Many bakers get a constant stream of requests from charities and other groups for free cakes for whatever event is going on this week. A common question is "how do I say no to these requests?"
Here's how. Just say the word "NO."
"I can't do that right now, I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry, I can't do it."
Now the thing that people come up against is the argument that can follow the "no."
"But it will be such good exposure for your business." "We're a non-profit so we can't pay for the cake, but we'll hand out your business cards." "Think of the free publicity you'll get!"
None of those should sway you. If you want to give a free cake then do it, but if you don't, then don't.
Remember that the argument for "such good exposure for you" holds absolutely zero water. If you donate a cake you should do it because you want to, not because it will get you free publicity, because it rarely works out that you'll get back what you invested in the cake.
I came across this website full of awful/wonderful stories of awful clients that designers have. Most of them are tech clients, so it has nothing to do with cakes, but read a few of these comments that they get:
And the best one of all, this letter I received from someone wanting a free wedding: http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-belated-christmas-gift-to-youan.html
Yeah...So the issue of people not wanting to pay for services isn't unique to cake decorating. People aren't asking to be insulting, they're just totally clueless. Just remember that people are cheap as you practice saying "no" the mirror. Then go donate a cake that you OFFER to donate out of the goodness of your heart, not the idea that you'll get something out of it.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com