Price Per Cake Or Per Serving???

Decorating By JenWhitlock Updated 8 May 2013 , 3:39am by klan30

JenWhitlock Posted 24 Jun 2007 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 23

I know, I know, another pricing post.
but I'm new and struggling with pricing.
I have poured over as many serving size charts as I could find, and I've come to the conclusion that it's confusing.
And I've looked at a lot of pricing posts...

so for my party cakes I feel like it would be better to price per cake
(i.e. $40 for a 8x4" round - which is about $2.00/per serving, assuming 20 servings)
it seems like everyone prices per serving, but there seem to be so many different serving sizes that this doesn't always seem consistent.

can you folks advise me on the advantages/disadvanges of pricing based on the cake versus pricing per serving?

thank you all so much!

22 replies
2508s42 Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 1:30am
post #2 of 23

I think you need to decide how many servings you would get out of an 8 round. I PERSONALLY can't get 20. I understand that wilton recommends that, and it probably why americans have weight issues, but I think I can only get about 15 servings. So that would be $30.

Also, I START at 2 a serving depending on what the cake is like. If they want a lot of super detail, it will cost more. Large gp flowers are 2 each, medium 1.5 each and small 1 each. They are time consuming.

Fondant people are $5 (again, the time)

Fillings are extra and .25 a serving for filling.

Fondant is $1 a serving.

So, for a basic no frills, simple bc icing cake that is 8 round, I would charge $30. Add filling, 33.75, add anything else...it goes up. Does that make sense?

Everyone does something different that works for them. I finally had to decide on what works for me and would be paid in my area. I am still more expensive than walmart, but they don't do what I do.

Good luck.

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 1:57am
post #3 of 23

If you also do wedding cakes, you need to be careful on how you price "per cake".

Example: If you determined pricing to be:

6" cake = $20
10" cake = $50
14" cake = $80
Total: $150


6" cake = serves 12 x $2 = $24
10" cake = serves 38 x $2 = $76
14" cake = serves 78 x $2 = $156
Total: $250 (rounded)

This is the set-up I use for wedding cake for 100 guests (6" cake not counted in number of servings). What you don't want to do is establish a price list for party cakes and a price list for wedding cakes that get your customers questioning why they are getting "screwed" on the wedding cake .... the magazine and website already have them brainwashed about using "the 'W' word" when ordering anything for a wedding anyway (can we say "stephie stewart"?) You will end up training your customers to tell you it's a "party" cake and they will want the $150 price instead of the $250 price .... you'll do the same work for 60% of the price.

Just be sure the pricing is comparable.

That's why my philosophy is: I use the Wilton chart to determine # of servings. They are welcome to cut it any size they want, but if they decide to cut it bigger and need more cake, then they will have to order and pay for more cake. All restaurants do it ... when you order a meal, the serving size is pre-determined. If you think it's too small, then you just order more and pay for it.

yellobutterfly Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 2:15am
post #4 of 23

thanks for the info indydeb, how do you do your pricing? I mean do you just have a flat fee period, not differentiating (spelling?lol) between wedding vs. party and use the wilton serving chart as mentioned? Or do you use the $150 vs. $250 and just not let the bride know that there is a pricing difference? thanks!

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 2:27am
post #5 of 23

Yes, I have flat rates. It makes no difference to me if you serve it at a wedding, an anniversary or a birthday. It's the same work, the same cake, the same costs to me to make it.

I have sheet cake pricing ($1.50 per serving) and non-sheet cake pricing ($2.50/serving). Non-sheet cake can cover weddings, 2-layer birthdays, shaped, etc.

(THe $2.50 rate is going up on our next pricing review this fall.)

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 2:28am
post #6 of 23

Yes, I have flat rates. It makes no difference to me if you serve it at a wedding, an anniversary or a birthday. It's the same work, the same cake, the same costs to me to make it.

I have sheet cake pricing ($1.50 per serving) and non-sheet cake pricing ($2.50/serving). Non-sheet cake can cover weddings, 2-layer birthdays, shaped, etc.

(THe $2.50 rate is going up on our next pricing review this fall.)

yellobutterfly Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 1:46pm
post #7 of 23

That makes sense. So does your $2.50 price also apply to say an 8" round just iced w/ buttercream (nothing frilly)? Or would that fall into the sheet category because it's not stacked/doweled and nothing fancy? Also, where do you start your fondant pricing at? Sorry to bug you, just trying to see how everyone else does it - I am definately undercharging and want to re-structure my pricing!

2508s42 Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 1:51pm
post #8 of 23

so indydeb, are you charging for gp flowers and stuff or is that still included in the flat rate? What if you had an intricate lace pattern over the top of the cake that is going to take hours and hours to do? This is the problem with pricing... there are so many different ways to do it, and no one right way!

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 2:43pm
post #9 of 23

Anything that is not a sheet cake is $2.50/serving. I do BC only. I do not charge for design elements such as lace, basketweave, etc. (I actually prefer doing baskeweave because it is really quick and easier to do a cake like this). I do not charge "per flower". The only design that took a long time that made me think "I might have to charge extra for this" was my Hand-Cramp-Dots cake, but then I figured to take the Aleve BEFORE I started decorating and it was no big deal .... flew thru it.

I'm the odd man out on this issue, I know. If I did fondant and gumpaste, I would charge extra for that. But I personally hate a pricing structure that sells me the car, but if I want the keys and a windshield, then I have to pay extra. No nickel and diming, please. One price. Period. We just want to keep it simple.

srod911 Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 3:05pm
post #10 of 23

indydeb

you have such a no-nonsense approach...I wanna be you when I grow up! That is if I ever decide to grow up icon_rolleyes.gif

JenWhitlock Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 3:27pm
post #11 of 23

thank you!
especially indydebi!
so you have a flat rate of $2.50/serv for all cakes, based on the Wilton chart
but is that the Wilton wedding servings or the party servings?

I want to figure out one rate and make it understandable and clear.
I hate all the ala carte pricing too, but I want to seem fair to those not wanting all the time consuming flowers etc.

so far my friends that I have done cakes for have no idea how many servings in a particular cake and they have no idea how to cut cakes to get the number of servings.
does anybody explain to people how to cut cakes for parties?

thanks again, I don't know what I'd do with out this site!! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 3:37pm
post #12 of 23

I use the wedding chart since my biz is 99% weddings.

An observation: At my granddaughter's 5th birthday, I paid particular attention to how the guests (kids and adults) reacted to the way I cut the cake .... which was the wedding method, as shown on my website, http://cateritsimple.com/_wsn/page19.html . It was a cookout party - hamburgers, hot dogs, side dishes, etc. Daughter also had ice cream. The size of the cake was perfect. Just big enough for a 4-5 year old kid. The adults were fine with it, also. As I was cutting adult pieces, I was even asking them, "Is that size ok? Larger? Smaller?" Everyone was ok with it.

These observations just reaffirms that the cake is not a meal ... it's a dessert.

JenWhitlock Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 5:16pm
post #13 of 23

awesome!
thank you!
may I reference your cutting instructions on my webpage?

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 5:51pm
post #14 of 23

You may reference it, bookmark it, link it .... whatever you need. If I didn't want to share it, I woudln't have posted it. thumbs_up.gif

yellobutterfly Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 6:07pm
post #15 of 23

indydeb - for the sheet cakes, do you do those standard as 1 layer or 2? I do standard 1 layer if they want 2, I charge for the extra cost...just wondering. thx!

indydebi Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 6:33pm
post #16 of 23

Standard is one layer. If they want 2-layer, they would need to order it as such. However, since I price per serving, and a 2-layer is more servings, then it is automatically a higher cost.

Here's the thread on how I figure servings. Then I just do the math ....the sheet cake price times number of servings .... to come up with the price.

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-302303-feeding.html+80

msmeg Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 7:56pm
post #17 of 23

I only price per serving for wedding cakes and it can vary depending on the work in that cake... my wedding cakes are MUCH more work than my party cakes

I have a set price for an 8 inch round and will tell them about how many it will serve.. not if they want an over the top cake it will be extra

a multi teir cake would be the same party or wedding and if they are serving party servings then they need a bigger cake. but I would still price it as usual.

I actually use a few serving charts and give them a range of how many servings depending on who cuts it so they can plan on the right amount of cake. and I use just one chart to set my rate.

Doug Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 9:19pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

These observations just reaffirms that the cake is not a meal ... it's a dessert.




maybe to you and yours -- but to me and mine

life's short -- dessert first and cake is the perfect meal!

2508s42 Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 10:35pm
post #19 of 23

Doug, how do you price?

Doug Posted 25 Jun 2007 , 11:57pm
post #20 of 23

by serving across the board w/ different levels for BC vs Fondant.

extra special custom work gets a surcharge.

leily Posted 26 Jun 2007 , 12:05am
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

by serving across the board w/ different levels for BC vs Fondant.

extra special custom work gets a surcharge.




What size serving do you use for pricing? is it the same size no matter what occasion?'

cakesbykatie Posted 8 May 2013 , 1:31am
post #22 of 23

Thanks for all of the posts about pricing.  I'm thirteen and just getting started making cakes.  The picture shown is my first cake job (bottom tier 12", top 10").  I actually made the cake as a gift to my friend.  Since I made this cake, though, I have had three people want me to make cakes for different events for them.  I just don't know how to price them.  Reading your posts have really helped me understand a little bit more about pricing.  Thanks!

klan30 Posted 8 May 2013 , 3:39am
post #23 of 23

I use the wilton wedding serving chart and price all my cakes @ a per/serving price.  That is my base/minimum price, then I add a pre-determined price for all the extras. (flowers, stripes, figures etc)

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%