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At home bakers- do you do cake testing? - Page 2

post #16 of 76

OK, I just found this on my Facebook page. I've been focusing on networking with other wedding professionals in my area. As part of that, whenever I do a tasting I put together an extra box to give to a planner, photographer, etc. Well, the photographer I hit up yesterday wrote the nicest blog post about (and took amazing pictures of) one of my tasting-to-go boxes!

 

You can easily see how I package the boxes. The cake samples are 3" rounds. I can cut 4 of them from an 8". The buttercreams are in 1.5 ounce jello shot cups. I make it into a sweetheart box by adding 2 napkins and 2 little plastic forks.

 

http://meganhardrephotography.com/cake/

post #17 of 76

For me I just explain that since I am a home baker I do not readily have several flavors available daily for them to taste. I have them give me 2-3 flavors they would be most interested in and then look at my orders.  If there is a week coming up soon where I have a couple of their options I make a "to go" cupcake box with different flavor combinations and then decorate them to mimic the colors or flowers, etc that we have discussed for their cake to help with the presentation.  It also gives them a chance to taste the MMF which many have not had and in general come with the knowledge that they don't like fondant.  It has always worked well for me with the larger specialty or wedding cakes.  Most others don't ask.  I am having trouble attaching a photo but there are a few in my profile.  (green/ white  and black/ white)

post #18 of 76

A little package of sample for a wedding consultation in her colors and a few of the ideas thus far. Here is one.  It worked this time. The bride and groom were able to discuss various mediums used for the flowers for their cake as well with this option and see the difference between green on white and white on green, etc. 

post #19 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj72 View Post

A little package of sample for a wedding consultation in her colors and a few of the ideas thus far. Here is one.  It worked this time. The bride and groom were able to discuss various mediums used for the flowers for their cake as well with this option and see the difference between green on white and white on green, etc. 

cj72, was this for a cupcake order? My cakes and cupcakes have very different textures so I never make cupcakes as samples for a cake order.

post #20 of 76

Elcee, No it was for a tiered wedding cake. I don't find that my cakes and cupcakes are extremely different flavor wise (which is what the taster is for).  It might not work for everyone but it works for me.  I can package them neatly and not have tons of wasted cake or worry about small pieces of unfrosted cake drying out, etc.  Just a suggestion.  I have only done "official" tasters about 5 times in my 3 years as most of my business if from referrals where they tasted cakes at someone elses event, etc but all 5 times they ordered and were happy with the final results.   Elcee your box is very fun but since I don't do them often I would spend too much time and money on printing up labels for each flavor.  I think it is great as your marketing tool with networking but for the random tester without knowing what flavors would be chosen each time it won't work for me at this time.  Great idea though.  Hope the OP finds something that works great for her individual need.

post #21 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj72 View Post

Elcee, No it was for a tiered wedding cake. I don't find that my cakes and cupcakes are extremely different flavor wise (which is what the taster is for).  It might not work for everyone but it works for me.  I can package them neatly and not have tons of wasted cake or worry about small pieces of unfrosted cake drying out, etc.  Just a suggestion.  I have only done "official" tasters about 5 times in my 3 years as most of my business if from referrals where they tasted cakes at someone elses event, etc but all 5 times they ordered and were happy with the final results.   Elcee your box is very fun but since I don't do them often I would spend too much time and money on printing up labels for each flavor.  I think it is great as your marketing tool with networking but for the random tester without knowing what flavors would be chosen each time it won't work for me at this time.  Great idea though.  Hope the OP finds something that works great for her individual need.

I would love to get to a point where I'm not doing so many tastings but it goes with the wedding territory. I'm not as established and so need something that will be memorable to my wedding couples.

post #22 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elcee View Post

OK, I just found this on my Facebook page. I've been focusing on networking with other wedding professionals in my area. As part of that, whenever I do a tasting I put together an extra box to give to a planner, photographer, etc. Well, the photographer I hit up yesterday wrote the nicest blog post about (and took amazing pictures of) one of my tasting-to-go boxes!

 

You can easily see how I package the boxes. The cake samples are 3" rounds. I can cut 4 of them from an 8". The buttercreams are in 1.5 ounce jello shot cups. I make it into a sweetheart box by adding 2 napkins and 2 little plastic forks.

 

http://meganhardrephotography.com/cake/

what do you estimate it costs you to put that box together?

post #23 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

what do you estimate it costs you to put that box together?

The actual cost of the supplies I use is less than $6, INCLUDING the cake and buttercreams. I rarely bake specifically for a tasting so that time isn't included in that. It's hard to tell how much time that would be but since I get 4 tasting servings from 1/2 batch of cake batter then I'd guess about 20 minutes per flavor (about 1 1/2 hours to mix, bake and clean up after 1 8" round).

 

I tend to just make a little extra batter and freeze it to bake for tastings. I also try to cluster the tastings to minimize waste.

post #24 of 76

I have only done one tasting and I had frozen batter that I used. I wish I had charged for the tasting though because they just decided they can't really afford a wedding and cancelled the order. We had just made their order smaller about a week ago....now they completely cancelled.....Boooooo! I was really looking forward to making the cake. I really like your kit...

post #25 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

Thanks for your advice Elcee , I like your tasting to go boxes!
~ Nora ~
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~ Nora ~
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post #26 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

Thanks for your advice Elcee , it looks that you're just a customer oriented person and that's why you came up with this lovely idea for your customers, if it was me a customer who buys a cake for a wedding I surely would like to taste the cake ! In my opinion even if the order was less than 100 servings i would do it and moreover free of charge, I call it customer service ! At the end if I'm confident enough of the quality of my cakes, frostings and decors I wouldnt be worrying too much about the number of clients who would drop out and cancel their order. Plus for beginners, this is something extra to get more footfalls into your little bakery, nowadays customers are not just focussing on the main product, but more on the services attached with it, they just feel more confident about their decision when having a trial, and it also can be taking from another side, if you've done like 10 tastings and 7 out of them didn't compelete the order it might be a clue for you to revise your recipes and flavours to make it more rich and tasty, so Im thinking that it worth the "loss" just to get a feedback from the customer that help you to improve.
I understand how the blogger was amazed when she got the box from you as it's really something not common it shows how sweet and considerate person you are.

I like your tasting to go boxes! And one day if I went and established a cake business I will consider this idea.

Best of luck always!
~ Nora ~
Chemistry in Kitchen ? Baking cakes...
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~ Nora ~
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post #27 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by daprincessnora View Post


Thanks for your advice Elcee , it looks that you're just a customer oriented person and that's why you came up with this lovely idea for your customers, if it was me a customer who buys a cake for a wedding I surely would like to taste the cake ! In my opinion even if the order was less than 100 servings i would do it and moreover free of charge, I call it customer service ! At the end if I'm confident enough of the quality of my cakes, frostings and decors I wouldnt be worrying too much about the number of clients who would drop out and cancel their order. Plus for beginners, this is something extra to get more footfalls into your little bakery, nowadays customers are not just focussing on the main product, but more on the services attached with it, they just feel more confident about their decision when having a trial, and it also can be taking from another side, if you've done like 10 tastings and 7 out of them didn't compelete the order it might be a clue for you to revise your recipes and flavours to make it more rich and tasty, so Im thinking that it worth the "loss" just to get a feedback from the customer that help you to improve.
I understand how the blogger was amazed when she got the box from you as it's really something not common it shows how sweet and considerate person you are.

I like your tasting to go boxes! And one day if I went and established a cake business I will consider this idea.

Best of luck always!

The concern is not losing the order because a customer does not like the taste of the cakes- in fact, tasting the cakes is what should make them fall in love with your product and book with you.  I also feel that the goal of a tasting is not obtain feedback from the customer regarding your product.  Of course, it makes sense to note clients preferences, but by the time you are selling cakes professionally, you should have done your research and be confident in your product.  Testing your flavors is best on family and friends, not potential clients.

 

The issue is time, which is an expense.  It takes time to package the tasting box, time to prep for the consult and time to spend at the consult.  In business, time is also worth $ and is an expense.  If you calculate the cost of the time when offering a tasting, you will see that providing tastings for smaller orders does not make financial sense.  To-go tastings are a bit more affordable, but still not worth it from a business standpoint.  If the customer feels they really want that tasting, they should feel it is worth their money to have one, if it's not worth it to them to pay the fee, then it is not worth the businesses expense in time and product.

post #28 of 76

Hmmmm...if you do a lot of large cakes I wonder how logistically difficult it would be do offer a group tasting? Good or bad idea?

post #29 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse View Post

The concern is not losing the order because a customer does not like the taste of the cakes- in fact, tasting the cakes is what should make them fall in love with your product and book with you.  I also feel that the goal of a tasting is not obtain feedback from the customer regarding your product.  Of course, it makes sense to note clients preferences, but by the time you are selling cakes professionally, you should have done your research and be confident in your product.  Testing your flavors is best on family and friends, not potential clients.

The issue is time, which is an expense.  It takes time to package the tasting box, time to prep for the consult and time to spend at the consult.  In business, time is also worth $ and is an expense.  If you calculate the cost of the time when offering a tasting, you will see that providing tastings for smaller orders does not make financial sense.  To-go tastings are a bit more affordable, but still not worth it from a business standpoint.  If the customer feels they really want that tasting, they should feel it is worth their money to have one, if it's not worth it to them to pay the fee, then it is not worth the businesses expense in time and product.

Hello,
You made a very good point at "time" consumed at all of the tasting process, which is really valuable and I haven't thought about it this way, however, I still think that feedback would be always required and having a great tasting flavours on hand doesn't meen they wouldn't need revision for years, if its that way, why some bakeries have tastiest cakes than others ? I also think that a feedback of family and friends might be a slightly biased (I'm saying that based on a personal experience only) being exposed to more diverse opinions is always healthy and insightful. I believe that Elcee had your point in mind plus she want also more exposure as she mentioned before that's why she came up with the brilliant idea of To-go boxes.

Thanks for stopping by and enriching this thread !
~ Nora ~
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post #30 of 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

Hmmmm...if you do a lot of large cakes I wonder how logistically difficult it would be do offer a group tasting? Good or bad idea?

I tried that a couple of times and people around he do NOT like it. They want an individual appointment.
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