Questions to Ask Before Ordering a Cake (with a downloadable cake quiz)

There are so many things to know when accepting a cake order, and having a cake order questionnaire, as well as other advice on what information to obtain, is really beneficial.

These are the questions you should ask your client, in the order that they will be most beneficial. Obtaining the answers to these questions is critical to getting the cake order right and having a satisfied client.

In this piece, I’ll explain what worked best for me while I was selling cakes from home. Well, I’ve never had a large bakery, so I’m not sure how it works.

Nonetheless, I did have a tiny home-based cake company that I ran part-time until I began this site.

These are the things I’ve learnt, some the hard way, but I hope they’ll be useful to you.

I’ve also included a printable at the bottom of this article with all of these questions spelled out for you. Just print the dessert questionnaire for free and go through it with your customer. (Feel free to add anything else you believe should be included.)

Hence, if you want to understand how to accept a cake order, you need ask questions in a certain sequence. While I was selling cakes, I didn’t always ask all of these questions right away.

But, by asking specific questions early, you will be able to sift out those consumers who are unwilling to pay the price of a personalized cake and others who want you to manufacture it at a reduced cost. It will also assist you in not wasting time if you are already scheduled on a certain day.

By the way, if you want even more details and advice on how to start selling cakes from home, you can find that page here.

Let’s get started with the questions to ask a cake customer and the sequence in which I prefer to ask them.

There are affiliate links in this post. I earn money as an Amazon Associate by making qualifying purchases.

Several times, I would get a random text or Facebook message with a picture of a cake and the sender would simply ask, “How much?” or “Can you create this cake?” To answer the question, you need more information than that.

Now, the buyer is unaware of this, which is OK; they just do not know, and they may have never purchased a personalized cake. Now, now is the time to start asking some questions.

I normally start by saying something like, “Thank you for contacting out.” I need a little more information to answer your question. Then I’d ask when you need the cake and how many people it needs to serve.

If they need the cake on a date when you are unavailable, the discussion is finished. You just cannot do it. (But you should obviously be polite in your reaction to them about it.)

If the date is do-able, the following issue concerning serving size is critical. Many are unsure how many servings a certain amount of cake will provide. They may need a larger cake, or one that is not as large. You should find out ahead of time since you’ll need to know the size of the cake before you can give them a good price.

Now, if you have a minimum price, this is also the moment to inform them. My cakes start at $150, but I’ll need more information from you before I can price you on this design. Of course, you’ll use your own minimum order price there, and I personally believe in having a minimum purchase price. (We’ll get into it further later.)

This will save you a lot of time because if the customer cannot pay the minimal amount, you will not be able to build the cake for them and you will not have wasted time creating a cake and sending a quotation to them.

When you’ve resolved those first issues, you may continue on to the remaining questions, which we’ll discuss below.

Therefore, let’s take a breather and go through each of these issues in further depth.

The Date:

First and foremost, you must choose the date of the occasion, or at the very least, when the client wants the cake. If you can do anything for them, you’ll know straight away. (See above for sample language to react to the client.)

If you are unavailable on that day, you will not have to go back and forth with the buyer to acquire all the information about the cakeyou will know you cannot make it for them.

The Serving Amount Needed:

You must know how many individuals they need to service, as we discussed previously. Consumers just do not know what size cakes to purchase, and you cannot provide a price until you know the size of the cake.

The individual may believe they know how large a cake they need, but many times they are unaware of how much or how little a certain size cake would serve. You must precisely inquire as to how many individuals it must serve.

Another question to ask about servings is if, if this is a wedding cake, the bride and groom will preserve the top layer to freeze for an anniversary cake.

It is customary in certain locations to keep and freeze the top layer of the wedding cake and eat a piece of it on the first anniversary. Well, it’s disgusting, but people adore tradition.

Nevertheless, if they do that, you can’t include the top tier in the number of servings since they won’t be serving it. Does it make sense?

The Minimum Order Price (If you have one):

You may also inform them early on that you have a minimum order quantity. It took me some time to get into the habit, but once I did, it saved me a lot of time.

You’ll think you’re losing a lot of prospective customers, but you’re not. You’re just saving yourself a lot of time by going back and forth with bids and modifications, only to have the client say no. It is preferable to declare your minimal need up front.

Thus, if your minimum purchase quantity is $150 and that is all you will do, let them know. Let them know whether they want 6 cupcakes and your minimum purchase is two dozen. It is not to say that you are being nasty; rather, you are placing limits on what you are prepared to turn on your oven for.

Time is money, and you must account for it; if it takes an hour to bake and rapidly decorate cupcakes, and you only make 6-12, you may wind up working for less than minimum wage. It is not worthwhile.

Please remember that if the buyer is merely looking for a cheap cake, by telling them what your minimum is up front, they will know the bottom line straight away without you having to go through a series of inquiries.

If they agree with your minimum order, you may go on to a more detailed quotation.

The Venue:

Inquire with the prospective consumer about the location of the event. It may not be necessary if they are just picking up the cake from you, but if you are going to deliver it, you must know whether you can get to the location and how far away it is, among other things.

Will it be a two-tiered cake that you must transport up the side of a mountain? Is it a rough or dirt road? You must be prepared for these events.

You should have this information before providing an estimate, since you may need to charge a transportation cost. It is all up to you.

You should also know whether the event will be held outside. This is critical. To be honest, if it was an outdoor wedding and the cake had no place to sit other than in direct blazing sunshine, I would deny the order.

There is nothing you can do to make a cake withstand such high heat, and you will undoubtedly have an unhappy bride. Even if you tell them everything and they claim they still want to gamble, my response is always no. It will always return to the cake maker.

Personally, I didn’t want to risk having a customer sue me for a return for something like that when I knew it wouldn’t withstand the heat.

Not all outdoor parties are like this; it’s only the ones in the middle of summer when there’s nowhere else to keep the cake cold until it’s time to cut it.

If you’re wondering about what happens to a cake in direct heat and sunshine, and how long it takes to collapse (it’s not long), I’ve included a YouTube video below.

This video was also not shot in an unusual weather zone. This bakery is located in Dallas, Texas, approximately an hour and a half away from where I reside.

Cake, Type, Design & Flavors:

Secondly, inquire about the cake’s specifications and the sort of cake required. Is this some kind of birthday cake? Is it a wedding cake? What kind of event is it?

You may even go into further depth here and ask them what design they prefer. But, many times they have already supplied you an image of what they desire.

They may have any filling and frosting they like. Do they desire fondant? Buttercream? Ganache? You’ll just want to ask them any questions you have regarding the design, colors, and cake flavors.

Be sure to inquire about any extra things, such as flowers or allergy information. Are they looking for gumpaste flowers? Do you have any fresh flowers? What about silk flowers?

I prefer to obtain a few additional details, particularly for wedding cakes. These include stuff like: Do you want me to bring you flowers? Which is better, real or silk? If the florist is giving them, do you want the florist to include them into the cake, or will the florist just leave them for me to incorporate?

Will you be decorating the cake with a cake topper? What is the dimensions of the topper? Is the topping substantial? (You need to know this so you can determine if the top cake layer will be large enough. and if more support is required for a heavy topper to sit on it.)

Do you have a certain cake base presentation in mind? This is vital because they need to know the size of the bottom cake layer so that if they want to use their own foundation, it is the correct size.

Naturally, the cake will be placed on a firm cake foundation, but some people choose to use enormous wood slices, large wooden bases, or even gigantic cake pedestals. You must be aware of this and explain why you must be aware of it.

The Quote:

Thus, this isn’t really a question you’ll ask them, but rather the following step. (I suppose you could consider this a question since you’ll have given them something to react to.)

You can offer them a proper quotation after you’re satisfied you’ve gathered all of the necessary information.

Some individuals are OK with producing a basic drawing of the design at this time, while others advise waiting until the quotation is approved. Do whatever makes you happy, in my opinion. Simply don’t waste time on a nice drawing before providing a quotation. You might be squandering hours of your life.

Thus, confidently provide the quotation and then let them to answer. Don’t feel bad about what you said. Don’t reduce it just because they’re silent or don’t answer straight away.

As you offer them the quotation, you should also tell them about the deposit, how much it will be, and when it will be due. Additionally, you must have a contract signed, and you must state your return policy. (All right, let’s go to the deal.)

This may be as simple as a few of phrases like this: This cake design is priced at $ . I do need a 50% payment, which comes out to $___, and that is payable before I can place the order on my calendar. The remaining 50% is payable .) You are not need to adopt my percentages or precise phrasing here; just follow your company’s regulations.

If they return and are concerned about the price, you may always provide various choices if that is what you want to do.

The Contract:

While it is not strictly a question, you must ask them to sign a contract.

Thus, if the consumer accepts your estimate, wonderful! But you’re not finished yet. You must draft the contract and submit it to them, explaining again that they must sign it and pay the deposit. It’s also a good idea to go through the contract with them.

Make it clear to them that their cake order is not official and will not be booked until the contract is signed and the money is received.

If someone continues putting you off but insists on having the cake, set a deadline for them. You don’t want to bother them, but you do want to check in a few times.

Just state that you must have the contract signed and the deposit paid by ___ date in order to have adequate time to prepare and keep it on your calendar.

If they do not react, they do not want the cake, and you must let it go as long as you were clear about what you needed to hold that day for them and they did not comply.

If someone does not commit until the last second, you will be caught hurrying about unless you like working under a time stress, which I really despise. I do know some individuals who like it, so do whatever you want.

A word on the contract: I have an example contract that I used while collecting orders that you are welcome to use.

But here’s the catch: I’m not an attorney, and by offering a copy of the contract I used, I’m not giving you legal advice. Use it at your own peril, and if you’re truly worried about what a contract should state, have a lawyer check it over.

Download the contract below, but please read my disclaimer above before using it, since I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice:

  • PDF version of the contract
  • Word document contract

Now that it’s out of the way, the fun part starts! Anything baking and decorating!

I have a simple cake questionnaire you can print out below that includes all of these questions.

Just click the image below or the link under it, and it will instantly download. You could realize that you don’t need all of those questions, or you might want to add your own, which is just great.

You may either print this and handwrite on it, or enter in the answer areas (which are editable).

Download Printable Cake Questionnaire

I hope this article was helpful in determining what questions to ask when someone wants to purchase a cake and that you found the example contract and cake questionnaire useful!

Good baking, and best wishes for your cake company!

  • How to Make Money Selling Cakes From Home
  • How Far Ahead Can I Make a Cake?
  • The Cake Recipe


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