British baker slams online influencers seeking free cakes in exchange for 'exposure'

London cake shop owner says: 'Life's too short to work for likes'

Let them eat cake — and pay for it. 

That’s what one fed-up London-based baker has announced to social media influencers asking for free food during the pandemic, as businesses like hers struggle to bounce back from COVID-related shutdowns and profit losses.

Reshmi Bennett, a professional chef and baker, runs Anges de Sucre in London. (Courtesy of Reshmi Bennett). 

Reshmi Bennett, a professional chef and baker, runs Anges de Sucre in London. (Courtesy of Reshmi Bennett). 

Reshmi Bennett, a professional chef and baker, runs Anges de Sucre in London. The shop, known for its confections like pies, pastries and wedding cakes, posted the snarky snub on her business blog, calling on social media influencers to stop fishing for freebies. 

“We get hundreds of requests for cake in exchange of exposure. I would ‘thank you for reaching out’ but I won't, because I'm not thankful for your ‘opportunity’ to work for free. And it's also clogging up my DMs and inbox,” Bennett wrote in the post. 

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Bennett told Fox News Friday the pandemic hit her business hard, with customers asking for refunds or canceling orders with events postponed due to COVID-19. 

"Our entire summer’s order book was wiped overnight. We had cancellations pouring in and issued so many refunds that we weren’t even sure if we had a business anymore," Bennett said.

"So imagine my ire in getting freebie cake requests from nobodies with an Instagram account, offering a 'post' as payment."

A cake from Anges de Sucre bakery in London. (Courtesy of Reshmi Bennett).

A cake from Anges de Sucre bakery in London. (Courtesy of Reshmi Bennett).

The pastry guru goes on to defend her “edible works of art” in the blog post, saying her labor of love is actually expensive to produce. She also says while the exchange may result in free promotion and “likes” on Instagram, it seldom translates to actual business and often results in more people asking for free sweets. 

“Your followers literally do not care about who the cake maker is,” Bennett wrote in her post. “The few times I have been swayed into caking for free, I received more requests for free cake. I would rather you paid for the cake and didn't post or tag, than the other way round.” 

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And if her blunt blog post didn’t make it clear enough that all customers would be paying ones, Bennett created a flow chart she titled “Influencer's Guide to Free Cake," which sarcastically details how social media users with followings between 10,000 to 100,00 can request free sweets in exchange for promotion. All of the chart's possible pathways lead to answers like “DIY or go without;” “Go to the supermarket,” and “You are a parasite, no cake for you.” 

“Life’s too short to work for likes,” she wrote.

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Luckily, Bennett said, the bakery's order book has started to fill up again, with requests for smaller cakes for her customers' celebrations during the pandemic.