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Samples for custom non-wedding cakes

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi there! I have a home business and get all of my traffic by word of mouth and website. My business has grown greatly these last few months and clients have begun to ask for samples of my product before they book a cake. I normally charge for wedding cake tastings, but I am not certain how to handle this new request. I do understand why the customer wants this however the cost of making several small cakes, or cupcakes, seems too great for the smaller cake orders. Any suggestions or guidelines? icon_confused.gif
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post #2 of 32
Wedding or not, my tastings are the same.

1. Only offered for 150+ servings
2. Flavors based on what orders I have that week
3. $25, put towards order

Otherwise they can buy a 6"!
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post #3 of 32
We charge for tastings regardless of the event. If a customer wants to spend $30 for a tasting for an $80 birthday cake that's fine with us. (We do not credit the tasting amount toward the final order.)
post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you both! So having the customer choose two or three flavors and charging a set fee for this sounds about right then? I have done a few freebies lately and while they always ordered, i felt i should be charging for my materials, if not my time.
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post #5 of 32
I do tastings for weddings only, and only for over 80 or so servings. People are usually fine with that when you tell them, they don't really expect to get samples but they figure they might as well ask.
post #6 of 32
We actually do to-go tastings only, $30 gets you 2 cake flavors and 2 frosting flavors, with additional flavors $10 each.

But you will also need to look at what your local market is doing, if everyone else is offering free tastings you are probably better off following suit (and adjusting your prices to compensate).
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
@ jason...what size or amount of cake do you give for your "to go" tastings?
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post #8 of 32
For each cake flavor we include a single unfrosted 6" round (usually from the freezer) cut into bite-size round pieces with a cookie cutter, with each frosting or filling in a separate small deli container.
post #9 of 32
If the event has some lead time, when I get an order close to what they want, I make a few cupcakes and have them pick them up. Also, since I have a retail location, they can buy some there or I can always have those flavors available for pickup for free. I do this for larger orders

If it's a corporate or possible large account, I make something reflective of my talents that can be enjoyed by a wider range of employees plus the decision-maker. This has gotten me spin-off orders.

I also make so many things for my daughters for school and work. Plus I do all desserts for family gatherings. They all know that if they want something, it may be what a potential client wants or something I need to develop. Then I save some for pickup.

So I really just adjust it to the client, but I never charge. If the client works at a location where potential clients work, I have actually delivered 12 cupcakes. For example, I did this for the OB ward nurses at the hospital. That one box has paid for itself many times over.

These opportunities are a great way to get your product in the right mouths.
post #10 of 32
I agree with scp1127 - - I never charge for tastings. BUT, I only do them for weddings or for orders of 200+ servings. And I give them cupcakes, unfrosted, with frosting samples in separate containers. There's no need to give them a 6" cake - - that's a CAKE, not a sample.
post #11 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgifford

There's no need to give them a 6" cake - - that's a CAKE, not a sample.


An unfrosted single layer 6" round is just as easy to make as cupcakes, and if your recipes are different for cakes and cupcakes you need to make sure the customer is sampling the same recipe they will be ordering.
post #12 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

An unfrosted single layer 6" round is just as easy to make as cupcakes, and if your recipes are different for cakes and cupcakes you need to make sure the customer is sampling the same recipe they will be ordering.



Granted - - and if I were charging for them, they could have any size they wanted.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
I understand both of your perspectives, but I DO NOT have a retail space and was hoping for some wisdom for a home business who does not have cakes readily available. While I make several cakes a week I don't feel that making extra, and freezing until God knows when, is a good representation of my product. On the other had I do not want to push away potential business by not being flexible.
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post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherylc418

While I make several cakes a week I don't feel that making extra, and freezing until God knows when, is a good representation of my product.


For most recipes there's absolutely nothing wrong with freezing your product, provided you have good practices for freezing and defrosting. Our cupcakes and cakes taste just as good after up to 2 months in the freezer as they do fresh out of the oven.
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
I have never attempted to freeze for more than a week. Perhaps some tests are in order...
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