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Charging family for cake

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
So I have always made my families special event cakes as a gift from me. But lately I have had several requests for someone's best friends birthday or other event. I have stuck to my guns and told them they would need to pay for the cake. Of course this always upsets people. Monday my 17 year old son came home and asked me to make his girlfriend's 16th birthday cake. I told him that her parents might be having a special cake made for her. He then tells me he already talked with her mom and told her that I would be more than willing to make the cake. icon_confused.gif If thats not bad enough he whips out a picture of a 4 tier, hot pink and black, fondant covered cake. I'm starting to see red at this point because he has been told about offering my services for free in the past. I asked him how he was going to pay for the cake and he just looked at me with ashocked look. Then started begging and pleading and when that didn't work called his grandparents.

So my in-laws think I'm being this horrible person to charge him or anyone else in the family for a cake that isn't going to a family member. I explained to them how complex the cake is and how much time and $ it would take to do this. They still think I'm wrong.
I called the girls mother and let her know that my son spoke out of turn and that I couldn't do this cake for free. She then told me that I was a terrible mom for asking my son to pay for a cake. I explained that this my business and how I support my family and she hung up on me.
Has anyone else dealt with this kind of thing from family?
post #2 of 39
Cake muggles....they just don't get it.....
Chocolate is my drug of choice....
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Chocolate is my drug of choice....
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post #3 of 39
WOW...some people are just unbelievable! Even if you made the cake for free (ie. didn't charge for your time), the ingredients still cost money. I don't live near my family so I've not had this problem. When I was taking classes, I would bring cakes to work. Then coworkers started asking when I was bringing in cake again. I said...when you pay for it!
post #4 of 39
Wow- that's awful! I completely understand where you are coming from..........that being said....the general population wouldn't have a clue!
No one except a cake maker understands the time and effort that goes into every cake- even your son who knows it takes you forever-doesn't really know what you are really doing!
So you probably do look unfair and unreasonable to these people....since it is your son's girlfriend and all - and it is just a cake you know.... (they have absolutely NO CLUE)
If you want to try to save this- then maybe offer a smaller cake free of charge or at least at the cost of ingredients...
But either way- it's not fair to you-and I would drag your son into the kitchen to help, and definitely to do the clean up!!!!
I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
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I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
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post #5 of 39
I totally get your frusteration. I have just started doing cakes in the last year and for practice always do family cakes for free. Now family is offering my services to others. I cant help but think I am helping you out by giving you an awesome cake for free. You know how much work I put into my cakes and how much cakes should be costing you. Do NOT offer my free services (a favor) to your friend.
I think being a parent she should have handled herslef with a little more class. Good luck (especially if they became in laws could you imagine). Let us know if they end up ordering a cake or getting a Wal-Mart cake. icon_biggrin.gif
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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post #6 of 39
His girlfriend's mother is awful! Under NO circumstances should you bake that cake!! I would also start offering my son's lawn mowing and pool cleaning services for free...to "friends" and family of course. icon_wink.gif
post #7 of 39
I charge for all cakes (family or not) if it is not "MY" idea to make a cake as a gift. No one should offer your time and money for free. Once you do it for free, people always think you will do it for free. I don't give discounts because I put too much time and effort and money into my work to give it away. thumbsdown.gif
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Cake is LOVE!
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post #8 of 39
Wow. Hanging up on you because you wouldn't give her something for free? You were at least nice enough to call and explain. I haven't had anyone be rude like that yet but I have had a lot of people begging me to do cakes and wanting to pay me. It's just a hobby for me and I want to keep it that way. They do seem offended when I tell them I don't sell I just make them as gifts for my family and close friends. I have noticed that most people don't realize the cost and time that goes into baking these elaborate cakes they want. If it's so easy why don't they just whip one up themselves?
~Lisa~

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http://sugarcelebrations.blogspot.com/
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~Lisa~

Check out my blog!!
http://sugarcelebrations.blogspot.com/
or visit me at Sugar Celebrations on facebook!
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post #9 of 39
Just a thought.....maybe you should give your son his first baking lesson and make him do the work. I bet he would never offer your services again! LOL!
~Lisa~

Check out my blog!!
http://sugarcelebrations.blogspot.com/
or visit me at Sugar Celebrations on facebook!
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~Lisa~

Check out my blog!!
http://sugarcelebrations.blogspot.com/
or visit me at Sugar Celebrations on facebook!
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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by olleharr

Just a thought.....maybe you should give your son his first baking lesson and make him do the work. I bet he would never offer your services again! LOL!



This is exactly the thought I had!! Get your son involved in his girlfriend's cake! Think how special it would be for her to know her boyfriend made an elaborate cake for her. I'd still charge him--but only for the ingredients...and take him with you when you buy them. Have him follow your recipe and bake the cake as well as color and roll fondant, do cut-outs...stack. OMG...what a learning experience it would be! I bet he wouldn't offer your services for free any more! He might even have fun! (long shot I know...but hey!)

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 #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by syarber

So I have always made my families special event cakes as a gift from me. But lately I have had several requests for someone's best friends birthday or other event. I have stuck to my guns and told them they would need to pay for the cake. Of course this always upsets people. Monday my 17 year old son came home and asked me to make his girlfriend's 16th birthday cake. ..... he has been told about offering my services for free in the past. I asked him how he was going to pay for the cake and he just looked at me with a shocked look. Then started begging and pleading and when that didn't work called his grandparents.

So my in-laws think I'm being this horrible person to charge him or anyone else in the family for a cake that isn't going to a family member. I explained to them how complex the cake is and how much time and $ it would take to do this. They still think I'm wrong.
I called the girls mother and let her know that my son spoke out of turn and that I couldn't do this cake for free. She then told me that I was a terrible mom for asking my son to pay for a "cake" [a 4 tier, hot pink and black, fondant covered cake] .I explained that this my business and how I support my family and she hung up on me.



What a dreadful situation; I am so sorry you must go through this. I agree with everyone above: You are in the right, they are in the wrong. Your son AND your in-laws AND the girls' mother owe you an apology. You will probably never get an apology from the girl's mother, but I would make it a point of honor to obtain one from your son AND your in-laws.

If your son wants his girlfriend to have a cake, let him bake it or buy it elsewhere. He was told NOT to volunteer your services and did it anyway. You went the extra mile and telephoned his girlfriend's mother and explained. HE should have been the one to explain that he was out-of-line. He should not have "tattled" on you to his grandparents. If his grandparents want him to have a cake, let them bake it, buy it elsewhere, or hire him to do some jobs to earn the money. Personally, I would NOT offer to assist your son in creating a cake. I would offer to let him use your materials and make his own cake, ON HIS OWN, or purchase a cake elsewhere. Your hard-learned skill is what earns your money that goes toward your family, not the ingredients.

In the future, present the scenario to them using a different example, ie., re-formatting a computer, changing the oil and doing a lube job on a car, babysitting for 2 days on a weekend.
If your son or his grandparents were experts in computers, car mechanic work, baby-sitting for example; would they smile and happily agree to be "volunteered" to do work for a non-family member that would take them 4-12 hours over 2-3 days?
Would they do it for free even though the supplies needed to do the job would COST THEM $40-$100 out-of-pocket?
Would they do it when this other, non-family member wanted it done (regardless of their individual schedule)?
Would they use their vacation time from work to do the task?
Would they be unhappy that someone had volunteered one of them to spend $40-$100 of their money, 4-12 hours of their time, their expertise?

I would suggest you print out this thread, and this response, and let your son read it. Don't say anything, just print it out and watch him read it. See what he says.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckalita

Cake muggles....they just don't get it.....



This has more to do with people expecting things from family than it does cake. There are plenty of people who expect free legal service from lawyers in the family, free plumbing repairs from plumbers in the family, etc. And there are those who will expect the family members of their daughter's boyfriend or sons' girlfriend to offer their services for free as well. It is not unique to the caking world.
post #13 of 39
Good for you, saying no and sticking to it.

Lots of people do expect things for free. I made a couple of free cakes for my husband's friend because he had really gone out of his way to help my husband when our car broke down. Then they told me they wanted cakes for their other kids birthdays (they have ten of them) and I told them that would be fine as long as they paid for the ingredients, and to let me know two weeks before they wanted a cake and I would tell them how much it would be. So they called me less than a week before they wanted the cake, and they wanted three of them at once, complicated designs. I told them that wasn't enough time and we worked out what I could do for them instead. The next day they were supposed to bring the money for the ingredients...$70. (unlike some people, I charge for all my ingredients, box, paper towels, gas to go to the several stores I have to get cake stuff from, etc.) They didn't call me all day. When I finally called them, they didn't have any money. They wanted to bring it the next day. I said no...no time to make the fondant, and I'm not pulling an all-nighter to get these done. They called back the day before they needed the cakes, asking if I could make them out of styrofoam because that wouldn't cost anything. These aren't near and dear friends, it's a coworker of my husband who I've only known for three months. I should have just said no from the beginning, it would have saved me a week of stress.
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmom

I would also start offering my son's lawn mowing and pool cleaning services for free...to "friends" and family of course. icon_wink.gif



That's a great idea. Kids just don't realize, do they? When I think of some of the things my kids have asked me to do, that now as adults they realize were a bit much and really appreciate that I did it for them. Or understand why I didn't.

But, at least your son is proud enough of your work that he wants to share it with his girlfriend. I hope they don't break up over this!
post #15 of 39
I'm sorry you are dealing with this family stress.
17 yr. old boys are not known for their reasonableness or maturity. Forgetting the girl's mom - have a talk w/your son. Commend him for wanting to do something special for his girlfriend, "I think it's wonderful that you are so caring blah-blah-blah...." 'then, "Because I had already asked you not to volunteer my services, I can't go back on my word and do this cake so let's figure out what else you can do for her gift... If you really want a cake I can recommend a good baker,."
I do understand that you may just give-in for the sake of peace in the family, but if you buckle and make this cake it won't be truly appreciated, it won't truly smooth things over with your in-laws, and it won't be the last one.
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