I've been running a delivery-only bakery business for a couple of years that is finally opening a legit storefront and I'm just flooded with wedding orders for the season already. Great news!
I'm not a catering business nor do I or have I ever offered full catering service. As a baker servicing weddings, I offer cloths & cake stands in addition to delivery and set-up. Return the amenities in the same condition, and be refunded your deposit. The set-up fee reflects the labor involved in travel and time spend on-location. I don't offer cutting service or tools or flatware/plateware. It's very basic: cake or other dessert you've chosen, and what is required to make it look nice, and labels.
When I'm working with a wedding coordinator, s/he naturally handles the details. But I'm finding it difficult to navigate my way through events where a caterer is involved and I'm dealing directly with the bride or groom.
I see a lot of statements like:
1. I'm not sure if we'll need a table or not yet.
2. I'm hoping the caterers will cut/serve dessert.
3. We need you to show the caterers how to cut/serve the dessert.
I'm not completely sure of the appropriate way to handle these things. Should I be asking to be connected to the caterer to finalize these details, or should I simply be urging the bride/groom/organizer to clarify these details with the catering company him/herself?
1. In my mind, something like a table is the responsibility of whomever is organizing the wedding, be it a coordinator or some member of the wedding party.
2. The caterers, who I'm sure were informed ahead of time that dessert is being delivered by someone else, should be informed by the coordinator/organizing wedding party member that they will need cake cutting service and associated amenities. In all of my weddings this season, every client negotiated set-up and delivery only.
3. I don't mind showing the caterers, but am a little apprehensive about stepping on toes: I assume that a catering company knows how many slices to cut out of a pie if there are 20 pies and 100 guests. Am I being oversensitive on behalf of the caterers?
I'm just looking for a little bit of guidance from you fine pastry chefs who have likely been in this situation a million times over.
Are these things that, in fact, should be taken up with the catering company by the bride, or should I be middle manning this? It feels like my being in the middle would be a recipe for confusion.
And do you find it unsavory for a bakery to not offer more expansive services surrounding desserts or hors d'oeuvres for a large event like a wedding?
I've been very successful in doing drop-off packages of goods to larger events, but as I get busier and bring on more clients, the waters are getting a little murky, and I want to be sure it's being handled appropriately. Is there anything wrong with providing people who desperately want you to make the food for their event with what they want without offering full service?
Please, share your thoughts and opinions per the weddings and large events you've done. I would so appreciate the guidance. I want to make the customers happy, but I'm also working on not undercharging or being walked all over, which has been an issue in my business past.
Thanks in advance to anyone who has insight to share.
TL;DR: what is too much to expect of a bakery providing desserts or hors d'oeuvres for a large event or wedding? what is appropriate? when should the baker direct the client to resolve issues with the catering company handling the remainder of the event/food/drink?