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Someone else's wedding cake along with my cupcakes

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi all, I need some advice. An events planner met with me 2 weeks ago for a wedding cake, cupcakes, cookies, etc. The events planner said the 1st cake person she went to was very unprofessional and refused to give them cake samples which led them to me. Unfortunately for them my price was twice that of what she said the 1st cake person quoted. She then asked me to make it work with the quoted price from the 1st person. I couldn't for many reasons such as more expensive ingredients, kitchen overheads and being a LLC. Then she wrote me tonight to say that she is getting the cake donated as a gift to the bride by a big cake company here and if I could do part of the order of the cupcakes, cookies,etc.

 

My concern is that somewhere along the lines, someone is going to mix up my business name with the business that did the wedding cake. The company doing the wedding cake is known for very dry tasting cakes but do very good decorating work.

 

How do I politely refuse her and would you also feel concerned about having your reputation mixed up with another company? Am I wrong to want to refuse this order?

post #2 of 11

Yes, i would politely tell her you are booked for that date or something along those lines. I would not want my delicious tasting cakes being mixed up with dry cakes.

post #3 of 11
There's nothing wrong with refusing to take the order, but since you already started working with the planner you'll need to be honest and explain why you are no longer able to accept this order. The planner may understand, or she may be upset, in which case you probably won't get any more business from her (of course this may not be a bad thing given how she seems focused on low prices).

We've delivered cakes to venues with other desserts many times and have never had a problem with a mix-up, since we also provide printed tent cards that identify each product we provide (and sometimes products we don't provide). Creating these tent cards is very simple and we pitch this as a free value-added service.

BTW kudos for sticking to your price.
post #4 of 11

It all sounds a little odd to me...is someone buying the bride the cake as a gift or is it being donated to the bride by the company??

 

Either way, I would find a way to get out of it by being honest.  People need to understand that your biz reputation in on the line.

 

I had a bride order a smaller wedding cake from me and a groom's cake.  When I went to deliver the cakes, people were coming in with two huge Giant Eagle sheet cakes.  I WAS LIVID and had a notion to let the bride have it, but I just let it go....obviously they were on a budget, but if I would have known that they were planning on doing this I would have declined the order. 

 

I'm sure everyone noticed that some got a 4 layer cake and some got a one layer sheet that tasted like grocery store cake. 

 

Is it tacky, yes....but you will always have people with champagne taste on a beer budget.
 

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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post #5 of 11
Speaking of multiple cake vendors at one event; how does everyone feel about it? I mean, I knew someone who supposedly had it written in her contract that she would not make a cake if there was other cake made by another vendor at an event.
Is this reasonable? Do you think it should be a hard & fast rule, or something to decide on a case by case basis?
post #6 of 11

I make all of the cake or none of the cake, and yes it's written in my policies sheet.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by IAmPamCakes View Post

Speaking of multiple cake vendors at one event; how does everyone feel about it? I mean, I knew someone who supposedly had it written in her contract that she would not make a cake if there was other cake made by another vendor at an event.
Is this reasonable? Do you think it should be a hard & fast rule, or something to decide on a case by case basis?
This type of rule can be used to turn down an order if you know ahead of time, but if the customer doesn't tell you it's not much more than a bluff. If you arrive at the venue to find other desserts there, you will do far more damage to your reputation by refusing to deliver the cake than any potential mix-up could cause.
post #8 of 11

I agree with what Jason said. I've made cakes for, and attending weddings where multiple vendors did the desserts. As a vendor, I don't mind it at all. There are some things people do either better than me or that I don't do at all. Providing tent cards is a great way to identify your items and make sure nothing gets confused in case one of the dessert items was poorly done. Recently, I did a cutting cake and chocolate covered strawberries and a friend of the MOB provided the cupcakes and someone else did chocolate chip cookies. There was a clear distinction between the home made, non-professional items and our cake and strawberries. 

Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the advice. The events planner and bride work at the same company which is also part of the same head company which controls the large cake company that will be doing her cake. The email I received explained that because the bride works in the same group of companies, the large cake company is "donating her wedding cake as a gift". I wasn't aware any cake company here gave away a free wedding cake to someone who isn't directly working with them but I will look into it.

Kudos to me for sticking to my price is something I took for granted but thanks for pointing it out. When the events planner told me she works with brides on a budget of under $10, 000USD I knew immediately this wasn't going to work out. I didn't know how to tell her then that my typical brides have budgets of at least $50, 000USD which is a lot where I live.

I have set a minimum price order for weddings which I told her upfront but she took it to mean that she can get x, y, z and a, b, c for the minimum.

Ever since I converted to LLC and invested in building a new kitchen I have higher expenses etc so I have stopped feeling obligated to cut corners for anyone.

Should I call or email her to tell her the truth as to why I can't take the order? I like the idea of name tags but I know once her wedding cake goes home and is shared out to family and friends people are going to mix up who did what.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSugarLab View Post

I agree with what Jason said. I've made cakes for, and attending weddings where multiple vendors did the desserts. As a vendor, I don't mind it at all. There are some things people do either better than me or that I don't do at all. Providing tent cards is a great way to identify your items and make sure nothing gets confused in case one of the dessert items was poorly done. Recently, I did a cutting cake and chocolate covered strawberries and a friend of the MOB provided the cupcakes and someone else did chocolate chip cookies. There was a clear distinction between the home made, non-professional items and our cake and strawberries. 

I do like this idea of tent cards. Never thought of it. The only challenge i have is that the part order for the cupcakes, cookies etc falls way below my minimum order value for weddings. If she took the wedding cake along with items it would have been profitable. I'm not the fastest person in the kitchen so what takes someone a day would need to be spread out over 2 days for me or even more so I can only take on a couple jobs a week. Hence I only take on high paying jobs now and have a minimum order price to make sure I earn something good or decent weekly.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl645 View Post

Should I call or email her to tell her the truth as to why I can't take the order?
This situation definitely calls for a phone call in real time to make sure there are no misunderstandings.
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