Cake Business terms

How to protect your Cake Business with Comprehensive Terms

Your Cake Business Terms are your insurance against any mishaps, non-payment and last minute order cancellations. They protect your business as well as are an important part of offering excellent customer service. You must establish these Cake Business terms when opening your business. They must be explained during cake consultations to make sure your clients understand what to expect from you and what you need from them. Clear guidelines for your business laid out in an easy to read format will avoid any confusion and complaints.

Terms of your business will vary depending on various factors like size, type of your business and where you are based. We have collated key points you must cover when establishing your terms.

Ordering Process
  • Do you accept orders over the phone, email, do personal consultations?
  • What is the notice period for taking both small and large orders?
  • Do you make exceptions and accept cake orders at short notice?
  • Is there a minimum order amount?
Designs
  • Do you accept custom cake orders?
  • Do you only do cake designs from your cake portfolio?
  • Inform them about your guidelines regarding cakes which ask for inclusion of copyrighted characters.
  • Will you create a replica of cake produced elsewhere?
  • Do you provide Cake Sketches, 3D designs of cakes?
  • What design references do you want your customers to bring along while ordering a cake?
Serving Sizes
  • Do you offer cakes by size or servings?
  • What is your standard serving size.
  • Specify serving sizes for various types of occasions Party, Wedding and help them make an informed decision.
  • Inform them about variations in cake servings if they choose a novelty, speciality and carved cake.
Consultations and Tasting sessions
  • Do you offer cake consultations? Is there a charge for them?
  • How soon before the event shall the client contact you? How to book them?
  • Does it include cake tasting?
  • What cake flavours do you offer?
  • How long does the session last?
  • Do you take off the charge for consultation if they order from you? Is there a minimum order amount for that?
  • Do you give them a quote on the spot or email them?
Deposits
  • How much deposit do you need to secure an order?
  • Do you treat order as accepted until your deposit has been received? Till when will you hold the occasion date?
Refunds and Transfers
  • Are the deposit refundable?
  • Are they transferrable?
  • Deposit needed might differ from types of cake, celebration and wedding cakes. State the variations very clearly.
Final Balance Payments
  • When are the final payments for their order due.
  • Explain in detail for all payment options as you might accept cash on delivery but in case of Paypal or direct transfer, they need to be made earlier than the delivery date.
Non-Payments
  • Customer needs to be clear on your terms, if they don’t pay up by due dates, let them know that the order will be assumed cancelled and they would loose their deposit.
  • If they pay after the due date, inform them that date is only subject to availability and you have the right to refuse.
Changes to Orders

Design

  • Will you accept any changes made to the original quoted design? If yes, till how many days before the order.
  • Are they subject to a price change for any extra work and supplies required?
  • Will you charge for supplies already purchased for the previous design.
  • What is your deadline for accepting any changes for celebration, novelty and wedding cakes?

Occasion date

  • If, for any reason your client wishes to re-arrange the occasion date, will you be happy to accommodate that?
  • What happens if your are already booked for the new requested date, will you offer them a refund of their deposit?
Cancellations
    How will you handle cancellations. Set your cake business terms to clearly state what happens in these situations. What are the exceptions you do consider as a business.

  • In the unlikely events when you cancel that order, what refunds do you offer.
  • Does the cancellation need to be in writing.
  • How many days ahead of the order will you accept a cancellation request.
  • Do you propose a flat cancellation policy or does it vary according to the type of order.
Collections
  • If the client is collecting the order, inform them of your collection time slots.
  • They would need to sign a collection form.
Delivery
  • Can a client request a change from collection to delivery after the order has been placed.
  • What are your delivery rates. Is it free within a radius or above an order amount. What are the rates per km/mile afterwards.
  • You will need the name of the contact person at the venue at the time of delivery.
  • Mention exclusions like, if there is no-one available to receive the cake at the agreed delivery time, what will happen to their order. Will it be returned? Will they be charged for an alternate delivery time and date. Also, You will not be responsible for any consequential loss due to non-delivery as a result of customers fault.
  • The contact person will be required to sign a confirmation that the cake has been received.
  • Once the cake has been collected or delivered, set-up, and signed for you cannot be held responsible for any interference or damage to the cake.
Set-up
  • Do you provide Set-up, what do you charge for that.
  • Is there a waiting charge, if you need to wait at the venue.
  • If the cake is to be set up by staff at the venue, you will explain how the cake is to be displayed and obtain a signature to verify that you have done so.
Cake Cutting
  • Do you provide cake cutting service, what do you charge for that.
  • Do you include cake cutting guides with your cakes.
  • Inform the customer that they will need to use the cutting guides you provide to get promised servings from the ordered cake.
Outdoor Cake Display
  • Customer will be responsible for the location of the cake.
  • Customer will be responsible for a stable and levelled cake presentation table upon which the cake is to be displayed.
  • Point out summer day conditions can melt chocolate, fresh cream covered cakes and if they choose to order one, you cannot be held responsible for any mishaps.
Hired equipment
  • Do you offer equipment for hire?
  • Do you charge a deposit for hiring? What is hire cost, one-off or by day?
  • When will you hold back the deposit?
  • What does damage to equipment mean?
  • Penalty charge when the item is returned late?
  • What are your hire terms, deposit return policy, damage policy.
Allergies
  • Allergen Disclaimer is a must when working with food. Inform the customer if their ordered products are free from allergens or not.
  • The customer is responsible for informing their guests of any allergy information accordingly and you can not be held liable for any allergic reaction resulting from consumption of the cake.
Quality and storage of your cake
  • The customer should be informed what is the best way to store the cake
  • in the supplied box at room temperature or in a refrigerator to ensure freshness.
  • Till when is the cake safe to consume after initial serving, after which it is customers discretion and, therefore, becomes their responsibility.
Right to the photographs of the cake
  • You keep the irrevocable and unrestricted right to use and publish photographs of customers cake or pictures in which they may be included. For, e.g., advertising, display, website and internet promotion, photographic contests, public display, cake industry publications, studio display, television advertising, magazine advertising.
Right of Withdrawal
  • You and your business should have a right of withdrawal for any placed orders due to contributing factors For e.g., non-payment, non-cooperation, changes to order etc.
  • What happens when you initiate the withdrawal, what refunds will you offer?

We hope these points will be useful when establishing and updating your Cake Business Terms. It’s better to cover all possible options and share them with your customers when sending quotes, so they are aware of what’s involved and can make an informed decision.

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

We are also working on a Comprehensive set of Cake Business terms which will be available with BakingIt [PRO] in coming weeks.