Mike: "Black Sheep Custom Cakes"
Caller: "I'd like to order a cake. I want to feed 100 people... I want it really cool, sculpted, with lights and sounds and 4 foot tall please."
Mike: " Be happy to do that! That'll cost you about $X.XX delivered." ( Realizing in his head that the cost and time involved in the cake as well as the risk for such a design barely justifies the price asked)
Caller: "OH... well, can we do it for 50 people? What would that cost?"
Mike: "Umm.... well I could make it a bit smaller, but it's still about the same amount of work for me., so the cost doesn't go down that much."
Caller: "OH... well what if we do it for 25... do you do cupcakes?"
This seems to happen so often my head spins. Once again we can thank reality TV for inflating the expectations of our customers while providing them with no clue as to what it really takes to make a cake!
For those of you that are wondering what I do, here's my thoughts:
The above scenario is very common, but also common is the mind set now that since a client is having "other deserts" The need for a full sized cake is not as important to their wedding or event (seems to happen more with weddings).
Let's think about this.... When people come to a wedding, they expect to see a bride in her pretty dress and a decorated venue. After that they expect to see the cake. Every wedding I know of usually includes the cutting of the cake and a ton of photos of the bride and groom with the cake. Do guest show up wondering what the desert bar looks like? Can you imagine the bride and groom standing next to the bowl of red and blue Skittles or brownies? What a memorable pic that will be!!!
When faced with this scenario, I usually explain that if they called me looking for the 4 foot tall sculpted fire breathing cake, but because of the price decided to do the sheet cake with plastic dragon figure, they're not going to be satisfied! In the same light a bride may not think as far ahead to her wedding day, when her little cake fails miserably to impress anyone (herself included). But hey atleast there's a bowl of skittles and M-M's with the monogram on it! I find that clients usually agree once they've thought about it. We very often seem to forget that we are the ones with the experience in this field, and we can share that with our clients to make the experience better for them!
My job is to make people happy and I can't allow myself to cut corners in an attempt to reduce the price to do that! We all have our standards, and when we let the customer talk us down from them we'll end up with un-happy customers! It's a bit of a paradox as I will sometimes end up not doing the cake, but atleast I can sleep at night knowing I did my best. Never ever do I buy into the dumb it down so it will be easier to sell! I do cakes of every level and degree of complication, but most importantly I have to be satisfied with them when they leave the shop!
Well... With 2 more cakes to do I best get back to work! I've got a cake for Rockfest tomorrow and regular stuff too!
Peace N Love Friends!