A Brief Introduction About the Cake Contract
A Cake Contract is a legally binding agreement between the Baker and the Customer. It defines the terms and conditions of the baking order/orders placed. Generally, it is common practice to sign a cake contract when the value of the transaction exceeds $100 or if multiple transactions of a smaller ticket size are entered into with the same client.
In other words, this contract is like a formal handshake between the baking company and the customer and is used to formalize the terms of the order placed. It generally includes details such as the cake design, serving size, and, most importantly, payment. It is advisable to sign cake contracts as disputes regarding the cake order can easily be resolved with the help of the undersigned terms in the said contract as against that in a verbal agreement.
Depending on the order value and size, this contract can either be a simple one-page document or a lengthy draft that includes specifics on the color of the toppings, the nature of the toppings, the piping details in addition to other miscellaneous terms of the baking transaction. This contract also lays out specifics on the fee and number of payment installments and the date and time of delivery in case of transactions of a larger value.
Who Takes the Cake Contract – People Involved
The chief parties to this contract are the Baking Company or the sole proprietor i.e., Baker and the customer, or client who is willing to purchase a cake or place an order with the former. While it is uncommon for an attorney to be involved while negotiating a contract, in the case of transactions of an atypical nature, the services of a sound lawyer can be employed while agreeing to the terms of this contract.
Purpose of a Cake Contract – Why You Need It
The purpose of this Contract is to clearly outline and define the terms of an order placed by the customer with the Baker. It helps in facilitating smooth payments and the nature of rework that is agreed to be done by the baking company in one single transaction. Since cake making is a business, a formal Cake Agreement helps baking companies stay protected from last-minute order cancellations. The signed document also helps them keep track of orders and clients in a structured and professional manner. Similarly, the agreement protects the customer against delays and any unknown or hidden charges.
Contents of a Cake Contract– Inclusions
The contents of this contract depend upon the nature, size, and a number of order deliveries included in one transaction. However, in general, and the bare minimum, a written contract should stipulate the following:
- Name and Contact Details of the Baker and the Client
- Event details such as the occasion for which the order is placed in addition to supplementary information on the venue, etc.
- Detailed Description of the Cake Design, including the following:
- Cake Flavor
- Type of Filling
- Type of Icing
- Number or Tier(s)
- The shape of Tier(s) and Other Design Specifications
- Type and Quantity of Toppings
- Type of Decorations used – Edible and Non-Edible
- Pricing and Fees, including the following:
- Cost of the Cake per slice
- Delivery and Set up Fees
- Rental Fee for cake stands, props and display items used, if any
- Deposit Amount
- Any other fees and charges, as applicable
- Payment Terms including the schedule of payment, number of installments, % of the deposit, and the advance amount required. This should also cover terms on cancellation fees, late charges, etc.
- Mode of Payments that you accept i.e., PayPal, credit or debit cards, cheque and/or cash
- Liability Disclaimers, Intellectual Property and Miscellaneous Terms as deemed applicable
The contents of this contract should be signed by both parties prior to the execution/completion of the order.
How to Draft a Cake Contract – Points to Consider While Preparing the Agreement
Cake Making is a serious business and one that requires to be supported by the necessary legal documentation. When preparing this contract, make sure to detail out important information about the order in a clear and concise manner. It may be helpful to include the draft of the cake drawing (as signed off by the client during discussions) in the appendix of the agreement.
Similarly, it is also wise to disarm yourself from any liabilities such as damages caused to the cake after you have assembled it, or any food allergies caused by its consumption that you otherwise cannot be accountable for. Lay down payment terms, refund and cancellation policies, and other crucial information in as much detail as possible to avoid disputes at a later stage. Lastly, make sure that the terms of the Contract are not lopsided and that you parse through it in detail before signing on it.
Cake Contracts are fairly simple in nature and do not call for lengthy negotiations, However, in case there are deviations to the standard terms agreed with the client, it is important to spell them out in the written contract carefully. If the transaction size is big or the client can potentially bring repeat business, you may consider relaxing some of the stringent terms of the order or introduce a discount model within the pricing clause of the Cake Contract.
Benefits or Drawbacks of a Cake Contract
A well-defined contract can be beneficial for both parties. The written contract protects the baker from any last-minute cancellations or unsolicited refund requests. It also entails timely payments and removes the scope for free additions or any uncalled-for liability/damage claims. Similarly, the customer is benefited from a documented draft of what was agreed to and ensures timely delivery.
While this contract has several benefits, it is often perceived as a hindrance to the cake making business. A signed contract makes it impossible to account for last-minute alterations such as a change in the delivery location and addition/payment for extra decorations or supplementary items to the order as may be common in the cake-making process. This causes inflexibility for both parties, which may also result in the loss of business in some cases.
What Happens in Case of Violation
A Cake Contract usually spells all the terms of the order in detail. This makes it easy to resolve disputes or violations of the agreement. In case of a default in payment or a deviation from the terms of the contract, either party can call for mutual settlement or file a suit in a court of law as applicable. Generally, smaller claims regarding refunds or cancellations are mutually settled by the parties to the contract without resorting to legal remedies.
A Cake Contract is a written contract between the baker or baking company and the client. It lays down the terms of the order, such as details of the cake structure; its pricing, the date, and venue of delivery, and so on.
The contract also includes conditions regarding late payments, cancellations, and refunds and includes a general disclaimer regarding the baker’s non-liability under certain circumstances. It is important to obtain the customer’s signature to the contract to acknowledge their understanding of the agreement and its terms. It is also advisable to record or archive the contract safely for reference in case of any future disputes or claims.