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At home bakers- do you do cake testing?

post #1 of 76
Thread Starter 
Hello- I have an order for a two tier fondant birthday cake- customer has requested a cake testing. Do you do this for customers? If they request to test different buttercreams & cake flavors- which I do not keep on hand- everything is made fresh to order- it would be out of pocket for me to make. Any suggestions & advice would be greatly appreciated - thank u!
post #2 of 76

The short answer is, no. I will make some extra cc's that they can pick up for free in a pack of 4 of whatever I'm baking on a given week. If someone just wants a $200-300 birthday cake, which is mostly what I do, it's not worth my while to do a formal tasting. My specialty is highly decorated cakes with simple flavors. If they want something beyond that, I recommend someone because I can't do it all. At least not for now.

post #3 of 76
Well you could charge for the cake testing? I think a lot of people get customers by word of mouth and they usually dont request cake tests, also if you do end up doing it you might want to charge a deposit fee for the cake because it sounds like she might end up being a fussy customer.
post #4 of 76

I would recommend offering a cake tasting if you're providing a more expensive cake like a wedding cake, etc. When people purchase birthday cakes from the grocery store, they're not able to do a tasting before purchasing. If you're not sure how to respond, you can simply say that you don't currently offer tastings on birthday cakes "at this time". If you still feel like you should provide a tasting and are concerned about the expense you will incur, you could do as cakealicious recommended and offer a tasting for a price.

post #5 of 76
No. I offer a consultation, which includes samples, for cakes expected to exceed $250.

I use extra batter to make sample cakes & keep them in the fridge.

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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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)
 
Reply
post #6 of 76

I also do consultations. Consultations for cakes of 100 servings or more (regardless of the occasion) include a complimentary tasting-to-go box. The box contains 3 flavors of cake and 3 flavors of buttercream, all my choice, depending on what I have on hand. For cakes of fewer than 100 servings, a box may be purchased for $25.

 

For some reason, I haven't been able to upload pictures into posts...here's a link to a picture of one of my boxes:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=497737583624608&set=a.377050832359951.90561.368152219916479&type=3&theater

post #7 of 76
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your wonderful advice icon_biggrin.gif
post #8 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post

I also do consultations. Consultations for cakes of 100 servings or more (regardless of the occasion) include a complimentary tasting-to-go box. The box contains 3 flavors of cake and 3 flavors of buttercream, all my choice, depending on what I have on hand. For cakes of fewer than 100 servings, a box may be purchased for $25.

 

For some reason, I haven't been able to upload pictures into posts...here's a link to a picture of one of my boxes:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=497737583624608&set=a.377050832359951.90561.368152219916479&type=3&theater


Very Nice!  Love the idea. 

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply
post #9 of 76

i offer cupcakes and to apply the 1/2  price of the cuppies to their order if they purchase a wedding cake.

post #10 of 76

Elcee, I like your 100 and up but what happens if they don't order from you, you're out the sample.

 

We charge for the samples but take off the samples off the order. If they don't order then we're not out, they get a quality product!

post #11 of 76

The tasting box is a great idea! I do tastings for wedding cakes and the more expensive/ larger specialty cakes. I am still trying out the best way to do so, but the last tasting I did, I made mini, un-frosted 2 layer cakes (cut out with a cookie cutter)

 

in the different basic flavors and fillings and a dollop of frosting on top. I charge a small fee ($25) for about 14 combinations and if they order, it comes off their final price.

 

I am thinking of switching to something more like the tasting box- a few cut up squares of cake and little cups of fillings and frosting. Then they can mix and match at will.
 

I offer 3 (well now 4) basic flavors of cake-vanilla, chocolate, marble (and now wedding) and I make a sheet pan of the cake. vanilla on one side, chocolate on the other and marbled in the middle. My basic filling flavors are all based on buttercream, so I make a vanilla batch, then separate it into vanilla, chocolate, raspberry and strawberry. I also offer chocolate mousse and strawberries with whipped cream,  so I make a batch of whipped cream, then add chocolate or strawberries. I have found that it costs me about $5 to make this, and I present it in a nice way, so it makes a good impression. I am also not making huge quantities, so there is really nothing left over!

 

If they want a specialty flavor, that costs extra, but I have a scaled down my recipe to only make a single 6" cake, so there is not too much waste.

post #12 of 76

Rather than having to tell a client, "no" I don't offer a tasting, I let them know "Of course you may have a tasting, for order under 100 servings, there is a $35 fee for a bakers choice tasting."  Would you like to submit and online payment to schedule your tasting/consult appointment?  I've only had a few say yes, but they change their minds when I mention prepayment and decide to order w/o the tasting.   If ever it occurred that they did the tasting and then upped their order to over 100, I would apply that fee to their order.  There is also a line on my contract for the tasting fee of $35 and it will be added to an order if the client "estimated" 100 servings and then comes in way under, as I once had someone tell me 70, then change to 100 in the same conversation and ask for a free tasting - I let her know about that line in my contract.

post #13 of 76

I do tastings for wedding cakes over 60-70 servings, but not for birthday cakes or smaller wedding cakes. I've only had one bride get all mad that I wouldn't do a tasting for her 20-person reception, but it doesn't make sense financially to do that. People in this area are starting to charge for tastings, though.

post #14 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinLeger View Post

Elcee, I like your 100 and up but what happens if they don't order from you, you're out the sample.

 

We charge for the samples but take off the samples off the order. If they don't order then we're not out, they get a quality product!

Yes, it happens, but they don't actually cost me all that much. I've also done some for no-shows, those kill me.

 

I did a consult with a tasting recently where, just by coincidence, I had extra cake batter and buttercream on hand so the wedding couple got to sample 4 flavors of cake and 5 buttercreams. A couple of days later she asked to sample yet another flavor. I gave her my spiel (learned here on CC thumbs_up.gif) about the tasting being to see if they like my style, texture, etc. and not about sampling a whole menu of flavors. They went elsewhere.

 

NO ONE in my area charges for samples. I would be shooting myself in the foot if I tried to do that. I've never had anyone ordering an under 100 serving cake purchase a tasting box, either. 

 

 

 

Quote:
There is also a line on my contract for the tasting fee of $35 and it will be added to an order if the client "estimated" 100 servings and then comes in way under,

FullHouse, I do, too. I tell them that if they received a complimentary tasting based upon the information that their event will be for 100 or more and then order a cake of fewer servings the $25 will be added to the final cost of their cake.

post #15 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericapraga View Post

The tasting box is a great idea! I do tastings for wedding cakes and the more expensive/ larger specialty cakes. I am still trying out the best way to do so, but the last tasting I did, I made mini, un-frosted 2 layer cakes (cut out with a cookie cutter)

 

I am thinking of switching to something more like the tasting box- a few cut up squares of cake and little cups of fillings and frosting. Then they can mix and match at will.
 

 

ericapraga, I am putting together a box tomorrow. I'll take and post pictures of the components so you can see them. What I put in varies depending on what I've been baking.

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