A recent TikTok trend encouraging viewers to try wedding cake samples from local bakeries, whether or not they’re planning a wedding, has reportedly prompted Publix to end the practice of offering cake sample plates to customers.
As someone who works in the wedding industry, TikToker Cal (@cal_cifer_2.0) says the policy change will ultimately hurt those looking for a budget option, as the grocery store was one of the few places offering free samples to customers.
“Publix no longer gives away the wedding cake sampler plate,” she says in the video. “That’s because you all destroyed it. As someone who works in weddings and events, Publix is one of the industry’s most underrated hidden gems. Not only will they make your wedding cake—and they’re absolutely delicious and very affordable, especially compared to private bakeries and private bakeries. Something that they also do, if you’re interested in getting a wedding cake through them, is – apparently until now – they would send you home with a plate of four or five different cakes with four or five creams different and it was free. .”
She says the sample plate was an easy way for potential customers of the grocery store’s bakery to identify what flavor combination of cake and frosting they might want for their wedding, and it was unusual among bakeries to they did this for free.
“Of course, some people picked up on it, brought it up here, got millions and millions of views,” Cal says in the video. “People started raiding their Publix to get these plates even though they weren’t getting married, even though they weren’t getting a wedding cake. They effectively overloaded the system. They created a lot of free work for the people who worked at Publix, for zero profit, because once again these people would never buy a wedding cake.”
“Unsurprisingly to anyone with a brain, Publix has decided that they will no longer offer it for free,” she concludes. “That’s why we can’t have nice things.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Cal via Instagram direct message about the video, as well as Publix via email about the policy.
Some viewers remarked that the grocery store should just start selling the dishes to its customers, which the grocery chain still advertises on its website.
“Publix should just pay for them…problem solved!” one commenter wrote. “Put a good note on it.”
“They should just sell the sampler plate that I would buy,” suggested another.
“They can charge for the plate and then the cost is deducted from the final cake?” another user said. “That would still make it cheap for people getting married.”
@cal_cifer_2.0 “They don’t like free advertising??” No, they don’t like to take advantage…. #wedding #wedding #weddingseason #cake #publix ♬ original sound – Cal 2.0
Others noted that they’ve started deleting any “hacks,” “secret” options, or workarounds they see on TikTok, as it’s likely to be ruined by people taking advantage.
“By the time I see something on TikTok, I know it’s already: sold, destroyed, banned, or crowded,” one commenter wrote.
“As soon as I see a ‘hack’ or ‘secret’ I immediately throw it away because I know people are going to overdo it and destroy it,” said another.
“I think not only that, but in many places the free stuff is going to stop,” commented a third. “As I have seen ppl ruin the best things for others.”
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* First published: February 8, 2024, 11:00 a.m. CST
Brooke Sjoberg is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot. She graduated with a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020.