.
post #71 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeacakea


Lili7568 I am very concerned about the fallout and am still very stressed. I appreciate all the support, and it does help tremendously. However, I too am concerned that the 150 guests at the wedding and the other vendors think that we did not deliver the cake. Rumors spread like wildfire, and I do not want to known as the cake vendor that failed to deliver a bride's cake. They are not privy to all the details, and this could have serious repercussions for us.



Believe me I would be stressed too! This is why I thought that if you could just somehow win the MOB over. She may them spread the good word to her guests/friends and family and you could do some damage control in that way.
I don't have a business so I don't exactly know what you should do, these are just some thoughts on this. My concern at this point would be to mitigate the damage, but exactly how, perhaps someone with more experience could help there!

I'm really sorry this had to happen to you! Best of luck and I sincerely hope everything works out for the best!
I was made in Gods image, so I create
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I was made in Gods image, so I create
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post #72 of 108
I used to work at a bakery that had a similar arrangement with a venue. In our case, however, the bride would order through her coordinator at the venue, who would then place the order with us. Every month the coordinators would fax us a list of all the cakes they were expecting, and I would go through and make sure we had a complete order for each one. You'd be surprised at how many times that list saved us from missing a cake we had never received an order for.
post #73 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffronica

In our case, however, the bride would order through her coordinator at the venue, who would then place the order with us. Every month the coordinators would fax us a list of all the cakes they were expecting, and I would go through and make sure we had a complete order for each one.



Well there is a good idea for you to consider! That would truly provide added benefits to this venue/baker relationship. You would free up your time and perhaps in return, you build in a little profit for the venue so that you are top of the list for bakers.

Do you like providing a tasting for each bride? Do you charge for that? I'm basing the following suggestion on the understanding that a bride is trusting the venue's choice in baker and is not having an official tasting.

From what you have explained (or how I understood it!) the venue is just being nice and sending a bride your way? They aren't making any money from your cakes, but they are potentially sealing the catering deal with the bride by selling the "whole package."

What if you provided a portfolio book to the venue with specific looks and what serving sizes that package price gets them? If the bride likes what she sees, she orders through the venue coordinator who is completely responsible for all choices and a signed contract. Makes sense for them to pay you when you receive that "order."

If the bride wants to upgrade her flavor/design/etc. there could be an upcharge of $25 to meet with you directly and discuss her new cake price. The bride would have to sign off on that form as well (stating she is contacting you directly by xxx date.) The venue will still have to shoulder responsibility by making sure they receive an invoice from you after the meeting.

I just feel like if you are part of a venue's package deal, the venue should be handling ALL of the contracts. You provide the invoice for the order once it was selected by the bride and coordinator OR they provide you the statement that the bride is ordering directly from you with a surcharge and known price increase. icon_smile.gif She can have her tasting that way.

I'm thinking of the future and hoping that you are super busy with orders and need hassle free transactions with venues!
The definition of husband is one who takes out the trash and then declares he cleaned the whole house.
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The definition of husband is one who takes out the trash and then declares he cleaned the whole house.
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post #74 of 108
Just a quick thought and I know that you aren't in the wrong but it might be nice to offer the newlyweds something as a goodwill gesture. Maybe a discount on a 1 year anniversary cake since they won't have that.

Might bring in future biz when they do realize it wasn't your fault and they will need other cakes for baby showers, 1st birthday, etc. etc.

[/b]
post #75 of 108
I just wanted to say that I think that GourmetSharon, had such a great idea for the offer of an anniversary cake other cakes. It shows concern and true feelings about what happened. Very nice thoughts!
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