I get it! Custom cakes cost a lot. Or so you think. Most decorators earn close to $5 an hour, work till 2am on a Friday night, don’t eat, stress every second, and are generally thanked with a nice old dig at their prices. We’ve all had at least one client that pushes our buttons. They slap you in the face with their words like, “it’s just cake”, “my Aunt could make a better cake than that” and “I don’t know why it’s so expensive, it only has to serve 8 people!”. In your head, you are working out the exact number of brain cells this person is missing, based on the particular sneer they have on their face. It’s a lot..
So I thought I’d make a list, of all the statements I’ve heard over the years by these tight-ass people. I’ll warn you, there are stranger than you would think..
1. “What if I bake the cake, and you just ice it?” ~ Right, because that’s the part it takes no time at all.. So the cake is be served with my name on it, and your cake underneath? Not exactly how I imagined my cake rise to fame. Vanessa, the best darn frosting applier in the area. I do have to admit though, it’s got a bit of a ring to it!
2. “I just don’t think I can spend that much, do you think we could make a smaller version?” ~ Sure, so instead of feeding 90 people at a wedding, let’s let half of them starve. There’s nothing guests like better, than to stare at a cake all night long, wondering how it’s ever going to feed everyone, and then fighting over the last slice, like it’s their very last meal ever. It really brings out the best in them. Especially at 9pm with a few too many drinks under their belt.
3.”Do you think you could just not do quite as much detail? ~ Okay, so you want me to destroy the entire look of the cake, calculate for you what each piece of detail is worth in dollar terms, and have me redesign the cake 8 different ways to see which you prefer? Yeah, because I love doing that for a $60 order. There goes another 3 hours of my time.
4.”If I bring back the cake board the following week, can I get a discount?”. Sure, let me charge you less now, on the provision that you will drive 18km back to my house, to return a $6 item. I don’t think you’ve really thought this through.
5. “I really love your cakes, but I’m a bit of the baker myself. Just wondering, could I get your recipe for the delicious marble cake you make?” ~ I’ve only spent 5 months perfecting that recipe. Feeding my family, the neighbours, and the dog every version, and asking them to give a 3 page in depth analysis of the cake structure, density and moisture. Why not just hand that over? Where HAS my community spirit gone? Maybe to the same place as my witty comeback, which is far, far away. For the first time, in a long time, I am speechless.
6. “I know we’ve had our wedding, and we ate some of the cake, but we didn’t eat it all, so we are bringing the rest back for a refund” ~ This really happened! I am not joking. Apparently a guest brought 250 tarts to the wedding as a gift, and so they tried to say we made the wrong flavour for the remaining cakes, in order to get a partial refund. The problem? The cake layers they were returning as incorrect, HAD NOT BEEN CUT OPEN! So with their permission, the cakes were cut into it, and lo and behold, their x-ray eyes deceived them. It was the right flavour! Didn’t hurt to try though, did it?
On that high note, if you have any “Client so cheap” stories, please share them with us, so we can all feel a little bit better about our bizarre world of caking.