After all the hard work of planning, designing and creating your cake, it is now time to PLAN it’s safe delivery.
Don’t forget failing to plan is planning to fail . Time spent planning can actually save time and save last minute unexpected situations that might arise. Use our guide for a smooth cake delivery process AND remember to stop, breathe and remind yourself – You love what you do!
1. Planning ahead, Pre – delivery checklist
Delivering cakes is a process, a mini military operation and needs to be streamlined. Plan, Plan, Plan and be clear on what to do and when, get your pre-delivery checklist sorted. Answer these questions .
- Venue address and directions. Use a Sat Nav or Google maps on your phone to calculate the time it will take and the mileage . Add on 1/4 of the time for traffic .
- Parking availability and restrictions. Actually drive the route and visit the venue if it is nearby , but don’t incur more mileage unless you charge for it . Ring the venue and ask .
- Venue contact number and contact name and number for the person who will meet you when you arrive.
- Distance, you will need to transport the cake from your car to the display table . Always do a walk of the venue, so you have the route in mind.
- How many people will you need to carry the cake? Do you need a trolley?
- An agreed time to deliver the cake, ideally few hours before the event.
- Contact details of the florist (if using one), agreed time of delivery of flowers at the venue.
- Any other props needed to complete your display.
2. Packing and securing the cake
Whether you are transporting a multi-tiered cake or a cake with pillars, the transporting ‘rules’ are the same.
- Always transport the cake as single tiers and construct the cake on arrival.
- If you feel comfortable travelling with an already stacked cake, make sure it is not very tall and has no more than 3-4 tiers. In that case always make sure the cake is dowelled properly at least 12 hours before transportation. A centre dowel going through all tiers will help keep the cake more stable when transporting a stacked cake.
- Never transport a cake unboxed, choose strong cake boxes to store the cakes. (Bring these boxes back with you, as they can be re-used)
- Use good quality thick cake boards of the exact size of the cake box, this will stop the cake moving in the box during transportation.
- Use good quality box extenders . The full ones not the strips .
- Remove any toppers, sugar flowers, etc. and place them in a separate box for transportation.
- Always always always have spares with you as your decorations may break .
3. Getting the cake into the delivery vehicle
The cake is boxed and ready to go, and let’s get it in the delivery vehicle.
- Firstly make sure the car is clean.
- Unless you have a van that will be pretty much a flat surface in the back; the best place to put the cakes is the boot of the car, or the front passenger seat footwell with the seat back . Never put the cake boxes on a seat. No matter how flat you think your car seats are, they are not. Use boot space and floor space.
- To avoid the boxes slipping around use a non-slip mat in the boot. Yoga mats, exercise or a silicone mat .
- Lay this across the boot of your car and then place the boxes on top.
- Another trick is once the boxes are in if you have any space where you think the box could potentially move, pack these in with an empty box, folded up towel. Anything that you think will just safely fill that gap.
- Last but not the least, remember to carry a decorating and repair kit with you. Keep any extra cake decorations, everything you need to assemble the cake, prepared icing and equipment for finishing touches and any repairs that may need doing and most importantly your camera or phone and make sure it’s charged !!!!
4. The Drive
The cake is in the car, and you are ready to go:
- Remember to put a Cake on Board sign outside of the vehicle so the drivers around you know that you are carrying precious cargo in your boot.
- Make sure you have your directions and know where you are going and the safest route to take.
- And finally drive carefully, avoid sudden breaks and hard corners, if possible avoid any steep roads.
5. Arrival at the venue
Once you reach the site, contact the right person and inform of your arrival.
- Go inside and check the table setup where the cake will go, make sure the table is level. It’s always a good idea to carry a spirit level with you.
- Check for the clear way – watch out for narrow doorways, stairs, etc.
- Arrange for extra people to help you carry the cake and a delivery trolley if needed.
- Move the cakes out of the vehicle carefully and move them to the setup table.
6. Assembling the cake
The final and most important stage – You are almost there!
- Check, double check for a levelled table. You don’t want your creation to be set up on a wonky table.
- Carefully remove the cakes from the boxes. The best way to do this is to unfold the cake box and slide the cakes out; rather than trying to lift them out.
- Use your decorating and repair kit and get to work. Assemble the cake, arrange flowers and toppers, secure decorations as per your design.
- Once the cake is perfect setup and you are happy with it make sure you take a photo for the portfolio. It’s also a good idea to have a proof of how you left the cake at the venue. The last thing you want after all that effort is someone else going in and knocking the table and you being held responsible for not delivering the perfect cake.
- Remember to get a cake delivery form signed by the contact person on the venue.
- Finally, drive home, relax and have a cup of tea after a job well done.
Always ensure you have a business insurance, and business insurance on your car !!! You may never use it, but it’s good to be safe. Most importantly always calculate your delivery and setup time and costs and charge appropriately for it.
Hope this helps …..