Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › A worrying new trend?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A worrying new trend?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I got a call from one of my cake buddies this morning (we're in the UK) to tell me that a wedding venue about 2 hrs drive away from her (not one of her regular wedding venues) called her yesterday to see if they could buy a display wedding cake from her.

 

They said that they had a lot of requests from wedding couples for a dummy display cake for photographs only, with couples preferring to have cheaper sheet cakes (un-iced) left in the kitchen for serving later.

 

Needless to say, my friend was shocked, as I am.  The worst part is the venue is a good 4 star with a huge wedding business, and not a budget wedding venue. They obviously didn't want to approach a local bakery (since they were effectively going to collapse their wedding cake business) and thought someone a little farther afield might aid and abet them.

 

Has anybody else had this experience? I've had wedding couples ring occasionally looking to hire a display cake, which I refuse.  But a wedding venue that caters 100+ weddings per year is a request on a different scale.

post #2 of 31
Worrying if it catches on, but would a lot of brides want the "same" cake? I would imagine (though I just wanted a tower of Krispy Kreme donuts) most couples would want to chose a theme and have pictures actually cutting in to it?
post #3 of 31
Why would you worry about this trend? If the venue wants to buy a dummy cake and your friend is willing to provide it, just charge however much a dummy cake would normally charge (usually 80-100% of a real cake).
post #4 of 31

The point is that if people start wanting fake cakes it would put a lot of bakers out of business Jason

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

The point is that if people start wanting fake cakes it would put a lot of bakers out of business Jason

If someone can only afford to rent a display cake along with a cheap sheet cake, they wouldn't be a customer of a custom cake shop anyway.
post #6 of 31

Who said they couldn't afford it??

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post

Who said they couldn't afford it??

If a bride is willing to settle for a rented generic display cake with no customization available, it is more than likely for budgetary reasons, since lower cost is the only advantage to such a product.
post #8 of 31

Do not worry. The trend will not catch on. Why you say? Most women turn into different creatures when they are getting married. They want their stuff to be special and unique. How do I know? A lot of brides I know seem to say the same thing. "I want my cake/wedding dress/wedding décor to be different". There will always be business. So charge a nice price for the dummy cakes and who knows, you might be supplying more dummies for them, because the dummy will eventually get old and tired too and they will need fresh dummies with new designs.

post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks everybody for your input. My friend has refused  to supply a display/dummy cake to the venue (maybe renting display cakes is more common in the US?)on the basis that it's damaging the tradition of the wedding cake and cheapening weddings. I agree with her wholeheartedly and think it was offensive for a venue to contact a wedding cake maker with such a request, i.e. clearly putting her and her colleagues out of business.

post #10 of 31
Lol, she lost more work by refusing the order than she would have by taking it.
Like it was already stated, the people wanting to rent a dummy cake will unlikely be a custom cake makers target market. Obviously cake is not important enough to them to pay $500 for, its a nice alternative for those people. Otherwise they are probably going to turn to their local grocery store or an undercutter they find online.
Btw, this 'trend' has been around for years, if anything it is dying off because of brides who want to be unique.
post #11 of 31

I have a different take on that situation. Having worked at a large banquet hall as their pastry chef, my guess is it's all about the banquet hall wanting to cut it's costs, increase it's profits.

 

They sell wedding packages that include cakes into their prices. I doubt it really has anything to do with the brides at all! If a banquet hall doesn't include the wedding cake into their pricing package than they charge each bride a cutting fee for every cake brought in.

 

Each pastry cook needed to produce 6 to 8 wedding cakes per week (4 to 6 tier cakes), plus bake and plate pastries and desserts for other banquet functions. Even using cake mixes I person was hard pressed to produce 6 LARGE wedding cakes per weekend. It was hard to find people with enough skill to decorate a decent wedding cake and even harder to find one that could bake a cake mix respectably. Than those people wanted to be paid according to their skill level and banquet halls want all min. wage kitchen employees (other than department heads). It would be a lot easier and more profitable for the kitchen to produce sheet cakes and the hall to rent out fake cakes.

 

It's never about lowering the cost for the brides (the average wholesale wedding cake sells for $1.65 p. serving in Chicago), it's always about the venue increasing their profit and lowering their overhead.

post #12 of 31
Actually I can see the potential for business in supplying the dummy cake, for the brides that say they don't want a real cake when they're at the planning stage and decide to rent the dummy, then change their mind over time - especially if they actually fall in love with the look of the dummy and want a cake from the same baker.
elsewhere.
Reply
elsewhere.
Reply
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

it's always about the venue increasing their profit and lowering their overhead.

Doesn't that hold true for any for-profit business?
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Doesn't that hold true for any for-profit business?

 

Of course it does. At some point a venue just like a cake decorator, has to decide what they want to be known for....cheap prices or quality work.

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Of course it does. At some point a venue just like a cake decorator, has to decide what they want to be known for....cheap prices or quality work.

Very true...the trick is to reduce costs without impacting quality. Providing a fake cake as a rental to meet the requirements of brides with lower budgets seems like a pretty smart way of doing that.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › A worrying new trend?