What a rainy day it’s been 🙁
Thank you to everyone who braved the weather and popped in today. We sold out of cupcake decorating “kits” but not to worry – we baked more and we also have Gingerbread people ready for you to add googly eyes and Smartie buttons so come back soon!
Meanwhile we’ve been busy making a few little changes – all designed to make life smoother and simpler for us all.
First up – we’ve a simplified Price List.
We know that you can buy a cake for a lot less in a supermarket. Use cheap margarine, liquid eggs, additives, preservatives, white fat and a sugary jam substitute, mass produce them and sell them with a best before date a few months away – yummy 😉
Bespoke hand crafted cakes will always cost more. Free range eggs, butter, farm fresh milk, Fairtrade vanilla, strawberry conserve and – of course – hours of work baking your cake and then decorating it to your specification. We aim to be competitive and hate to disappoint anyone. We will always try to work to your budget but please be realistic – we can’t match supermarket prices.
When planning an event we know that there are lots of costs to consider. A venue, catering, decorations, a disco, presents – the list goes on. We’re often told how much a party has cost so there is little left for the cake. Please don’t ask us to reduce our price because of this as it puts us in a difficult situation and we hate to disappoint you.
We also hold parties and events here, and it is difficult when customers bring in cakes purchased from a supermarket. Cutting these and sending them home can give the impression this is our cake and it tastes no different to one from a supermarket (which it is!). Please don’t ask to do this as we hate to seem awkward in saying no.
Secondly, we need to make some changes to our Afternoon Tea terms and conditions. Until now we’ve taken orders in person or over the phone, asking for your contact details, dietary requirements and, in some cases, for a deposit. We’ve never been very good at asking for the deposit if I’m honest, believing most people will let us know if for any reason they have to change their plans.
Recently however we’ve had a significant number of “no shows”. We’ve set the table, made the sandwiches, selected the cakes and baked the scones. The jam and clotted cream are ready and in some circumstances we’ve asked extra staff to come in and work. The time of the booking has come and gone and no one has appeared.
We realise people may not understand The Kitchen is a small family business with everything made to order, where margins are tight and a “no show” can mean the day’s profit is lost. So we’ve decided to be honest. And from now on we are going to ask for payment to be made in full, in advance.
This may seem to some an extreme solution – perhaps a deposit might be sufficient? But if you stop to consider many of the other events and outings we purchase – theatre tickets, the cinema for example – we expect to pay in advance. We can of course turn up on the day but there is always the possibility we may not be accommodated.
If you’re unsure whether or not you will be able to come for tea then you may prefer to take a chance and turn up on the day. We will always try to find a table and it takes us about half an hour to prepare your sandwiches, cakes and scones. Items are subject to availability however and we may have to make some substitutions.
If you are bringing a large party, and if you wish to ensure your table is reserved and your food prepared in advance, please don’t be offended when we ask for full payment at the time of booking. Should you subsequently need to rearrange we can do so with 24 hours notice.
We hope that these little changes will help us all. This week we have discarded eight servings of sandwiches (okay – we did eat some of them ;-)) and our staff have enjoyed 32 slices of cake. Sadly the scones don’t keep so that work was wasted…
This isn’t a happy or positive post, for which I can only apologise. It’s not our intention to make anyone feel bad, simply to explain the situation and ask for your help. Thank you!
And of course – next week is #AfternoonTeaWeek so we hope to see lots of you taking tea with us at our very special newsletter subscribers price!