Murphy's Law - Why cakes and couriers are not a match made in heaven!

We are all human and we work in an industry that is not a mechanically controlled environment. I totally understand that there must always be a margin for error.

I spend my life thinking ‘what if?’

What if a member of staff calls in sick? I have that covered by booking an extra person to be on standby.

What if we have an unexpected vegetarian? I have that covered by bringing along a couple of gluten free, vegan meals, just in case!

What if the van will not start? (This one gives me the most sleepless nights) I have that covered and always have regular services, carry jump leads and a portable battery pack!

Can you see where I am going with this?

But this year I have been really shocked to be told, more than once, by a cake company that they are sending a cake by courier.  A cake that has costs their client literally hundreds of pounds will be boxed up, handed over to a courier who will transport it to to a venue. The supplier will not take responsibility for the set up because it “just needs to come out of the box and be put on a stand”. Seriously… Don’t they have any pride in what they do?

One particular cake company emailed me recently to advise that their cakes are always sent this way as “they are cheap and to have a cake decorator on site to accept delivery and set up the cake would cost me (ME) £150 as that is not their responsibility”! Now I never want to cause a drama but I have to say that I think that is rather unfair…… or am I being just a tad unreasonable?

It may appear so, but let me give you a little insight into just why I see this as an issue…….

Here is a photo of a cake that arrived by courier over the summer. The courier was a mini cab and when it arrived I was just grateful that the sister of the groom got to the car a split second before me and opened the box to see that the damage was already done before we received the cake. Her reaction was not pretty and the cab driver just shrugged his shoulders and raised his hands claiming that no one told him it was a cake and there are bumps in the roads!

I knew the cake has to be cut in order to eat it (obviously!), but there is a process, a schedule, a formality to the day and it needs to be cut by the happy couple first!!!! We managed to do ‘something’ with the cake to make it look less damaged and angle it so that the damage was not quite so visible for photos – but this took time and resources. A member of staff had to go to the shops to get supplies, and then a chef had to spend time carrying out the repair – overall, 1.5 to 2 hours to time that should have been spent doing other important jobs was spent on the fixing something that ‘wasn’t our responsibility’ as the cake suppliers themselves love to say – the difference is that we do care and we want everyones wedding day to be perfect, so we don’t just walk away with a shrug.

So…. can I make a heartfelt plea to all our couples, if you are planning to have a cake at your wedding please talk to us as we have a list of wonderful, professional and proud suppliers who would love to meet you, bake for you, bring your cake to your wedding venue and set it up for you: they just want to look after you as much as we do!

They won’t cost you the earth, and you will receive the service that you deserve on this, the most special of days.