Ironbaker Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:42pm
post #1 of

This is a good one..

A woman I volunteer with told me that her company does monthly birthdays and always gets a cake. The woman they were using is moving and they'll be needing someone new. She has ordered from me before and talked me up to the secretary of the company.

I call the secretary to get the informations and see what they're looking for on a monthly basis. They always order a double layer cake, half chocolate and half white that will feed 100 people. She was trying her best to explain to me how big it was (the ones they received from the woman who was moving) and from what it sounds like, they were given a full sheet and a half sheet. No box fit it, the woman would construct her own from cardboard.

So we have a double layer, double flavored, very large cake that will feed 100 people. Their workplace is about 20-25mins. from me depending on traffic. I make most of my cakes from scratch. Are you adding this all up? lol

She tells me that they were hoping that they could get the same price or about the same price that they were receiving from the former baker.......


$62.50 icon_surprised.gif

Am I crazy? It took everything in me to not make my gaping mouth an actual sound that she'd hear over the phone. I politely told her that I would go over some things (pan sizes, etc.) and get back with her to let her know if I'd be able to do this.

Ha! The ingredients and packaging alone would be about half of this...and much more if you want to throw in the time and gas. I was wondering if it would be worth it in the long run - potential deals from employees there, etc. But the more I think about it, it's soooo not worth it. I'd hardly be making a profit and it will be more time than it's worth. She'd be hard pressed to find ANYONE doing a cake that large for that amount.

The woman who has been doing them is either just saying she's "moving" to get out of this crap deal or her cakes aren't anything to write home about.

I'm willing to bet she's a good friend of someone there, giving them a discount. I'll have to ask my contact when I see her what the real deal is...

24 replies
edcjenv Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:47pm
post #2 of

Ouch...I don't really think it would be worth the time. But you can always call her back and offer her a price. What's the worst she can say...no? I would even explain to her that for the cost of ingredients/time/and travel expenses, you'd be at a lost...she might understand. **disclaimer** she may not understand...in which case don't get mad at me icon_smile.gif LOL!

diane Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:47pm
post #3 of

IS SHE CRAZY!!! icon_eek.gif where has she been getting her cakes, at a 5 and dime store. that price is ridiculous. icon_confused.gif

MrsMissey Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:47pm
post #4 of

$62.50 icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif ..you gotta' be kidding!!! I think I would say "thanks, but no thanks"! I would offer make it for around $100 and use box mixes..but that is just my opinion, of course! I too, would be curious as to the real reason the "other" person will no longer be doing the cakes.

Ironbaker Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:57pm
post #5 of

edcjenv, lol...I won't come after you. I was thinking the same, I'm just going to let her know that it's not feasible for me to do it at that price. The minimum would definitely be around $100. If she wants something around that price range, it would be a smaller cake than what she's asking for.

However, I won't call until Monday, after I've seen and talked to my friend tomorrow.

I've asked a few of my friends who don't know the first thing about decorating/baking what they'd expect to pay and not one person said anything under $80.

5 and dime is right! lol And MrsMissey, I would be using box cakes if I did it but even still, as well all know, there are ingredients to buy with those.

I didn't even get to ask about decorating. I'd s**t a brick if they expected anything beyond borders. icon_razz.gif

littlebubbieschocolates Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 8:59pm
post #6 of

i do the cakes at my hubbies work. they have to feed 200 ppl. they store that they used to buy from would charge 80 plus tax.

im getting paid 75. and i do 2 cakes a month. but this month im doing 4 bc of baby shower and the 4th

MrsMissey Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 9:02pm
post #7 of

The reason I said "box mixes" was more about "time" not ingredients!

peacockplace Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 9:15pm
post #8 of

Maybe it's just me, but a full sheet and a half sheet will feed way more than 100 people. Maybe it was a miscommunication? I charge $65 for a full sheet.

aunt-judy Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 9:24pm
post #9 of

icon_surprised.gif holy-crapola! only for charity would i do a cake for less than $1 per serving. it's easier for bakeries/grocery stores to charge next to nothing, since they use ingredients purchased at wholesale and generally pay their bakers and decorators a pittance, and most don't deliver!.

it's important to consider all your costs when pricing a cake, but edcjenv is right in that this needn't be discussed with the customer beyond saying that your costs are such-and-such amount per serving, plus whatever for extra decoration. but if you decide to make the monthly cake for this company, don't be surprised if the word-of-mouth business that you hope to generate comes to you expecting the same rock-bottom pricing.

the company isn't offering you a comprehensive benefits package in addition to this measly wage contract, are they? icon_wink.gif

Jennz818 Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 9:45pm

Ironbaker,
I was asked to give a quote for a big cake at my husbands company for a retirement party later this month. Just my costs alone...not including my time and delivery were $50. And I'm using boxed cake mixes!!!
Good luck.
Jennz

briansbaker Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 9:50pm

Ok this sounds big. If you your not sure. How about this. Make them pay you in advance for the entire year. Being there will be a birthday every month. That way it will almost be worth it. icon_confused.gif I mean you could get all the boxes made in advance. And you already have your money. You have all names and dates in advance. They can't add anything to the cakes. Make them all just simple and easy. Maybe different flavor each time. They can't add anyone once contract is signed. Just a thought.

Maybe you could say something like
"I am not sure but maybe she (the other) was getting her supplies by bulk (or she is just out of her freaking mind) icon_surprised.gif LOL Just joking. But being I don't I will have to charge more than 62.50. Actually I charge at least 1.25 per slice. (just an example) If you do a full year contract with me I am willing to go a few bucks under my "original" price. Other than that I must say I cannot do take this on.

Calejo Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 10:00pm

ok, first, at my bakery a full sheet cut into 2x2 squares will feed 96. There will always be thos who want bigger pieces (who wouldn't?), second for a bakery cake a full and a half sheet would add up to $63 at my bakery (which does not make freshly baked cakes or there own frosting). You're dang right she should pay you more. A bakery doesn't deliver either, and I don't think ours would put the two different cakes together (that large) for fear of it seperating and then it being a complaint order.

beccal Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 10:02pm

I'm going to have to agree with you, briansbaker. I would have them sign a contract for a year if you can get them to pay your price... and get the money in advance for the year. Maybe give them an ever-so-slight discount if they pay you up front like that. They are INSANE if they think they are getting that much cake for that cheap!!! icon_eek.gif

Ironbaker Posted 8 Jul 2005 , 10:23pm

Point taken, MrsMissey! thumbs_up.gif

Briansbaker, that's a good idea and I will keep it in mind. Thanks for your input.

I was also thinking the same as far as a full and a half sheet being too much for 100 people. But I asked her over and over to clarify that is what she meant and wanted. She seemed to know the sheet sizes and clearly said the cake wouldn't fit into any cake box. The woman had to have people help her bring it in in a big cardboard box.

Eh...I'll have to think about this one. Thanks everyone for your input, I can always count on getting info here. icon_smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt-judy

the company isn't offering you a comprehensive benefits package in addition to this measly wage contract, are they? icon_wink.gif




icon_lol.gif

antonia74 Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 2:48am

What kind of cake does someone expect at 63 cents per serving???!!!

She's nuts. Don't sell yourself short...you'll never make a profit on that!!

debsuewoo Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:15am

Shoot.... you need to have a serious Come to Jesus talk with that lady! If she only wants to spend $62.50 for a sheet and a half, I'd suggest she go visit her local Sam's or Costco.... she can get 1/2 sheets for $15.00 each there, and she'll get what she's paying for! I would quote her $85.00 for both, decorate only the half sheet, and she can
arrange for pick up.

Debbi

SquirrellyCakes Posted 9 Jul 2005 , 3:26am

Interesting and lots of work for $62.50. I would go with a minimum of $1 a serving regardless of where you live, I think that is more than fair. Most folks charge a $15 delivery fee too. But personally I wouldn't do it for under $100. Heck I charge $60 for a 10 inch round two layer, now mind you it is fully decorated, but still!
The thing is if you make a committment for a regular order like this, you better make sure you are happy with your price because each month when you have to make the cake, you will be resentful if you don't feel the price is fair. And, as someone else suggested, you may find yourself with a whole lot more orders at a similar price. Not worth it in the long run!
Hugs Squirrelly

stephanie214 Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 8:21pm

When I did the 16x16 square for a Church Anniversary I charged $65.00 for simple border and writing, I threw in a little extra on my own. She gives me all her business. The local bakery was charging $55.00 with simple border and no writing. She has already put in an order for the same size again for September. I figured that it only cost me about $12.00 in material.

Do you think that I should charge more or is this a fair price?

flayvurdfun Posted 10 Jul 2005 , 8:33pm

OK...now remember this is coming from someone who is not as busy as I would like to be decorating cakes, but....from experiences of my aunts, a friend here that decorates, and stories I have heard here I go..
OK...I am wondering if she can prove she only paid that much for what she got before...not I think I would be able to ask, but I have heard of people giving one price for things they want...craft projects and cakes included but only saying the amount to get things cheaper....for her to come up with such an odd price makes me think she is dabbling prices.... I agree you should not sell yourself short... come out and tell her what you would charge normally for something like this, and then maybe give her a "deal"...tell her you make everything from scratch and your skills lead to a higher price but you would be willing to give her a deal....
man the people wanting something for close to nothing!

bonnscakesAZ Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 7:00pm

That is just silly.. you can't do it. an I agree that the cake is way more than they need. What I would do is 2 11x 15 cakes which is my medium sheet.. They serve 55 each so they would be getting 110 servings total. One white and one chocolate they fit in boxes.. etc.. I start those cakes at $60 each and that is just plain with borders. If they want more than that I would up it.

peg818 Posted 11 Jul 2005 , 10:16pm

Have you thought about or can you talk to the orginal decorator. Since she is moving i don't see this as tacky. See what size she was making, and also, see how they are about paying and see if they really were only paying $60 for the cake.

Ironbaker Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 8:54pm

Well, I called her back and explained a few things. I was willing to do what she wanted for $80 at the bare minimum (and that is really cutting it). Or to do something smaller. Her response?

"OK, well thanks!" End of conversation. She didn't want to budge from that crazy price!

That cemented it for me - this is not worth it. My friend completely understands and was also shocked to hear they were paying $62.50, she had no idea. She said the former baker did know the boss or something along those lines. That explains a lot. My friend actually apologized to me and said "it's not worth your time. I wanted to help you out and your cakes are much better than what we were getting but I don't want you to sell yourself short."

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.

smileyface Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 9:04pm

That's just plain CRAZY for that lady to only want to pay $62.50!! I was at Food Lion last night "looking" around the bakery and checking out things. Their half sheets are $25. That is for plain sheets, nothing fance. So even for bare minimum they would charge $75 for a full sheet and half.

I would be REALLY tempted try to contact the lady that is moving to "chat" with her. But then again, it probably would be better to just let it alone since you won't be doing the cakes.

Better luck next time, hopefully you will get a person to deal with who will appreciate home made cakes!

traci Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 9:37pm

I would definitely think you should charge more...but you might think about a couple of things and decide if it is worth it. First of all, you might analize to see if you could get other business for doing these cakes. You might be able to do cakes for other employees for birthdays,showers and maybe even weddings. You could give out lots of business cards and have them pass it on. I used to do birthday cakes for a lady that owned a kid's party place. I gave her a good deal on basic cakes...but in return she put a book of pictures with my work for people who wanted a theme. I did get some business from it...and then eventually she went out of business. You could always do it for 2-3 months and see what happens...if you are not happy then you could stop. But I would give her a price of at least 80.00...and that would still be a great deal considering delivery. Good luck!
traci

MrsMissey Posted 12 Jul 2005 , 10:47pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

Well, I called her back and explained a few things. I was willing to do what she wanted for $80 at the bare minimum (and that is really cutting it). Or to do something smaller. Her response?

"OK, well thanks!" End of conversation. She didn't want to budge from that crazy price!

That cemented it for me - this is not worth it. My friend completely understands and was also shocked to hear they were paying $62.50, she had no idea. She said the former baker did know the boss or something along those lines. That explains a lot. My friend actually apologized to me and said "it's not worth your time. I wanted to help you out and your cakes are much better than what we were getting but I don't want you to sell yourself short."

Oh well. You win some, you lose some.




....you're right, you win some and you lose some......But, personally, I think you WON this one, in the long run! Good for you, for sticking to your guns!! thumbs_up.gif

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