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Cust. serving another cake and not my ordered cake at party - Page 2

post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeflower

There is a member who stated once that she has a clause in her contract that she has the right to cancel the order if the customer buys her cake, but serves someone else's cake (like a grocery store)


That's fine if you find out well in advance (as is the case here) but usually customers will not go into this kind of detail with you. If a customer is determined to serve another dessert at the event they will find a way to do so.

If you find out about it while you are delivering the cake, you have a dilemma: you can take the cake back and guarantee a severely negative experience for everyone involved, or you can deliver the cake anyway and take the risk that someone will associate your name with a different product (a risk that can be minimized with proper labeling). This type of clause is basically a bluff.



I almost didn't bother to post since I saw this coming a mile away...
Jason, you have made your views on this kind of clause ABUNDANTLY clear. It is fine for decorators to have this contract if they so choose! It is NOT a bluff and there are plenty of decorators who will tell you that. There is NOTHING wrong with telling the client that you are protecting your reputation by only having your cake at the event.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
Reply
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
Reply
post #17 of 33
that is a problem. There are a lot of points to consider. But honestly, if it were me and it was a friend doing this then I would either explain my concern and/or offer to bake a plain iced kids cake. Maybe you could try to make a marketing opportunity of it -- add a business card in with each slice of cake sent home.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Jason, you have made your views on this kind of clause ABUNDANTLY clear.


Not in this thread.

Quote:
Quote:

It is fine for decorators to have this contract if they so choose!


I absolutely agree, as long as people who use these clauses in their contracts are aware of its status as a bluff if they are not willing to follow through and walk out with the cake they were delivering. If they are willing to execute the walk out then it is obviously not a bluff.

I don't deny that there are good reasons to have this clause in place, IMO the problem is the collateral damage caused by enforcing it.
post #19 of 33
I completely agree with Jason's last post. The fallout will be more far-reaching for pulling a cake than for the cake to be attributed to the wrong baker.

People can have any clause in their contracts. It's their business. But that doesn't mean that the clause will not harm their business.

The solution is so simple, I don't see the issue. It's a kid's party meaning only a few parents will be there. If asked, the hostess can say it's from a grocery store. The display cake is an adult cake for the next party. The hostess isn't going to attribute a grocery store cake to a custom cake if you ask her to explain to any inquirers.

I have had my cakes at the same event as others. So far there has been no issue. If they like one of the offerings, they will inquire about that particular one.

In my business, taste and quality are paramount. But I am not so anal as to alienate a client over small issues. Reputation is not all about taste. It's also about the great, friendly, service that the company offers. There is a reason why so many new bakers can continually enter the market and make a place. It's because the previous bakers have not made a solid connection with their customers. The idea is to get them and keep them.
post #20 of 33
If the customer is your friend, can you just tell her to make sure, if anyone asks, that she tells them the cakes are from two different places? Surely she can understand why this would be important to you.
post #21 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibeeflower

There is a member who stated once that she has a clause in her contract that she has the right to cancel the order if the customer buys her cake, but serves someone else's cake (like a grocery store)


That's fine if you find out well in advance (as is the case here) but usually customers will not go into this kind of detail with you. If a customer is determined to serve another dessert at the event they will find a way to do so.

If you find out about it while you are delivering the cake, you have a dilemma: you can take the cake back and guarantee a severely negative experience for everyone involved, or you can deliver the cake anyway and take the risk that someone will associate your name with a different product (a risk that can be minimized with proper labeling). This type of clause is basically a bluff.



A bluff IF the caker has no intention of following through. I asked a lawyer about this recently and he said, "if the clients agree to it in the contract and knowingly sign the contract with this knowledge, they are legally bound by it." If they choose to flout it, and the caker enforces the terms (takes away the cake), there is no basis for a lawsuit. The bad publicity is the killer though.
post #22 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks and appreciate all your suggestions/points of view! Whilst I do understand that once a cake is collected it is totally beyond my control, I still do not really feel comfortable if my cake is confused with a supermarket cake. Therefore, I plan on the following course on action -

a) speak to her and tell her my concerns and request her to either do one of the following -
Let all attendees at the party know (on a informal basis) that my cake is a display cake and will be served at their family party on the next day. The cake in the bag is a supermarket cake.
b)Alternatively, give her the option to purchase a plain sheet cake/cupcakes which can be put in the party bags ( same recipe of the main celebration/display cake)
C)I do intend to add a clause around customer 'Customer Courtesy' to make people aware that I am not happy to have my cake as a 'display cake' and an alternative cake served.
However, I do not intend to 'take the cake back' if the customer decides to serve an alternative cake as I do think it will be more damaging to the business and to much negativity around the whole experince of buying a custom cake from me ...in the future, I cud always decline any orders from that cust......this clause is just to raise customer awareness regarding this issue.....

Customer Courtesy - "Once a cake is ordered from us for a specific event and it is cut and ackowledged by guests at that event, our cake should be the only cake that is served to all attendees at the function and NO alternative cake should be used. This is to protect our earned reputation for producing quality and delicious cakes."

Any inputs on drafting this 't&c' will be greatly appreciated....Thanks once again
post #23 of 33
I think that's written well, and it does make your feelings known. Whether someone decides to follow your request or not is out of your control anyway, but putting it out there can't hurt.

The problems with the exclusivity clause is what Jason and SCP both said. Not only do you risk having a room full of bad feelings toward you if you walk out with a cake (believe me the true reason won't be given to the guests when you leave, you'll be the bad guy and the client will be innocent), but there's no way of knowing what people plan to do with the cake once you leave.

I don't do groom's cakes for weddings if I don't do the wedding cake, but I'll do the groom's cake if it's for the rehearsal dinner and I deliver it. of course, I know that not everyone is going to serve it,they'll stare at it all night then take it home with them and use it at the wedding anyway. I had one guy basically tell me that they had no intention of serving the cake at the rehearsal, they were going to take it to the wedding. So I told him I wouldn't do it and he got all snippy about it. I have no doubt that happens occasionally, so oh well.

You also don't know that someone at a wedding isn't hiding in the back with ten sheet cakes that they're going to bring out after you leave.

I've also had plenty of cakes where people told me that everyone was asking who made it. I just did one the other day that was posted all over facebook the minute it was delivered, and people were all over my page because of it. I did a dragon cake for a birthday recently and people were calling me from the party asking about it, so people do ask who made the cake.

I think that it would be pretty obvious that the cake you made and the sheet weren't the same, though, so askign your friend to tell people that they weren't the same if she was asked would proabbly be good enough?? It's hard to say, because people might assume that you made both. But then again, with the palates of cement that most people have, they think that grocery store cakes are the height of gourmet eating, so it might not matter. If they don't have your cake on the plate next to the grocery store cake to compare it to, they probably won't think about it.
post #24 of 33
[quote="costumeczar"] The problems with the exclusivity clause is what Jason and SCP both said. Not only do you risk having a room full of bad feelings toward you if you walk out with a cake (believe me the true reason won't be given to the guests when you leave, you'll be the bad guy and the client will be innocent), but there's no way of knowing what people plan to do with the cake once you leave.

Agree! I just made a cake for a client who decided to make cupcakes for the kids and served my custom cake to the adults (who have a more "discerning palate"). I just told her to make sure everyone knew that the cupcakes were made by her. We had a good laugh about it and she already has an order in for another cake. Not only that, but we've become friends...

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But then again, with the palates of cement that most people have, they think that grocery store cakes are the height of gourmet eating....



hahaha! Oh my goodness, Kara! You crack me up with your "bottom lines" and endless wit! When are you going to write that book?! I'll be first in line girl, especially if it contains more
"Fun With Email Scammers"!
icon_cool.gif
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by diane706

[hahaha! Oh my goodness, Kara! You crack me up with your "bottom lines" and endless wit!
icon_cool.gif



Well thank you, but I think it's less wit and more of a tiredness and despair resulting from years of dealing with the general public.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
All sorted, cust is happy to tell all guests that my cake is not in the party bag and that she will cut it the next day for her family get together....thank you everyone, it's been a good learning experience for me!
post #27 of 33
You may also want to suggest that the customer label the cake container in the party bag (or provide labels yourself) to avoid confusion.
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You may also want to suggest that the customer label the cake container in the party bag (or provide labels yourself) to avoid confusion.



Taking it a bit too far at that point, dont you think? The person providing the cake has the right to ask how THAT cake is treated, but not to dictate how other products at the party are labelled.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cookiemonster025

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

You may also want to suggest that the customer label the cake container in the party bag (or provide labels yourself) to avoid confusion.



Taking it a bit too far at that point, dont you think? The person providing the cake has the right to ask how THAT cake is treated, but not to dictate how other products at the party are labelled.


You are absolutely right, which is why I recommended suggesting this to the customer (selling free labels tying in to the party theme as a value-add) instead of demanding it. We've done this several times when providing items for events where other desserts being served, in our case it's to identify allergens but the principle is similar.
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzbythebay


Customer Courtesy - "Once a cake is ordered from us for a specific event and it is cut and ackowledged by guests at that event, our cake should be the only cake that is served to all attendees at the function and NO alternative cake should be used. This is to protect our earned reputation for producing quality and delicious cakes."

Any inputs on drafting this 't&c' will be greatly appreciated....Thanks once again



A good rule of thumb: Don't include anything in a contract unless it has a good reason for being there. The language you're suggesting is nice for letting customers know your stance on 'cake and switch' shenanigans, but it doesn't really have any place being in your contract unless you intend it to have a legal function.

As written and standing alone, it's toothless--and savvy customers will know that. You'd be better off leaving it out and dealing with such concerns outside of the written agreement, or tightening it up to give it some real impact.
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