Will Only Be Receiving $250 For My $572 Cake

Business By missmeg Updated 22 Oct 2007 , 1:00pm by missmeg

missmeg Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 3:17pm
post #1 of 68

I just need to vent/whine about this, so bear with me.

I am providing the cake for our church's 50th anniversary next weekend. Buffet banquet at a hall. It's going to be a nice event.

When I asked the banquet committee chair over the summer, she was thrilled. She mentioned at that time that the budget was pretty tight. She did not give me an exact figure, but mentioned that the dessert portion of the budget was not alot.

Now, I am used to giving discounts to the church for my cakes. I do it as both a courtesy to them, as a donation, and to the Glory of God.

I am also looking forward to using this cake on my website as the closest thing I have ever done to a multi-tiered wedding cake. Four tiers, 3 tortes per tier, four different cake/filling flavors. First time I'll be doing colorflow, and first time I've ever made lilies and mums.

Knowing I was going to probably offer a discount after the fact, I submitted the contract for a cake to feed 202 people. Final price $572.

the chairwoman came back to me last night to inform me that they only hve $250 in the budget for the cake icon_cry.gif. She asked about options. My response is that "the cake is what it is". I can't really downsize the cake, as it needs to feed 225 people. I'm NOT going to do sheet cakes. I want something spectacular to commorate the occasion.

I'm whining more because in my head I'd started to spend that $572. The $250 is going to barely cover the cost of ingredients and supplies (had to purchase a 14" and 12" square pans...went Magic Line).

*sigh* I'm still looking forward to doing the cake. And it will give me good practice.

67 replies
crazy4sugar Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 3:21pm
post #2 of 68

Sorry to hear that. Yeah, you'll have to consider it good practice which will lead to better cakes in the future AND good exposure to 200+ potential customers.

Good luck icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 3:34pm
post #3 of 68

THey budgeted about $1 per person for cake. Woo. (she said with sarcasm!).

The information about how much was in the budget should have been exchanged during the conversation, not after the quote was submitted.

We are not used car salesmen. The phrase of "he whos mentions a price first loses" does NOT apply to our industry! I cannot plan a cake/buffet around an imaginary price. If you tell me your budget is $2000, I will not try to sell you the $4000 package. I will work to get you a menu UNDER the $2000 figure!

But people have a used-car-salesmen mentality! icon_mad.gif

vickster Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 4:29pm
post #4 of 68

Just this Sunday I did a cake for my church's youth dinner--about 90 including adults. Parents take turns providing the food, and it was our turn along with 2 other couples. It was my first three tiered cake, I used my airbrush for the first time, and I did some sugar paste music notes sprouting out of the cake. It was a 10, 8 6, which I guess serves somewhere around 75. I did it for free. I got to do whatever I wanted and it was a gift to my church. And, a lot of people saw it. Which to some extent is why I did it, but wasn't the main reason. The only thing that bugged me about the whole deal is when it came time to pay for the other food (burger meat, buns, etc.,) they held out their hand to my husband to chip in for that as well. Kind of made me mad. He said that some of the others had brought brownies and stuff. SO WHAT! I says to him. Why it peeved me off was that we said in the very beginning that we were going to take care of the dessert. That was going to be our contribution. I think hubby would have said something except he didn't realize I'd probably spent $25 or $30 on the cake stuff. Anyhoo. The lady kind of warned you up front they didn't have a big budget, so I think you need to accept that and either do some kind of sheet cake or go ahead with your plan and use it as a gift (which you could do and take a tax credit) and/or advertising. People complain a lot on this forum about prices they get for cakes, but we also tend to be a little arrogant and don't really want to do the budget cakes. We want to do the fun stuff. Last weekend I did a sheet cake for a lady that was also for a church harvest fest. I charge $1.25 per serving for sheet cakes ($36) for a 9x13. I just went ahead and did some fondant leaves and pumpkins on it and didn't charge her. I already had the fondant made up from another cake and I got to play with my airbrush on the leaves. It was fun and I don't think it ever hurts you to go "above and beyond". I agree with IndyDeb about the used car mentality. But, on the other hand, I've yet to see a website that lists flat prices for their cakes. We've set ourselves up to negotiated prices from the get go so we need to expect to negotiate.

indydebi Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 5:06pm
post #5 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by vickster

I've yet to see a website that lists flat prices for their cakes. We've set ourselves up to negotiated prices from the get go so we need to expect to negotiate.




See my website, darlin'. All prices, cake and catering, are posted loud and clear. I even created a BUdget WIzard that I send to brides so they can plug in their headcount and figure out TO THE PENNY what their reception will cost before they even call me. It weeds out those who decide they can't afford me and I dont' waste my time with window shoppers.....I spend my time ONLY with those who have pretty much already decided that I'm the one.

swick55 Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 6:54pm
post #6 of 68

I also do cakes for my church for free. Please remember when we give to God he GIVES back. I have gotten so many orders from doing those free cakes. I have definitely made my money back in orders from people that didn't even go to our church. Word of a good cake will spread like wild fire. I heard the other day through Joyce Meyers we should do things as we are doing them for God and don't expect anything back. God will reward us! Don't worry, keep up the good work! Ask the church they may let you put your business cards next to your cake. You may be surprised at how God blesses you..........

snarkybaker Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:05pm
post #7 of 68

Sorry, I have to interject here. God does not eat cake. You're not making cake for God. You're making it for an institution that has decided to have a big fancy dinner. If they wanted you to make a donation to that big fancy dinner, they should have asked for it. I get about three calls a week asking me point blank to donate this or that. I think it is dishonest to lead someone to believe they are getting a paying job, when it is really just charity work. I really don't believe God approves of tricking people.

punkin712 Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:17pm
post #8 of 68

Doing things for your church often presents a sticky situation. While I agree that it is an opportunity to give back to your house of worship and do something charitable, sometimes it just leads to disappointment and headaches.

Our church holds an annual plant and bake sale in the spring and the first year we were members, we were asked if we would like to bring something for the bake sale. I went completely overboard and baked 12 large pound cakes (in those large commercial loaf pans) and 12 dozen cookies. I had everything nicely wrapped and labeled with prices (they asked each person to price their items). Things went swimmingly and my products were a smashing success. I found out after the event that another longtime member of the church who is a hobby cake decorator said she felt like I was trying to "show her up". I disregarded the comment because that certainly wasn't the case and I hadn't even provided decorated cakes for the event.

For 3 years, I brought the same items in the same quantities at the same prices. Then one year my husband and I were helping out during the sale when the hobby cake decorator stopped by to drop off her cakes. She didn't know who I was and right in front of me picked up one of my cakes and said "$12 for this?! That's insane. Whoever priced this is crazy." I was livid. There are so many things wrong with that comment. It wasn't like I was getting any money from the sales - everything went to the church - so what does she care how I priced anything? And, considering my products were the only ones to sell out, I'd say the people buying them didn't have any issues with the pricing.

That's the last time I participated. I know I shouldn't punish the church for one person's ignorant comment, but it just made me so upset that I can't bring myself to be exposed to that again.

meancat Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:20pm
post #9 of 68

$250 for supplies?! That seems kinda high for that cake.... anyways - that sucks you will have to eat most of the cost - I would definitely down grade it though.

nickymom Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:35pm
post #10 of 68

Well I think she told you the budget for desserts wasn't going to be a lot, right? I think it's always best to find out what they can pay before you start to plan the cake. If the church can only fford $250 and you don't want to contribute to it then go simplier but if it's you that wants the cake to be extrvagant then you'll need to put your own money into it w/out complaint.

Personally, I would never charge the church for a cake UNLESS I was asked to do something out of my price range but then I would only request they pay for the ingredients alone.

newlywedws Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:29pm
post #11 of 68

I am no means "God's gift" to cake decorating icon_lol.gif however I do believe that a person should be paid fairly.

Not ONCE - have I ever had anyone pay me for any cake that I have made (though once I was reimbursed "cost")...of course I did make a bridal shower cake back at the end of July and I agreed to allow the hostess to figure what she believed to be a right amount...I pretty much have kissed it off though, b/c here it is October, and no payment yet icon_sad.gif

Having said that...I only plan on doing one more cake to bring to a church function and no more after that...my thinking is simply, that they would not hesitate to go spend $30 or so at a local grocery/club store, so if I am asked to provide a cake I should be paid.

While you may want to do an elaborate cake...I wouldn't do it, for 2 reasons:
1 - they aren't paying what it's worth
2 - a fancy cake or sheet cake is still cake, and will get eaten


If you want to do a smaller, fancier cake - do it for the pastor though

ShortcakesSweets Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:32pm
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by swick55

I also do cakes for my church for free. Please remember when we give to God he GIVES back. I have gotten so many orders from doing those free cakes. I have definitely made my money back in orders from people that didn't even go to our church. Word of a good cake will spread like wild fire. I heard the other day through Joyce Meyers we should do things as we are doing them for God and don't expect anything back. God will reward us! Don't worry, keep up the good work! Ask the church they may let you put your business cards next to your cake. You may be surprised at how God blesses you..........




Well said. I completely agree!!

ShortcakesSweets Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:42pm
post #13 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by swick55

I also do cakes for my church for free. Please remember when we give to God he GIVES back. I have gotten so many orders from doing those free cakes. I have definitely made my money back in orders from people that didn't even go to our church. Word of a good cake will spread like wild fire. I heard the other day through Joyce Meyers we should do things as we are doing them for God and don't expect anything back. God will reward us! Don't worry, keep up the good work! Ask the church they may let you put your business cards next to your cake. You may be surprised at how God blesses you..........




Well said. I completely agree!!

shortNsweet Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:35pm
post #14 of 68

I am sorry you are out the money, but I have to go on the side of charity. I have to agree with the other post that said good things will come out of this! Be it other people giving you orders or just the good that comes from GIVING. I would hope this would overtake the feelings of wishing you had gotten more money from you work for YOUR church. If this truly bothers you, then learn from this experience, and do not agree to do it again in the future...it's your choice. I do think you will feel good about yourself, and the fact that you gave to your church.

ShortcakesSweets Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:43pm
post #15 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by swick55

I also do cakes for my church for free. Please remember when we give to God he GIVES back. I have gotten so many orders from doing those free cakes. I have definitely made my money back in orders from people that didn't even go to our church. Word of a good cake will spread like wild fire. I heard the other day through Joyce Meyers we should do things as we are doing them for God and don't expect anything back. God will reward us! Don't worry, keep up the good work! Ask the church they may let you put your business cards next to your cake. You may be surprised at how God blesses you..........




Well said. I completely agree!!

Sorry, didn't mean to triple post.

fondantgrl Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:46pm
post #16 of 68

Well, just because it is for a church , it does not mean it should always be discounted or free.. God is fair, he does not want you to get cheated on for all your hard work and talent. Well, just give them $250.00 worth of cake since they cannot come up with the exact amount.. and please do not feel guilty just because it is for a church function. You are human, you have needs also. And you did not get the ingredients for free.. icon_smile.gif

I give my cakes away because I want to, and people never ask me for it. I always volunteer to make it for free even if they did not ask me
. icon_smile.gif

nickymom Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:47pm
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Sorry, I have to interject here. God does not eat cake. You're not making cake for God. You're making it for an institution that has decided to have a big fancy dinner. If they wanted you to make a donation to that big fancy dinner, they should have asked for it. I get about three calls a week asking me point blank to donate this or that. I think it is dishonest to lead someone to believe they are getting a paying job, when it is really just charity work. I really don't believe God approves of tricking people.




The way I read her post no one asked her to supply the cake. She went to them and volunteered herself & they were thrilled and the chairman told her the budget for desserts wasn't a lot so there was no trickery there. Also, Duh.. we all know God isn't going to reach down from heaven to eat cake but most people realize that when you voluteerily do anything for the church then you're suppose to do it for the glory of God! Hench the saying, "I'm doing it for God."

veronica970206 Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:48pm
post #18 of 68

This is just my opinion, but at most church bakery good sales the items are like $1 or less, but people come out of the woodworks to donate. (I know this is not just a entrance of the church bake sale, so I do know the difference) When it comes to my church, I do not charge for anything, I have done 2 tier cakes for nothing, cupcakes, pies, etc, etc , but that is just me. I think of all the good I get out of the church, who am I to place a price on flour and sugar, when I get A LOT of healing spiritually. Like I said that is just who I am, but everyone is different. I know it is A LOT of your time to do this cake to feed sooooo many people, but the reaction from everyone will be priceless. I would feel honored knowing they would be giving me the whole $250 that they have for their budget for me to do the cake. Like I said it is only my opinion and hope you are not mad by it, but good luck and have fun with it, take care, Veronica

wgoat5 Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:45pm
post #19 of 68

LOL I'm not laughing at you but I remember one time (at band camp NO just joking LOL) I was asked to make potato salad for our Church picnic. Oh I worked hard on the 2 gallons of potato salad!!! I used my mom's awesome recipe...cut up everything and was soooo proud !!! Took it to church....the lady came out of the kitchen and asked what I had brought. I said well I was asked ot bring some potato salad....she took the container of HOMEMADE HARD EARNED SWEAT AND TEARS potato salad and DUMPED It in a vat with about 20 different kinds!!!!!!!!! icon_sad.gificon_sad.gificon_sad.gif *cry* I worked hard for them to dump it in a huge vat of STORE BOUGHT potato salad LOL.....ohh I'm sorry I'm off subject...but you get the point icon_sad.gif
I'm sorry you aren't getting your money out of this but remember it will come back to you 3 fold hun icon_biggrin.gif

Have a great day and remember your great cake will be in your portfolio icon_smile.gif


Christi

debrab Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 11:02pm
post #20 of 68

Generally if I am doing something for church or even for my cousin's school fundraisers, I do not charge. She is class president this year and I am making 100 cupcakes at the end of the month for a school dance. I just think of it as my way of contributing and making a difference.

Even though you aren't getting paid the full amount, think about all the oohs and aahs you will get when you present the grand cake. I am sure it will be wonderful!

aswartzw Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 11:33pm
post #21 of 68

It's a church. Their budget is always low. Did you really expect them to have that much money budgeted for dessert? Every church I go to, it's always a potluck even for big celebrations and the church will buy a big sheetcake from the grocery store. Churches need to use the little money they have on things that will benefit the church from a God outpoint. Food is way down their list. $500 will cover the supplies for a year's worth of Sunday School equipment (at least in my church icon_lol.gif ).

I understand you want to do a magnificent cake but does it require the new pans you bought? Why can't you use what you already have? Besides, I always pay for pans out of my own pocket because the pans I will keep to use again. If you really want to do a tiered cake, then maybe a 3 tier with sheetcakes. At least, that will cut down on some of your expense. I would also not even consider labor costs and just consider it an at-cost-cake since it is for the church.

thems_my_kids Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 12:04am
post #22 of 68

Yeah, our church functions are all pot luck, including desserts. the only thing bought are drinks and chicken.

If I were you, I wouldn't do something so elaborate. Do waht you want on a smaller scale, then do a sheet cake to put in back so no one has to see it.

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 12:54am
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by fondantgrl

[b]Well, just because it is for a church , it does not mean it should always be discounted or free.. God is fair, he does not want you to get cheated on for all your hard work and talent.




"Give unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's."

katro Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:04am
post #24 of 68

I wouldn't do it........we not that fancy that is. Unless you REALLY want to for your web site and think of it as just that. i would be afraid that I would end up regreting all the work and money I put into it and not getting the reaction I wanted. If it is for a celebration for your church the focus will be on that and some people will not even notice how the cake looks.(weddings everyone notice.) It would depend on how it will be presented. Really think about why you are doing this cause your attitude will make all the diffrence.

woodthi32 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:04am
post #25 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Sorry, I have to interject here. God does not eat cake. You're not making cake for God. You're making it for an institution that has decided to have a big fancy dinner. If they wanted you to make a donation to that big fancy dinner, they should have asked for it. I get about three calls a week asking me point blank to donate this or that. I think it is dishonest to lead someone to believe they are getting a paying job, when it is really just charity work. I really don't believe God approves of tricking people.




THANK YOU!!!!!! THANK YOU!!! I was JUST about to say that exact thing. AND, trust me, if GOD did eat cake, he would have told you up front if he couldn't pay for the damn thing.

woodthi32 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:11am
post #26 of 68

I realize you are the one that inquired about the cake, BUT they are the ones who mentioned they would pay for it. In retrospect, you should have found out what their budget was, but hindsight is 20/20, and, honey, you are going to get SOOOO much exposure with that many guests. You make sure it is the most beautiful cake you have ever made and that everyone knows you made it!

moonlightschild Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:48am
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodthi32

Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

Sorry, I have to interject here. God does not eat cake. You're not making cake for God. You're making it for an institution that has decided to have a big fancy dinner. If they wanted you to make a donation to that big fancy dinner, they should have asked for it. I get about three calls a week asking me point blank to donate this or that. I think it is dishonest to lead someone to believe they are getting a paying job, when it is really just charity work. I really don't believe God approves of tricking people.



THANK YOU!!!!!! THANK YOU!!! I was JUST about to say that exact thing. AND, trust me, if GOD did eat cake, he would have told you up front if he couldn't pay for the damn thing.




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

i am sorry if it offends but i could not help it

rosiecakes Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:06am
post #28 of 68

OK so I realize we may all go to different churches but there is one thing that seems to tie them all together...feeding the masses. To church people, cake is not art, at least not art they are willing to pay for, cake is (sigh) just dessert.

I learned that the hard way when I moved to town and thought the VBS closing program would be a great place to showcase my talents and introduce myself to the new parish. So I paraded in with my meticulously decorated Noah's Ark cake to go with their theme, brought it straight to the kitchen and went to grab my camera because I didnt get a picture yet. By the time I returned (less than 5 minutes) those sweet lil church ladies had it all hacked up and on plates to serve the masses. No one saw it at all. It was several years before I did another cake for church and that was only when they asked ME and it was to be the only cake and on display. I did rather simple designs on sheet cakes and they still went wild over decorating, taste and texture.

THEY did not ask for an elaborate cake....THEY did not tell you to buy new pans and top of the line pans at that, THEY just want a yummy dessert for the congregation and They would rather give the business to a churchmember than a grocery store.

I understand you wanting to provide an elegant cake befitting of the occasion and your vision far exceeds anything "the committee" had in mind. It's easy to let our pride and creative ambitions overrun our clients requests and I think alot of us get excited about doing that REALLY GREAT cake, but you have to ask yourself who are you really doing it for? If you want or need a really big reaction to the big cake, donate your labor don't expect the church to pay for something they did not request. - they just want dessert.

Trust me when I say I'm not criticizing you and beleive me I see both sides, but sometimes it's better to not exhault ourselves but rather give the glory to God.

woodthi32 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:30am
post #29 of 68

"I learned that the hard way when I moved to town and thought the VBS closing program would be a great place to showcase my talents and introduce myself to the new parish. So I paraded in with my meticulously decorated Noah's Ark cake to go with their theme, brought it straight to the kitchen and went to grab my camera because I didnt get a picture yet. By the time I returned (less than 5 minutes) those sweet lil church ladies had it all hacked up and on plates to serve the masses. No one saw it at all. "
That has nothing to do with being a church and everything to do with those women being inconsiderate MORONS. THAT is TERRIBLE.....I can't believe you went back to church with such ignorant people. You are stronger than I am!

vickster Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:35am
post #30 of 68

Yeah, maybe they didn't really want a fancy cake. Just a cake. We kind of get our heads around cakes and think everyone wants a "looker" when a lot of people may just want an "eater".
And Indy Deb, I think you're the exception on the pricing system. I looked at website after website when I was ready to start charging for my cakes to try and figure out what would be fair pricing. Either the decorators that clearly list their prices are few and far between or my search engine just doesn't root them out. I've gotten most of my pricing ideas from these forums.

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