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My hubby and I are arguing...about delivering in rural areas

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I live in between 2 quite big towns, one is 50 miles away and the other is almost 70, plus there are many other small towns in rural areas. I want to offer delivery services to my customers, but my hubby says I need to be straight across the board, 6 dozen minimum of cupcakes or any other sweet I offer. I have a dozen minimum order on most of my stuff, and have been contemplating 2 flavors of anything for each dozen order, with delivery fees only effecting 20 miles or more outside my area. I know that many bakeries have delivery fees, but I am unsure how to go about this.

I am thinking about free delivery within 10 miles one dozen w/ up to 2 flavors
$10 del. fee up to 20 miles two dozen w/ up to 3 flavors
$20 del. fee up to 30 miles three dozen w/ up to 4 flavors
$30 del. fee up to 40 miles four dozen w/ up to 5 flavors
$40 del. fee up to 50 miles five dozen w/ up to six flavors

Over 50 miles, customer has to order 6 dozen of up to 6 different flavors of one item, and the delivery fee is $50.

Keep in mind I am right in the middle of oil boom country, it is all around me, and there are LOTS of oil and refining companies near me, less than 15 miles away.

The customer can save money by picking up, and my commercial kitchen will be in a rural area, with no walk-in sit-down service.

Am I being really anal about this, or is it perfectly feasible, what are your requirements?

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments, I want to be sure of this before I start printing out my brochures and other advertising items.

Thanks in advance.
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Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
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post #2 of 17
Sounds too complicated, I would cut out the delivery minimums entirely and set a delivery price that's worth your while, something like $1/mile round trip.

So if someone wants to have a dozen cupcakes delivered from 50 miles away and pay an extra $100, they are more than welcome to do so because your time is already factored in to the delivery charge.
post #3 of 17
I would do what Jason said. I live in a bigger city in Canada and I charged 50cents/km round trip. I changed it though and built it right into my price assuming I deliver all my cakes (which 98% of the time i do)
post #4 of 17
I think it's too complicated too. I have about a 30 mile delivery area for one price (in area), about 15 miles out for a little more (extended area, seldom used), and then on a per case basis (out of area).
post #5 of 17
Agree with everyone else - you are making this way too complicated and frankly I bet it will not go over well with customers. Too confusing.

First, have a minimum order requirement. 1 dozen, 2 dozen whatever. Keep it separate from the delivery fees.

Second, pick a per mile fee and go with that. For example: delivery within 10 miles is free. After that $1.50 per mile
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #6 of 17
[quote="sfandm"]I I am thinking about free delivery within 10 miles one dozen w/ up to 2 flavors
$10 del. fee up to 20 miles two dozen w/ up to 3 flavors
$20 del. fee up to 30 miles three dozen w/ up to 4 flavors
$30 del. fee up to 40 miles four dozen w/ up to 5 flavors
$40 del. fee up to 50 miles five dozen w/ up to six flavors

Over 50 miles, customer has to order 6 dozen of up to 6 different flavors of one item, and the delivery fee is $50.

quote]

It may seem complicated to us because we are sitting here reading alot of figures - HOWEVER....

If one customer orders 3 dozen assorted cupcakes - and lives 30 miles away and wants delivery then your only going to give one delivery quote which equals $30.00.

As long as YOU have your list and know what rates for what ammounts and distance - then i can't see why it won't work for you.

Afterall - its not like your going to be telling a customer every single delivery price - when it doesm't concern them.

Go for it - as long as you are covering your costs - and making a profit - good for you.

And if you are in an area where thier is a boom - well take advantage of that...
Good luck...
Bluehue
post #7 of 17
Your system does sound a bit complicated, and even if you can keep it straight, your customers may not and get confused (and frustrated).

At my shop, any order over $X.xx is delivered free within a 30 mile radius of my shop. Anything beyond the 30 miles is billed at $1 / mile. I use Mapquest to figure the mileage that way I can be paid upfront.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone who has responded, you guys and gals always have great ideas. I really like jason_krafts $1 per mile idea. My problem is this, my hubby tells me that ppl won't place an order for 1 dozen of the same flavor, that they will want variety, which I agree with, but ALL of my recipes make more than 1 dozen in cupcakes, so can I freeze the leftover batter for another order, when I know that I want to be a "Baked from scratch, fresh daily" bakery? I wonder if this could be misleading to some of my customers. I am only going to be a commercial kitchen, no sit down service, so I won't need to bake a dozen different flavors everyday or fill a display case, I will still need to fill customers orders and wonder if offering 2 flavors per dozen is stretching it for right now.

Your additional thoughts are appreciated.
Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
every day!
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Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
every day!
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post #9 of 17
I would stick to a max of 1 flavor per dozen. Once you determine your most popular flavors you can start keeping stock in the freezer (it would still be baked from scratch) and offering variety packs with those flavors.

You can also easily mix up the frosting by keeping a vanilla base and adding extracts as needed.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

I would stick to a max of 1 flavor per dozen. Once you determine your most popular flavors you can start keeping stock in the freezer (it would still be baked from scratch) and offering variety packs with those flavors.




But then it wouldn't be "fresh daily" anymore...I'd just stick to a minimum of 1 dozen per flavor, I don't see why people wouldn't order a dozen of the same flavor. I've never been to a birthday party that had cupcakes and had a choice of flavor, it's always the same kind. Or you could just do a half recipe if people want two flavors, and charge a small fee for that.
post #11 of 17
this is the difference between a 'cupcake shop' and a custom bakery. At a cupcake shop a customer gets a choice, like at a donut shop. A custom bakery is just a different business model and it is up to you to educate your customers on what you can offer them instead of 15 daily flavors to choose from.

If you feel that flavor choice is a big factor, perhaps have a pre-determined Bakery Favorites box that takes a white and chocolate base and expands to offer three cakes of four flavors that can be modified with extracts or fillings/frostings. Customers can have a variety of flavors and the labor/ingredient cost to you is reduced by just modifying a base.
post #12 of 17
I live in a somewhat rural area and do not have a store front either. I state clearly my minimum order per flavor is $xx for one dozen (price per cupcakes goes down as qty goes up) but definatley a minimum to cover costs of a batch. When people want a variety of flavors they either get 2 dozen or sometimes I can see what other cakes I have that same time and offer them a variety of what I will already be making. As for delivery, make it easy for yourself. Figure out your "free zone" that is included in you minimum purchase price. Any mileage outside that that is charged a flat rate per mile using mapquest to get your mileage quote for them. I always offer for my customers that are far away to meet me at the edge of my "free zone" to waive the fee or they can chose a spot in between based on how far they want to drive/ or pay. It is not complicated and if it is a flat fee after x number of miles they can figure out what best fits their needs and time constraints without a negotiation. Good luck.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
jason_kraft, I really like the ideas you have given me. I have decided to freeze leftover batter for future use, after all, I am a "Baked Fresh Daily" kitchen, I see no harm in freezing batter like this. I am not lying to the public by stating this fact. I also adopted your view on mileage, I will sharge $1 per mile one way, outside my "Free Zone" as suggested by forum member cj72.
To lorieleann, I like the suggestion also of offering up to 3 cupcake flavors (vanilla, chocolate, and Red Velvet in one box, and allowing my customer to choose their filling and frosting. And I will also use the negotiation drop point to my customers, afterwhich I will charge the $1 per mile. Thank you for these ideas.
Cupadeecakes, you have the same thoughts as ny hubby has, he said that my customers would get confused, and I wouldn't be able to keep track of everything. So thank you for allowing me to "see the light". As my hubby always says, KISS. ie- keep it simple Sonya. So I will.
Once again, thank you members for helping me with this. I really appreciate it.

Sonya
Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
every day!
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Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
every day!
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post #14 of 17
I work from home (legal) and bake per order. I have a 1 flavor/filling per dozen requirement. I have never had a customer question this or want to get around it. They have all understood why I have this requirement.

When people walk into the cupcake shop we have in town, most are there to buy 1 cupcake or a couple cupcakes. They pick from what is the bakery has that day to get a quick cupcake fix. When they order from me it is usually for several dozen cupcakes for a party/wedding they are having. So they don't want 48 different cupcakes; they want 2 dozen of one kind and 2 dozen of another that they think their guests will enjoy.

You will be fine with the 1 dozen flavor/filling requirement.

Now, I agree that your delivery system looks complicated. If you understand it - then use it. But don't post it on your website because people will be turned off by it. If you want to post exact delivery fees on your website then I suggest a standard flat rate fee.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #15 of 17
[quote="sfandm" I will sharge $1 per mile one way, outside my "Free Zone" as suggested by forum member cj72.[/quote]

Are you saying that if the mileage from the edge of your free zone to your destination is 25 miles, you are only charging $25? What about the other 25 miles for you to get back home? Jason's example was based on a round trip, so a 25 mile one way trip would be a $50 delivery charge.. Be careful how you word it to customers, I guess.
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