Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Please HELP!!Good for 250 cake order!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Please HELP!!Good for 250 cake order!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone!!!

Guys I need your help! This is it! I just have my very first official customer, and she wants to order a birthday cake for her dad's 68th bday and for 250 people!! She's not very picky with design and flavor, and she just leave it all up to me. I'm so stoke right now icon_smile.gif I didn't give her a quotation yet, since I'm still at work, but promise to call her before 6pm, but I told her that for a butter cream cake, my serving starts at $2.50/slice. What should I do first? Is a 50% down payment reasonable? Looking forward for your precious advice everyone, and thank you so much (^_^)!!!
post #2 of 18
Thats $625 for a birthday cake are they willing to pay that much?
post #3 of 18
You are going to have to come up with a few design ideas 1st really. No use telling the customer it will be $$xxx then find they want a design that is over the top and should be closer to double the price quoted.

If the customer is leaving the design to you then show her what your quoted price will give her - again, a couple of different designs for her to see. Let her know that it probably WON'T be exact but "along these lines" icon_smile.gif

Get info from her as to the recipient's likes &/or hobbies etc so it can be geared to him. That goes for flavors as well as design. Just leaving it *all* up to you can end up causing problems - so let's nip those in the budicon_smile.gif
post #4 of 18
I require a 30% deposit and final payment 30 days before the event.

Also, when spending that much money I would want to see a sketch of what I was getting. In my mind a $625 could be one thing and in your mind something totally different.

Make sure the cake fits the person it is for. Find out what is hobbies are and go from there.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
Reply
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
Reply
post #5 of 18
If it's going to feed 250 people, $625 is cheap for a custom made cake. I start at $3.00 a slice for buttercream and $3.50 on up for fondant. And a slice is 8 cubic inches of cake (usually cut 1" x 2" x 4"). You know how much work goes into this, kazita, so I'm not sure why this surprises you, and cake for 250 is a WHOLE LOT of cake. Please forgive me if I come across as aggressive - that's not my intention. It's just a comment I would expect from someone who doesn't make cakes, but not from somebody who does. Yes, you can get cheaper cakes at WalMart, CostCo and the grocery store, but the quality is totally different, too, not to mention the design (or lack thereof!).
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
post #6 of 18
Yeah, I think I'd work up a contract for a cake of this size. She is not doing you any favor by leaving the design and flavor up to you. I guarantee if you did a cake design without her final approval she would FIND something wrong with it. Never mind she gave you no direction...she doesn't know what she wants...she just knows what she DOESN'T want when she sees it!

This is obviously a big party. Ask her what the invitations are like...get a copy of one. Find out the birthday guy's favorite colors, hobbies, favorite cake flavors etc. Anything that will give you some kind of direction. Where's the venue and maybe the decor and atmosphere will provide some inspiration. Then, come up with an idea...not a few...just one at first. I guarantee she'll have opinions on the one design and you can go from there. More than one generally confuses customers who aren't really sure what they want anyway...and then they start to nit-pick and get opinions from others and you end up pulling your hair out.

Once she agrees to the design and the price, submit a contract for her to sign that outlines the exact specs you have submitted to her and agreed upon and ask for a deposit upfront with the balance to be paid in full at least a week before the event. Just because this is a 'birthday' cake, it's no reason not to treat it as if it were a wedding cake...it's certainly as big an order! If she balks at the deposit or the payment in full remind her that you have to purchase the ingredients and turn away business for that date. Don't forget to charge for delivery...unless you just want to throw that in if it's close enough.

Now...do you feel confident that you can do a cake this size? If so, then go for it and good luck! Just plan, plan, plan and realize that it will take longer than you think so get as much done beforehand as possible! HTH! thumbs_up.gif

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

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply

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

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

Reply
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the really nice inputs!

carmijok: The customer actually wants the cake next week by Friday. Now, I'm not sure if she still wants to push through her order coz I called her up 2 times already, left a message, but she still didn't call me back icon_sad.gif I work par time at the bank, so I can only squeeze in any meet ups during my vacant days/hours. Fortunately tomorrow I only work half day. I don't have a ready contract, but if you have one, would you mind sharing it to me? icon_smile.gif Thanks a lot again!
post #8 of 18
Mala first of all Happy Birthday! I hope shes not backing out of the cake just because she figured out the price people who do not make cakes espcailly from scrach have no idea of the time and love and passion that goes into the work of art of a cake. 250 is a huge cake and alot of work its the size of a large wedding cake but again people who dont know cake would probably think $625 is just to much for a cake and as far as wanting it by next friday that size of cake is just completely nuts. Anyways i hope again that she hasnt changed her mind
post #9 of 18
Oh and in my contract i ask for $100 deposit and state that if anything unforeseen happens this is the amount they will receive back no more than that. I highlight that in the contract and have them read over the contract and make sure they understand the contract and sign it i make a copy of it and give them the copy not until this happens do i even think about breaking out the supplies for such a cake
post #10 of 18
Hi. I agree with everyone else that you need to gather more information, provide a sketch and get a signed contract, deposit, etc. However, if you are "chasing the customer" and she is not calling you back
"The customer actually wants the cake next week by Friday. Now, I'm not sure if she still wants to push through her order coz I called her up 2 times already, left a message, but she still didn't call me back", you may not get this order regardless of other factors.

When you put up your website, you should have had a plan in place for exactly this type of situation. If you do not get this order, then you may wish to take the time to work out all of the non-cake/business details that come with a large order.

I just looked at your website and noticed under pricing that you have prices listed. (Suggestion: Instead of writing, "$2.50/piece":

*Pricing*
Buttercream cakes/cupcakes starts at $2.50/piece
Fondant cakes/cupcakes starts at $3.50/piece
Cakepops and Cookies starts at $2.50/piece

You may wish to change "piece" to "serving", and then provide a chart or description that a piece is a "wedding sized serving, which is 1" wide x 2" deep x 4" tall

Many people think a "piece" is MUCH, MUCH larger.
-----------------

Good luck!
post #11 of 18
Just checked out your website very beauiful. Obivously the woman ordering this cake either did not go on your website or doesnt care what your site states you tell how much your price is and you also say to please give a 2 week notice for cakes. I too agree the normal noncake making person has no idea the size of a slice of cake it should be they will cut the slices very large than not have enough cake for everyone than when that happens they will more than likely be upset about it i would for sure having her sign a contract and also show her a sample of the size that the slices should be paying that much for a cake you want tio
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
HI Guys,

Thank you so much again for the very valuable advice. So here's the update. I called her again today, and she answered and asked me why I haven't called yesterday, and I told her I did! 3x!!, then she said that it might have went straight to her voicebox, hmmm, ok, LOL! So, she told me that she still wants the cake just that the price I give her is a "little" expensive. After I told her the details and such, I even told her that the $2.50/serving is the most reasonable price she could find here in Tampa, FL! And I told her also to take her time and do some more research and find another baker, but if she change her mind, the soonest she could inform me is until tomorrow. HEre are the details I told her:

- $750 for the entire order, including, simple buttercream decorations and such, delivery and assembly (the place is near from my place so I cut off in half the delivery cost), the 10% off promo I give to first time customers, and of course tax.

- That I require a 50% deposit, and that to signed a contract.

I think I'm giving her a really good deal, so even if she won't order, I won't feel bad, hahahha!

Sincerely,
Malati

P.S. @Kazita: Thanks for the bday love icon_smile.gifthumbs_up.gif
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mala

I just have my very first official customer, and she wants to order a birthday cake for her dad's 68th bday and for 250 people!! She's not very picky with design and flavor, and she just leave it all up to me.

- $750 for the entire order, including, simple buttercream decorations and such, delivery and assembly (the place is near from my place so I cut off in half the delivery cost), the 10% off promo I give to first time customers, and of course tax.

- That I require a 50% deposit, and that to signed a contract.

I think I'm giving her a really good deal, so even if she won't order, I won't feel bad, hahahha!

Sincerely,
Malati


-------------------

Well done. If she checks prices with anyone else today, she will be giving you a call. I admire your attitude and for recognizing that if she passes this order up, it's not the end of the world.

If the order is placed, be sure and take photos of the delivered/set-up, cake at the venue.

With deliveries of my larger, stacked cakes, I provide a whole bunch of stuff since the cakes will be cut by people who have no idea how to do it properly. (I don't charge for any of this. It is all free to the recipient.)

1 serrated, 8-10" bread knife, new in package, purchased from the 99 Cent Store.
2 disposable food handler gloves
Sample serving, wedding size, 1" wide x 2" deep x 4" tall, made of paper or cardstock.
Copy of Indydebi's thread with photos, "How to Cut a Wedding Cake"
Copy of the Lark Cake Shop, "Cake Serving Guide"
Nicely printed "tent card" with the type of cake/filling in each tier listed on the front, and the obligatory warning on the back.
---------------
How to Cut a Wedding Cake
http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock
http://www.wilton.com/forums/messageview.cfm?catid=8&threadid=142470&FTVAR_MSGDBTABLE=

Lark Cake Serving Guide
http://larkcakeshop.com/CakeServeGuide2.pdf
------------------------
Tent card example:
http://christinascakes.shutterfly.com/pictures/340
-----------------------
Tent card "warning" on the back:
"May contain dairy, egg, wheat, coconut, soy and nut products"
post #14 of 18
Apti, what a splendid idea, and thanks for all the links.
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
Marianna
"I know my own mind...and it's around here somewhere!"
Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marianna46

Apti, what a splendid idea, and thanks for all the links.



Thanks, Marianna. All of that stuff costs less than $1.50 and it takes no more than 10 minutes to assemble everything. Most of the people who receive my free hobby cakes as gifts have never cut a stacked cake before.

In addition to the "packet" (knife and papers and "pretend" cake serving), I tell them what is truly edible, and what should be removed before serving: dowels, gum paste decorations/flowers/etc. I tell them to remove each tier to a separate surface (disassembly instructions are also on the Indydebi instructions), and not to cut while it is all stacked up. I tell them that each 4" high cake tier is on a piece of cardboard and how to remove it from the tier beneath.

I'm very grateful to all the people who posted the original information online.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Please HELP!!Good for 250 cake order!