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At what point do you tell a customer, "No, I won't do that" ?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Just curious if you guys have an opinion on how far you will go to please customers.  This is a minor example, but it got me thinking of other times when customers wanted me to do flavor or color combinations I thought were gross.  

 

This lady, who has never gotten a cake from me has asked me to do almond flavored cake with almond flavored buttercream.  I've always made my buttercream the same way with vanilla and butter flavoring.  Maybe it will taste good, I don't know because I've never tried it.  I just think almond tends to be strong to some people's palettes and I would hate people at her party to think my cake wasn't good. On top of it all, she sent me a Pink Cake Box photo and wants to stay under $65. Gotta love that.

 

Is there a point when you guys say you won't do something because you don't think it will taste/look good?

post #2 of 25

Of course there's a point where most people will say no, and after getting a few crazy requests you wish you didn't take on it gets easier.

 

Almond is a very strong flavour (I know I wouldn't like the cake).  You should always feel comfortable offering your suggestions to your clients, as you are the professional and they will almost always go along with it.  I would perhaps suggest that if she wanting almond flavoured cake and icing that the icing be only very subtley flavoured almond and vanilla so that the cake isn't too overpowering.

 

I find most people are happy to be guided, so I don't have to say no to orders because the client is insisting on something that won't look or taste good.

post #3 of 25

If I'm making American Buttercream I almost always flavor it with a combination of butter flavor and almond extract. It is a very nice flavor and people usually really like it.

 

I had a cringe moment recently because someone ordered a yellow cake with lemon curd. I made it for them, and they were happy, but the whole yellow on yellow thing was very blah. Also, I really don't like Red Velvet cake - I would probably make it if I was asked, but I wouldn't be happy about it.

post #4 of 25

I probably would, it can be done without being too overwhelming. I add almond oil to my fondant, and it definitely makes a nice touch, since I won't use fake vanilla to keep it white. 

 

Could turn out to be a good flavor option that other people might like? Maybe.

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post #5 of 25

I think you should have a list of flavors...and your customer should choose from that!

I wouldn' t give a cake (new recipe) without tasting it or trying a couple of them to find the best one.

I never except a flavor request if i'm not sure it's good!

 

I would say no...choose from my flavor list :)

post #6 of 25

I'd be more likely to say no to the $65 budget than a flavour that the customer wants. I don't like chocolate much and I think that white chocolate mudcake is BLAH . But I make them all the time because my customers like them. 

post #7 of 25
We sometimes get customers who want unusual combinations of flavors. I tell them that the pastry chef recommends a different combination that would be more complementary, and every customer has agreed to the more complementary combination. If they didn't agree I would still go ahead with the original order, since everyone has different palates and you can't assume that everyone will have the same taste you do.

An exception is when there is a request for specific fresh fruit filling in a cake or a fruit tart...if we can't find high quality fruit when we are making the product we reserve the right to substitute different fruit.

Of course in OP's example the budget would probably require scaling back the customer's expectations considerably. But if you feel the almond will be too strong, just use less of it.
post #8 of 25

I dont know.... IMO I would give the customer what ever flavor they asked for. Even if it is Red velvet cake with strawberry Filling (recent order I had)...... We may not like it or agree with it, but its their cake. I know that if I were paying a large amount of money on something, i would expect it to be exactly the way I want it to be. I may offer my opinion to them, because honestly, some customer just dont know how to pair flavors or designs. But if they choose not to take my advice, then that should be okay. They're the one paying for the cake.   Thats just the way I feel about the situation.

 

I do understand your reasonings however, that it may turn potential customers away...... Of course there will be boundaries you must set for the decorations if theyve given you a small price limit...

post #9 of 25

I don't have a problem saying no to a customer, if it's something I don't do or won't do. I had a request for a purse cake recently. I don't do entirely enrobed cakes, and it just wouldn't look good, any other way. 

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sissys Goodies View Post

I dont know.... IMO I would give the customer what ever flavor they asked for. Even if it is Red velvet cake with strawberry Filling (recent order I had)...... We may not like it or agree with it, but its their cake. I know that if I were paying a large amount of money on something, i would expect it to be exactly the way I want it to be. I may offer my opinion to them, because honestly, some customer just dont know how to pair flavors or designs. But if they choose not to take my advice, then that should be okay. They're the one paying for the cake.   Thats just the way I feel about the situation.

 

I do understand your reasonings however, that it may turn potential customers away...... Of course there will be boundaries you must set for the decorations if theyve given you a small price limit...

lol, that is actually quite popular around here, along with raspberry. I fill my red velvet with blackberry puree.

 

I won't sell something I haven't tried before, but beyond that, as long as the customer is willing to pay, I'm willing to make the cake they want. That said, I've never had someone ask for something outrageous.

Most of the time they give me an idea of what flavours they like, and I set up a tasting, and they choose from that.

 

As far as appearance goes, I've done cakes I don't personally like the look of, but I am very careful about not letting the customer know I don't love it. The majority of my cakes are for weddings, and I would hate to make a bride feel like her dream cake idea wasn't gorgeous.

post #11 of 25
I personally hate the taste of almond flavoring or extract. Nope no way would I be making a cake with almond on almond just to have people that she feeds the cake to bad mouth the cake than she ends up saying that you are the one who chose all the almond flavoring and you look bad. Than she said $65 is her budget does that match up with how many severings that she's demanding or no? This happened to me once and never again.
post #12 of 25

You could always toast and grind the almonds and use that as the cake flavoring.  It won't be over powering at all.  Any almond flavoring tastes fake to me and I have used almond paste in a cake before and it was to fake-y tasting to me.  But the actual ground nuts are delicious...but, of course, that adds to your cost with an already tight budget.

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post #13 of 25

 I guess it's a southern thing, or maybe just a New Orleans thing, i don't know lol but White cake (almond flavored) with Almond flavored buttercream is my most popular flavor. If someone says they want it taste like "wedding cake" they want that almond flavor. We even have snowballs (variation of a snow cone) in "wedding cake" flavor and it just takes like almond flavoring.

 

 I would say never make something your not comfortable serving, but I wouldn't say not to make it because you don't like it. Everyone has different taste, some will love it and it won't be for others, that's life. icon_wink.gif

post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetMelissa730 View Post

 I guess it's a southern thing,
 

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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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post #15 of 25

I'm not being contrary for the sake of it, but I don't see the problem.

 

I do choc sponge cake with chocolate buttercream; vanilla sponge cake with vanilla buttercream; caramel flavour sponge with caramel flavour buttercream....  why would almond flavour sponge with almond buttercream be a problem?

 

As long as you're not heavy-handed with the flavouring, if almond is a flavour the customer likes, then why not?

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