Wedding Servings Vs. Party Servings

Business By love2makecakes Updated 18 Mar 2008 , 5:37pm by FromScratch

love2makecakes Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:08am
post #1 of 18

So I have been trying to figure out and set up my pricing system for the last 2 hours tonight. I have my price per serving but now I have no idea what chart to follow for the number of servings for each cake size. How do you guys do it? Do you charge different for a wedding cake vs. a party cake? For example...

Party (1.5x2x4)
10"x4" Round = 24 servings x $1.50/serving = $36.00

Wedding (1x2x4)
10"x4" Round = 38 servings x $1.50/serving = $57.00

I do not want to charge more for a wedding cake because it is a wedding cake. I would like all my price per serving to be the same, I am just not sure if the above is what I should follow?

Any advice would be lovely!

17 replies
smbegg Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:18am
post #2 of 18

You have to do what you feel is best. I price off of the party size no matter what type of cake. Most people do not know that there is even a difference in size options.


kelleym Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:26am
post #3 of 18

I do not recommend having two sizes and two prices. You are setting yourself up for confusion and LOT of questions from brides about why their "wedding" cake is more expensive for smaller pieces. I have one serving size, and my price per serving varies only by whether it is a one-tiered cake ($2.00/serving) or 2+ tiers ($3.00+). That way a four-tiered birthday cake is priced the same as a four tiered wedding cake.

indydebi Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 3:27am
post #4 of 18

They can call it a wedding cake, a birthday cake, a kiss-my-butt-at-8th-and-Main cake ..... the price is the same.

I use the Wilton wedding chart. (1) you get more money for a cake. (2) 90% of my business is weddings, so it's logical.

And I don't go into a big schpeel about ".... it's a 10" round, and it's designed to serve X servings, times $XX a serving = the price". A client calls and says "I need a cake to serve 25 people. An 8" serves 24 ... a 10" serves 35. So I tell them, "You'll need a 10" round and the price is blah blah. A 10" round will serve 25-35, depending on how you cut it."

They are welcome to cut the pieces of cake any dang size they want..... they can cut a 10" cake in half if they want and serve it with 2 forks to two people ... but they are paying for the number of pieces the cake is DESIGNED to serve.

If you decide to go by party sizes, it would seem logical to me that your price per serving computation be higher than what mine would be .... since you are figuring in more cake per serving (bigger pieces = bigger per serving price) than I am.

And you're not charging more for a wedding cake "because it's a wedding cake". You're charging more because they can be more work and more time.

My wedding cakes are delivered .... sheet cakes are not. My wedding cakes have the cost of a free sampling .... birthday cakes do not. Wedding cakes require special engineering and construction knowledge and expertise....a single 2-layer cake does not.

"So, Debi....if you have all of these differences, then why are 10" round cakes the same price?" Good question, Grasshopper! icon_biggrin.gif Because I am not going to put myself in the position of explaining to a client why her 10" round wedding cake for a reception for 25 cost more than her neighbor's 10" round birthday cake for a party for 25.

By pricing them both the same, I have the option of discounting if the mood hits me. LIke, for example, I had a customer order a 10" round cake and they lived about a 70-minute drive away .... almost 1.5 hours round trip to pick up a cake. I discounted them $30 since they were picking it up instead of having it delivered. They happily paid me $75 for a 10" round cake that they drove 90 minutes to get.

The key to consistent pricing is to pick a chart and stick with it. YOu are using the chart to determine pricing, not necessarily to determine number of serving, even tho' these two numbers coincidentally happen to be pretty close to the same.

CakeDiva73 Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 4:18am
post #5 of 18

Well cr*p Debi....just when I think I have it all figured out. I am going to lose my mind.

CakeDiva73 Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 4:18am
post #6 of 18


love2makecakes Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 4:30am
post #7 of 18

Sooooooo.... Long!!!!!! Sorry!

Thanks for the input. However, I think I am even more confused then before!

I am all for using one chart and sticking with it! I am also all for using one price no matter the type of cake.

The part that confuses me is if I charge $1.50/serving (and stick to that as a pricing guide) maybe add for fondant or gum paste decorations etc. The wilton wedding chart says that an 8" square cake makes 32 servings, so that would mean that I charge $1.50/serving = $48 (Sorry to revert back to the ... x ... = ..., but that is the only way I can figure to keep it consistant). Anyway, it just seems to me that I know my customers would look at a 8" square cake (not very big mind you) and say wow! Not much for $48+tax huh? (most people do not know what actually goes into baking and decorating a cake, they only think about the $'s.

The reason I mentioned the 8" cake above is that I am doing a 8" gift box cake covered with chocolate fondant and a hot pink bow on top. I only charged $45 for this. Somewhere I found a chart that said an 8" square feeds 20 so I charged according to that number. Now if I used the Wilton chart I should have charged $80 for this cake! Am I crazy or is that similar to what you charge. Granted different areas can demand different prices of course.

My whole point to this thing is that I would just love to put a speadsheet together so I can say if I do a 6-10-12-16" cake is will be this many servings and will equal this dollar amount. With that I can add other misc. expenses or fees. Maybe this is impossible because a wedding size piece of cake will always be smaller then a birthday cake piece? At least in my house we tend to eat large pieces of cake then 1x2!

Maybe I need to do more research in town to see how others charge around my area, but how does one do that without blowing your cover? (A whole other topic here!)

love2makecakes Posted 17 Mar 2008 , 6:47pm
post #8 of 18

Anymore advice anyone???

FromScratch Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 1:32pm
post #9 of 18

Yes.. if they want an 8" square cake.. I charge $4/serving.. an 8" square serves 30.. that's $120. Add fondant and that price goes up another $30.

You have to stop looking at it as an 8" cake for $120.. it's dessert for 30 people for $4/head.

If anything.. your party slices should cost MORE than your wedding slices.. they are afterall 50% bigger than a wedding slice. So if you have an 8" square.. you charge $2/serving wedding you should charge $3/serving party.. see what I am saying?

FromScratch Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:01pm
post #10 of 18

I'll take your 8" box cake and break it down the way I see it.. how I would think about the cost breakdown.. using your $45.00.

One recipe of cake.. $8.00
1/2 recipe of frosting.. $5.00
1/2 recipe of filling.. I'll say $3.00 but it varies depending on what you make
1/2 recipe of chocolate fondant.. $3.00
Gumpaste for bow.. $1.00

Add that up.. That's $20.00 before you even start to calculate profit.. that leaves $25 for your profit.. subtract for gas for getting the ingredients.. the electric for running the stove and the water to make and clean up.. you are talking no more than $20.. that cake took you how long? Think mixing and baking, making frosting, and fillings.. that's 1.5 hours.. leveling and filling.. that's another 30 minutes or so.. frosting and covering in fondant.. another 45 minutes to an hour.. making the bow.. 20 minutes.. cleaning your kitchen.. another 30 minutes if your lucky.. That's 3.5 hours roughly.. divide your profit by 3.5 and you are making a bit over $5/hour.. that's less than the dishwasher at your favorite restaurant makes.. and you are hand crafting a beautiful centerpiece dessert. It takes eral skill.. and time.. and you should be compensated for that time.

I would charge $150 for that cake.. 150 minus the 30 for materials and utilities.. my profit is $120.. divide that by 3.5 and my hourly wage is $34.. And I really think if you added it all up it'd take more than 3.5 hours. $5/hour is not worth it to me to take time away from my family.. but $30/hour I can more easily justify that.

love2makecakes Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 3:34pm
post #11 of 18


Thanks for doing all that figuring! I guess I did know that I make about $.50/hour with how I am charging in my area.

That 8" cake in particular started out as a 2-tierd gift box cake with a 7-6" cakes and I think I quoted something like $65. My customer came back and asked if I could scale down and make just a one tier cake for closer to $50. Therefore, I came up with just the 8" cake serving 20 @ $2.50/serving for fondant. Then I tacked on a 10% first time order discount making it $45 + tax.

I think I am fine with my pricing, I do think I am in the same range as the local bakers in this area for buttercream at least. I am not sure how much fondant work they all do?

My question still remains unanswered though. What serving chart should I use? I would like to go with one chart for wedding and party cakes. But that would mean that the wedding cakes are going to be huge pieces or the party cakes will be small pieces? I really want to avoid charging different for a 10" round wedding tier then for a 10" round party cake.

kelleym Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 4:20pm
post #12 of 18

You should use whatever chart you want to use. No one can tell you what you "should" use. icon_wink.gif Caterers are trained to cut wedding cakes to Wilton's chart, which is 1x2x4. If you are planning on mostly weddings, that's probably what I would recommend. I use Earlene's chart for everything, and it is roughly 1x2.5x4. I do a lot of showers, parties, etc, and I am extremely comfortable with Earlene's sizing, ie: I really think an 8" cake gives 15 pieces, and would not feel comfortable telling anyone they could get 24 out of it.

Earlene's chart:

Wilton's wedding chart:

I can't locate Wilton's party chart at the moment (help, JanH! icon_redface.gif ) but if memory serves, it has similar but slightly larger slices than Earlene's.

FromScratch Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 4:27pm
post #13 of 18

Wilton party is similar to Earlene's.. they do 1.5x2x4.

here is the chart

FromScratch Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 4:32pm
post #14 of 18

Looking at that.. this is basically the chart I use.. I just round off for even numbers because I hate uneven numbers.. icon_lol.gif .

6" - 10
8" - 20
10" - 30
12" - 50
14" - 70

6" - 15
8" - 30
10" - 50
12" - 70
14" - 100

love2makecakes Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 4:34pm
post #15 of 18

Thanks for all the good advice! I have been sort of using Earlene's Cake Chart already, I think I would feel comfortable sticking to that chart!

Thanks Again!

Wendoger Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 4:47pm
post #16 of 18

Same price, no matter what....and I use Earlenes chart only cuz they're bigger pieces and people seem to like a large chunk'o'cake icon_wink.gif

ZAKIA6 Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 5:12pm
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by jkalman

Looking at that.. this is basically the chart I use.. I just round off for even numbers because I hate uneven numbers.. icon_lol.gif .

6" - 10
8" - 20
10" - 30
12" - 50
14" - 70

6" - 15
8" - 30
10" - 50
12" - 70
14" - 100

its funny that you round up. i was just looking at collete peter's servings and she rounds up and has the almost the same #'s you have.

FromScratch Posted 18 Mar 2008 , 5:37pm
post #18 of 18

Well what do you know.. LOL. I just hate not having the nice easy numbers to multiply.. I thought I was taking the lazy way out and it seems that I arrived at the same method as one of the greats.. icon_lol.gif .

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