Who's Wedding Cake Serving Chart Do You Use?

Business By littlecake Updated 8 Apr 2008 , 9:44pm by mommicakes

alicegop Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 4:34pm
post #31 of 63

How about if we charge by volume instead of by serving icon_smile.gif

Hmmm, more updates to my matrix. I just keep finding ways to add to it! I'm such an excel nerd... is it wrong that I get excited about that? icon_lol.gif

aligotmatt Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 4:52pm
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by dodibug

Do you guys have a problem when the cake is being served by the reception site as far as how it should be served if you are using earlene's method? The wedding cake I did last year was served by the staff they automatically used the wilton method for serving(which I think most sites do). I'm just wondering if they would use a different method if you told them to.

Of course it's different if a family member/friend would be serving since the bride would have more control over that (one would hope anyway! icon_lol.gif )




I include the cake serving chart with the cake and place it so the person who is serving it has it. I also give the bride a copy of the serving she chooses and ask that she passes it on to whomever will be serving the cake (in case they lose or can't find the copy I bring with the cake). If someone chose earlene's method withthe bigger pieces and the reception hall served it wilton style there would be plenty of extra cake if people wanted more.

dodibug Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 7:46pm
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by arosstx

I just had a bride email me back that instead of my 3 tiered cake to feed 75 for $150 (and that's delivered, set up, etc.), she decided to go w/ a $90 cake (supposed to feed 75 also) from someone else....I hope she gets what she pays for!




And I'm sure she will! I had a bride do this to me. A friend is a caterer and recommended me to do the wedding cake but I was too expensive so she saved like $80 or $90 and got a crappy cake that wasn't even stacked the way she requested and a grooms cake that looked like a 3 year old did it! You get what you pay for!icon_twisted.gif

thanks,aligotmatt!

arosstx Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 8:08pm
post #34 of 63

Ha ha, thanks dodi!! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 8:31pm
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmdoxie

.I'm with mpc on this one because you have to take into account that there ist a tired cake that will serve exactly 100 people. For example, using Earlene's chart, you have to ask the bride if she wants a cake that serves 95 or a cake that serves 115. One will never have an exact number of servings.




I never get that precise in servings. If two charts showed 95 or 115, I'd charge the bride for 100. It's our company philosophy to "keep it simple" for the bride and $10 or $15 out of $225 (a la carte pricing) or out of $550 (package pricing) isn't going to make or break me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjt

.....Another pricing question...I know that the top layer isn't counted as "servings", but do you charge for this? Or is it a "gift"?
TIA




I don't charge for the top tier and I don't count it as part of the servings. I have a survey on my website and it's running WAY in favor of "yes, we WILL save the top tier for our anniversary". I'd feel pretty tacky presenting a bride with a wedding cake and the instructions of "I made your cake to serve 100, just like you ordered, but that means you'll have to cut the top tier to serve everyone, so you won't be able to save it for your first anniversary like tradition dictates. See ya!"

The top tier costs me less than $4 in materials. If I can't throw that in for them, then I should stop pretending to be a businesswoman until I can figure out profitable pricing to cover the four bucks.

Janette Posted 26 Mar 2007 , 11:44pm
post #36 of 63

Wilton is too small
Earlene's is too big
Is there a just right?

Sugarbean Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 12:02am
post #37 of 63

I use an in between Wilton/ Earlene's..

icon_smile.gif

Busia77 Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 12:03am
post #38 of 63

[quote="aligotmatt"]I made the serving sizes out of some cardstock, the wilton size and earlene's size.quote]

Question on this- both Wilton and Earlene's charts say that the serving size is 1x2x4, don't they? I always assumed it was the order they were cut that made the difference in servings (Wilton's diagram says to cut in a circle from the outside in, Earlene's shows to cut in rows).

I like the idea of doing the cardstock, or as someone else mentioned, having dh cut a block of wood and painting it!

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 12:45am
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busia77

.....(Wilton's diagram says to cut in a circle from the outside in, Earlene's shows to cut in rows).




I ALWAYS cut my wedding cakes in rows. Here's my thinking: First, no one can cut a perfect circle. Second, when I'm standing behind the table and trying to cut a 16" cake, how am I suppose to reach around the front of the table and cake and cut those pieces on the other side? Cutting in rows is cleaner, neater and the pieces come out more uniform. *IF* I have a D&R (Drop & Run) cake, it's WAY easier to explain the row cutting method than that circle method.

If anyone wants to see how the row method is done, click on my photos, go to page 3 and view the last 6 pics.

My family laughs at me when I say, "You can cut it the circle method ..... or you can cut it right." icon_razz.gif

Busia77 Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 1:06am
post #40 of 63

Those step by step photos are great! Can I ask where you got that comb from? I would love to get one!

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 1:09am
post #41 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Busia77

Those step by step photos are great! Can I ask where you got that comb from? I would love to get one!




eBay! http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Bakelite-Handled-Angel-Food-Cake-Comb-1940s_W0QQitemZ160099608605QQcategoryZ983QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem Here's one that's listed now.

I had a wedding a couple of years ago and the comb was stolen from the cake table. I had to go to ebay and get another one right away. THere is no way I can cut a cake without one anymore! I now have 3 on hand .... just in case!

alicegop Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 1:11am
post #42 of 63

First, I don't understand the wilton party slices guide.
http://www.wilton.com/cake/cakeprep/baking/times/party_2inch.cfm

If I figure out the surface area the wedding servings works out perfectly. However, if I apply the larger slice to how many larger slices you can get out of the cake, then my numbers doesn't match Wilton's party slices. Mathematically you can't have 1.5x2 inch party slices and have that many servings, and if you have 2x2 party slices then you have a lot less slices!

Anywhoo... that being said, I adjusted my matrix so that if you want to enter a different sized cake slice it figures out the adjusted servings mathematically instead of by the wilton party guide.

Anyway if you want it, I have attached it. You go to the assumptions tab and enter in your own sized slices. The plus is that it still figures out your base price based on the wilton sizes so you get paid the same for a 10 inch cake regardless of the size of the slices. The price per slice will be higher if you have less slices, but a $50 cake is a $50 cake.

Melvira Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 2:19am
post #43 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I'd feel pretty tacky presenting a bride with a wedding cake and the instructions of "I made your cake to serve 100, just like you ordered, but that means you'll have to cut the top tier to serve everyone, so you won't be able to save it for your first anniversary like tradition dictates. See ya!"

The top tier costs me less than $4 in materials. If I can't throw that in for them, then I should stop pretending to be a businesswoman until I can figure out profitable pricing to cover the four bucks.




It's not tacky if the bride says to you, "We do not intend to freeze the top layer. We will be serving it." and there is an understanding from the time you are sitting at the table together planning the cake that the number of servings stated includes the top tier. I do consider myself to be a businesswoman, perhaps a competent one... although that remains to be seen, but like I said, I give them a free 'replica' of their top tier for their first anniversary. That way it's fresh and delicious, not 12 month old dried out cake. Many brides never even get a piece of cake at the wedding with all that is going on, I want to be sure they get the best piece they can when they finally get around to eating it.

Busia77 Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 2:26am
post #44 of 63

I always ask my brides if they want to save or serve their top tier. Over half of them are serving it. I include it free if there are at least 100 servings.

I like the idea of giving a free anniversary cake, but I always worry that I won't be able to accomodate them if I'm booked already. So if it's over 100 servings, it's free whether they are saving or serving it.

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 2:28am
post #45 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

It's not tacky if the bride says to you, "We do not intend to freeze the top layer. We will be serving it." and there is an understanding from the time you are sitting at the table together planning the cake that the number of servings stated includes the top tier. I do consider myself to be a businesswoman, perhaps a competent one... although that remains to be seen, but like I said, I give them a free 'replica' of their top tier for their first anniversary. That way it's fresh and delicious, not 12 month old dried out cake. Many brides never even get a piece of cake at the wedding with all that is going on, I want to be sure they get the best piece they can when they finally get around to eating it.




Melvira, you are correct. If they tell you up front they don't intend to freeze it. I've only had a couple in the last 2 years tell me that so that's why I went the direction of not counting it.

I actually wish this was one tradition that WOULD go away. When we are talking and I explain how to box/wrap/freeze the top tier, I always tell them, "And remember that when you're eating it, you ARE eating cake that is A YEAR OLD!!!!" icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Melvira Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 2:32am
post #46 of 63

Haha Debi... I know exactly what you mean! I have only had one bride freeze hers and eat it a year later, and what she told me was actually quite a compliment... she said, "It really wasn't bad... it was just a bit more dry, like you would get at any other bakery." icon_lol.gif After a year of freezer burn, my cake still tastes as good as most places fresh stuff! Awesome!

littlecake Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 2:44am
post #47 of 63

i usually do them an extra top tier (8 inch) for 15 bucks....decorated the same as the cake.

almost every one orders it.

i do the 8 inch , because for me its like 10 times easier to deal with than that tiny lil 6 inch.

``````````````````````````````

a brides sister called me franticly a couple months ago..

she said.."you did the "so and so" wedding last year...do you remember what the cake looked like?"


i told her i didn't...i do so many...

she goes" if i bring you the picture, can you make another top tier?"

i go sure, what happened?

long pause.........

i go, "you ate her top tier didn't you, you bad girl!?!"

she goes .."yeah, she left it at our house in the freezer, and we got hungry for cake....then we decided...ahhh...they prolly aint gonna stay together a year...and we gobbled it up!"

well thier anniversary is in 2 days!

she brought me a picture,i made it...i bet those people thought that was the freshest year old cake ever!

kinda sounds like a seinfeld episode!

wjhays Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 3:04am
post #48 of 63

I was just kind of reading through what you all have written about the serving sizes and I just wanted to post this link that I have found from Country Kitchen Sweet Art, Inc. This serving chart is in between Earlene's and Wilton's. I hope maybe this may help you guys out some what.
www.countrykitchensa.com/wedding/cakechart.aspx

tmdoxie Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 3:32am
post #49 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi


I never get that precise in servings. If two charts showed 95 or 115, I'd charge the bride for 100. It's our company philosophy to "keep it simple" for the bride and $10 or $15 out of $225 (a la carte pricing) or out of $550 (package pricing) isn't going to make or break me.





The goal is to get them to purchase a cake that serves more, right? I kinda like the idea of keeping it simple, but 10 or 15 doesnt hurt you because you sell your cake as part of a package.

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 4:17am
post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmdoxie

The goal is to get them to purchase a cake that serves more, right? ......




Actually, no, my goal is not to get them to buy more. There are too many wedding vendors out there trying to get them to overspend and I don't want to be one of them.

I actually spend quite a bit of time to determine their true expected headcount and figuring out how to reduce their costs and show them how NOT to overspend. A difference of just 25 people can save them over $600 with me on their cake and catering. The general Rule of Thumb I use is my 60% Rule .... total invite list x 60% will be the actual show-rate, with a couple of exceptions ..... the biggest one is if the bride and/or groom is active military, there will be a higher show rate.

It's a win/win for both of us though. When brides are shown how to spend their money wisely, they find they can afford that little extra. When I show them how they an save four or five hundred dollars here and there, they come to the realization that they can splurge on the chocolate fountain or something that they didn't think they could afford.

When they walk away from me with more food/cake than they expected and still have money left in their pocket, then that's when I consider myself successful. (The real reward is they tell everyone how great I am because I not only didn't try to take advantage of them, but I actually saved them money! party.gif )

(Besides, I'm basically a lazy person! If they don't really need food for 200, please don't make me do the work for 200, when only 150 will really be there! shhh.gif )

ladyonzlake Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 4:44am
post #51 of 63

I use the Wilton Party serving size chart. I figure it's in between Earlene's and Wilton's wedding serving size. I do include the top tier in my price but I also inlcude a fresh 1 year anniversary cake. I tell the bride to keep the top tier for after the wedding (does the bride ever really get to have a peice of cake other than the one the bride and groom share?) so that she and the groom can enjoy their cake at their leisure knowing that they'll have a fresh 1 year anniversary cake. When I quote her a price I quote the price based on the entire cake and then I let her know how many "guest" servings there are.
Jacqui

indydebi Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 4:52am
post #52 of 63

This fresh anniversary idea is sounding better and better to me.....not only for the fresh taste aspect but a great marketing tool that keeps my name in their head for at least a year. I'm basically throwing it in for free so what difference does it make if I throw it in now or a year from now on their anniversary? party.gif

We re-do our pricing and packages every Sept ..... I think I'm filing this idea away for future reference! thumbs_up.gif

VACakelady Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 5:48am
post #53 of 63

I did an average between Wilton's and Earlene's charts and use that when I figure servings for a wedding cake. If I'm giving serving figures for any other cake, I usually use Earlene's. I was wondering if anyone has ever ordered the "complete" chart from Earlene that she charges something like $10 for? I wanted to know if it was worth getting or if the info on the website is enough.

When it comes to the top tier for wedding cakes, most of my brides say that they will save it. I charge a flat rate for that tier so that I still make money for my work, but they aren't paying per serving for it.

Janette Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 3:40pm
post #54 of 63

wthaygs, you are my hero, thanks

slingmama Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 7:17pm
post #55 of 63

I haven't done but a few wedding cakes, but I always ask if the cake is the only food or will there be a buffet ect. I find that with a buffet, there isn't a need for a huge piece of cake and the Wilton chart works fine. If the cake is the only food, I would go with Earlenes.

wjhays Posted 27 Mar 2007 , 7:42pm
post #56 of 63

No problem Janette, I just know that this site has been so helpful to me and I hope that if I can help I will.

CarolAnn Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 5:36am
post #57 of 63

May be a dumb question, and maybe I just missed something but the chart from Country Kitchen doesn't state the size of their servings. I love one chart with pan size, servings, batter needed, icing, temp and time though. But what size are they working with??

CambriasCakes Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 7:00am
post #58 of 63

I still, for the life of me, cannot figure out how anyone can get 16 servings out of a 6" cake!?!??! I've never been able to get anywhere near that amount.....can someone please explain??

Erdica Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 1:14pm
post #59 of 63

I also do the fresh layer. I leave it up to the bride and groom to decide if they want a fresh layer or if they want to freeze the top layer. No difference in price. Where I am at, I don't think any baker does NOT offer the fresh layer. It's very common around here.

As far as the serving prices, I always went with the Wilton chart. I assumed that most caterers were trained using the Wilton charts. Maybe Indydebi could talk more on that part of the business. There is a local baker here who claims to get 16 servings out of 6" cake. And close to 50 -60 servings out of a 6" and 8" tier. I have no idea where that comes from. That cake would be so small on my plate, I don't know that I'd even know there was cake!

WendyVA Posted 8 Apr 2008 , 2:01pm
post #60 of 63

I use Wilton's chart. 1" x 2" x 4" is the industry standard and that is what size the caterers are going to cut so that is what I use to estimate their servings per cake. It's the least confusing. If I estimate for larger servings and the caterer cuts standard servings there will be a ton of cake left over and the customer will be mad that I talked them into buying too much - they won't understand that it was free. They will see that they should have bought a smaller cake which would have cost less. Which is true - can't argue with that.

And as a business person I was paid less for this cake (because I estimated less servings) which cost me more (because it was larger) plus the customer got annoyed with me for selling them too much. I lose 3 times.

1x2x4 is actually a good size piece. For my tastings I offer 1x1x2 and most people think that is a big piece - the wedding cake slice is 4 times that size.

On your free servings topic - How do you all give a free top tier when different sizes are used? I use a 5" or 6" round top tier or a 4" or 6" square. So it's not really fair to give one person 8 free servings and another person 18 free servings when their total servings is similar. How do you work that? I was thinking of just giving everyone 10 servings free (over 125 servings or so).

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