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Min. Order Limits from Vendors? - Page 2

post #16 of 27

In the thread you referenced in the above post you worte:

Since the venue gives the bride the top cake for their 1st anniversary, that means that it's my personal donation. I don't get reimbursed for the top cake at all (nor do the Chefs realize that).

 

That is the venue's choice to give the bride the top tier for their 1st anniversary, not yours.  You need to have a talk with the chef and his boss to explain pricing and why your numbers and the chef's don't always match.

 

Also, if the bride tells the chef (who then tells you) 100 guests are coming and then 109 show up.  That is not your problem.  The chef can either cut a few pieces of cake smaller to squeeze some extra slices out or he is 9 short and tells the bride "you said 100 - we provided 100".  End of conversation.  She only gets what was paid for.

 

As pointed out in my above post, I round down my servings number.  A cake that would feed 114 acccording to Wilton, I round down to 110.  That allows for the missing dowel pieces or oops pieces.  I always drop off a cutting guide.  I don't care if the chef has cut 1000 cakes, I drop of the guide to cover my butt.  If I tell a bride her cake will feed 100 and the chef only gets 60 servings, then I can point to the guide I dropped off and tell her with 100% certainty that either the chef didn't follow the guide or dropped/took the cake.

 

Wilton is the standard.  If you want to provide more servings or larger servings, fine, but you are shorting yourself money.  Which will lead to frustration and burn out because you are doing so much extra work for no compensation.

 

"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 #17 of 27
Thread Starter 

I am putting on big girl underpants and getting tough (starting now), that's why I'm asking others here to find out what others are doing. Yes, I've totally been a wimp and I'm just getting used to being the "boss" of me and my business. It's been a learning thing for me......like I said, I'm used to working for someone else making cakes.

 

Am I the only one who gets angry over the per person count issue, not being fair? Not getting paid for that extra 9 people, that is enough to pay for my dinner. One thing that really got me was when someone told they had 3 less people and thought I needed to take that off the bill after the cake was baked. I SOoooo wanted to cut those portions off the side of the cake to prove my point. I need a quick easy verbal response for something like that, anyone have a favorite line? I want to say "don't be so cheap!"...........how do I say that in business language with-out pissing someone off?

 

Like I mentioned previously, I get nervous verbally when I need to confront problems because I don't want to mis-speak and anger a good customer. It's hard when you get double teamed by the chef and manager who have already talked about an issue and are ready to make their points.........I stumble just because I'm not expecting a problem. BUT I am learning options of how to handle those things, like saying "let me think about that and get back to you". I'm the artistic type personality, I wasn't born knowing business...........I have to learn it.

post #18 of 27

Being confident about your product is essential if you want to survive in business.  But you really need to step back and price your cakes.  Make it simple.  Take that above chart, assign a serving value (based on WILTON), then assign it a whole dollar amount.  If they want cake A, it costs $X.  You need to get out of how many servings the party has/shows up/gets served.  You need to get out of weather they save the top tier or not.  These are all details that are not your problem.  

 

Save yourself some headache and literally make a catalogue to give to your venue.  How and what they choose to do with the cake they picked out of the catalogue is their problem.

 

And get the money up front!

 

Good luck!  I bet those big girl pants look mighty fine on you once you break them in a bit :D

post #19 of 27

I don't get mad about the head count pricing, but I don't think it is unfair.  A bride doesn't get her RSVP's back until 2-3 weeks before the wedding.  And even then, there are those guests that change their mind last minute and either don't show or decide to show, or forgot to RSVP and the bride didn't chase them down to confirm.

 

When do you get the final head count from the chef?  If it is before the bride's RSVP's have come back, then the guest count is an educated guess.  If it is after the RSVP's have come back, then the number should be accurate give or take 5-10 servings (because of the people that don't understand the purpose of the RSVP).

 

I think you should have a meeting with the chef and his boss and write up a new contract covering all your terms and conditions - which will include what is done with the top tier, who is paying for the servings of the top tier, what happens when extra guests show up, what happens when guests are a no show...

 

If they give you an estimate of the guest count and then find out from the bride more people are coming, you could have a clause stating you will provide a kitchen cake for the number of extra servings at $x/serving.  But I would put a time limit on this, like 1 week before the wedding.

 

Now, if the expected count is more than what actually RSVP, a time limit needs to be put on this too when the venue can request a change.  Meaning, the venue can't call you Thursday for the Saturday wedding saying "just hear from the bride and 40 people can't come" - oh well.  They will pay for those 40 servings because you shouldn't have to rebake your cakes or give away cake.

 

If guests just don't show but did RSVP, not your problem. Tell the bride to have more responsible friends/family members.  You provided the servings, you will be paid for them.

 

Use an illistration they will understand.  For exapmle, if the chef buys 100 chicken breasts for a wedding, bakes all 100 for the reception but only 95 poeple show up - does the venue refund the bride for the 5 baked but uneaten chicken breasts?  If the chef buys 100 chicken breasts for a wedding, bakes all 100 for the reception, but 110 people show up - doesn't the venue bake an extra 10 chicken breasts and not charge the bride for them?

"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 #20 of 27

If you want to price per cake, I think FromScratchSF had an excellent suggestion on how to handle the price/servings issue.

"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 #21 of 27
I don't get mad about prices per serving because I charge for the servings of the cake, not the servings they think they need. So, if I have a bride expecting 90 guests, I do the math and show that she can choose a cake to serve 80 for $XXX or one that serves 114 for $XXX. And these prices are quite different!!!
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

I don't get mad about prices per serving because I charge for the servings of the cake, not the servings they think they need. So, if I have a bride expecting 90 guests, I do the math and show that she can choose a cake to serve 80 for $XXX or one that serves 114 for $XXX. And these prices are quite different!!!

Well exactly! That's perfectly logical. The thing is, I don't deal with brides I only deal with the venues. Again my original question really was if other people price by the cake size or per person. So far I think only one person here said they sell to vendors/venues and they sell by the per person.

 

I don't want possible new customers/vendors to be unhappy with my pricing by the cake if no one else does it. BUT on the other hand, if I can make the case that it's somehow easier/more logical........then I might be able to persuade those vendors to give me a chance. If I don't have all the details ironed out, they won't use me.

 

I can call around to local bakeries and find out how (and for how much) my competitors are selling wedding cakes for at retail...........but finding out what others are doing wholesale with venues is MUCH harder to find out. I haven't been able to, it would take alot of lieing and I don't want to do that to someone.

post #23 of 27

What I don't understand, though, is why it matters that you're selling to a venue, or a bride. You should be charging what the cake is worth to you, then it's the venue's problem if they want to mark it up, or give away the top tier, or cut extra slices.

 

I'd be charging per cake rather than per serving, and give an approximate number of servings, then they can do what they like. So an 8" cake would cost $xx and you can cut approximately 20 slices. That would keep people from wanting to remove the price of 3 servings. Because it sounds ridiculous to us, but I can understand why people think that when cake is priced by the serving.

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

 Again my original question really was if other people price by the cake size or per person. So far I think only one person here said they sell to vendors/venues and they sell by the per person.

 

 

You should probably be selling per portion, not per person.

 

If a couple tells med they need cake for 100 persons. I then tell them that they can have X cake with 89 portions, Y cake with 94 portions or Z cake with 109 portions. They then have the choice how many portions to order, and the choice to cut the cake in how ever many portions they want, they have paid for the amount or portions I consider that cake to contain.

 

Every single cake that leaves my shop has detailed instructions and a cutting chart. It is then the purchaser's choice to either read, and follow, said instructions - or not. I will never, ever make the assumption that anyone 'knows' how to cut a cake.

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

I am putting on big girl underpants and getting tough (starting now), that's why I'm asking others here to find out what others are doing. Yes, I've totally been a wimp and I'm just getting used to being the "boss" of me and my business. It's been a learning thing for me......like I said, I'm used to working for someone else making cakes.

 

Am I the only one who gets angry over the per person count issue, not being fair? Not getting paid for that extra 9 people, that is enough to pay for my dinner. One thing that really got me was when someone told they had 3 less people and thought I needed to take that off the bill after the cake was baked. I SOoooo wanted to cut those portions off the side of the cake to prove my point. I need a quick easy verbal response for something like that, anyone have a favorite line? I want to say "don't be so cheap!"...........how do I say that in business language with-out pissing someone off?

 

Like I mentioned previously, I get nervous verbally when I need to confront problems because I don't want to mis-speak and anger a good customer. It's hard when you get double teamed by the chef and manager who have already talked about an issue and are ready to make their points.........I stumble just because I'm not expecting a problem. BUT I am learning options of how to handle those things, like saying "let me think about that and get back to you". I'm the artistic type personality, I wasn't born knowing business...........I have to learn it.

Wow, I can't believe someone would ask you to credit them for the uneaten cake!! I would never thing it would be acceptable to order a pizza, and then call them to say, "we didn't eat it all, can you buy it back?" Some people are so silly.

 

 

I recently started telling people that X cake costs X amount and so on.... A lot of people just don't understand the 'by the serving' pricing system. For some reason it really throws them. 

Keep Calm And Eat A Cupcake

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Keep Calm And Eat A Cupcake

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post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarQueenie View Post

Wow, I can't believe someone would ask you to credit them for the uneaten cake!! I would never thing it would be acceptable to order a pizza, and then call them to say, "we didn't eat it all, can you buy it back?" Some people are so silly.

 

 

I recently started telling people that X cake costs X amount and so on.... A lot of people just don't understand the 'by the serving' pricing system. For some reason it really throws them. 

I agree; especially since the number of serving is dependent on how the cake is cut. These days I use the per serving charts and pricing to determine how much cake, and the price on my end for the sake of consistency but all the client gets in a final quote is: X cake will cost X amount.

 

Still need to figure out how to word that on my website though. For now I use "x cake starts at $X per serving." 

post #27 of 27

I always ask if they plan to save the top tier.  Some people do not want to mess with saving and storing it.  Then when I show them the pricing, I say, this is the 120 servings for your guests and this is the tier for you to keep and give them the total adding in the top tier.  Now, I do use the pricing for the top tier as a "give-away" if I want to. Sometimes, if I feel like they are borderline to book the cake, I will use it as as "bonus."  I also give out coupons at bridal shows for a free top tier. 

 

But I give away the top tier at MY descretion.  At the Bridal shows I tell the bride's that I only offer this coupon at Bridal Shows.
 

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