I'm revamping my contract and I'm thinking I need to charge more for an initial deposit due at signing. Right I now it's a 20% non-refundable deposit to save the date and then a seperate refundable deposit for equipment for the replacement value of anything not returned. This has worked well for me except in cases of non-wedding cakes ......when doing smaller cakes I'm only getting like a $10-$15 deposit if that. I was thinking of a 50% deposit but then I didn't know how that would work out with the larger cakes...same problem with assessing a dollar amount too. I don't really want to work up two seperate contracts but maybe I should?
What do you do?
Thanks in advance!
Here is my language that holds the date also:
I AGREE THAT THE ABOVE CAKE IS WHAT I HAVE ORDERED!
I understand and agree that the âTotal deposit due upon orderâ of $___________ (50% of the above sub-total plus stand deposit of $___________) will be paid today (signature & date below), by cash or check.
I used to do 50% deposit for wedding cakes, but I reduced it to $100 flat fee so that I wouldn't be holding large amounts of money in my bank account. I figured that since most people write checks to pay deposits it would also be easier for people to justify putting down $100 at a tasting to book the date right away, as opposed to half of the total cost of the cake. For smaller cakes I usually ask for full payment up front, or if it's a client I know pretty well I let them pay me when they get the cake.
I also do 20%, but everyone always seems to just give me $100.00 I also dont want to have such a large amount of money in the account. (especially since most of my weddings book 6 months before the wedding)
Party cakes, it depends on the person and the cake. I have been stiffed a few times so I make some people pay up front. Others if I know them or they referred by someone I know or past customer, I will let them get by with a 20% deposit.
I used to do "10% or $200 whichever is smaller". Most of the deposits were $200.
But I changed it to a flat 20%. And with catering also on the invoice, this means I get deposits in the $500-$800 range. Ironically, I changed the policy for the opposite reason as stated above: I didnt' like keeping track of little amounts of money.
I then split the balance in half: 1st half due 3 weeks prior to the event. Final balance due day of the event.
Another side benefit was, believe it or not, fewer cancellations. I didn't have many before, but when I started collecting more as a deposit, it was a noticeable difference. I've only had one this year and that was due to a venue policy change (they are requiring the caterer to take care of the alcohol and since I"m not liquor licensed by choice.........!). I chose to return the deposit since it wasn't the bride's fault and she was about to get screwed royally on the cost the caterer she was now being forced to use would be charging her.
I require a 50% deposit paid at contract signing and the other 50% due 14 days before the event.
I'm starting to do my contracts etc. I'm also going to be offering catering services. I will require 20% deposit when booked. I haven't decided how I'm going to work the balance yet. I'm still looking into it. I'm leaning toward having half of the balance due 6 weeks before the event and the final payment 2 weeks prior.
I know I am the minority on "final payment due day of event" and I understand I run the risk of bad checks that day (only had 1 in 4 years), but we are MUCH more likely to receive a tip from the client when they pay the day of the event. Rarely does anyone add a tip 2 weeks before the event. Rarely do they carry their checkbook to write another check just for tips the day of the event.
When a bride pays me in full, in advance, my crew never gets a tip. When they pay the day of, my crew has rec'd as much as $100 each in tips for the night. They usually average at least $50 each in tips, plus what I pay them.
Just some food for thought ......
I do 30% nonrefundable and the remainder due three weeks prior to the event.
I hadn't thought about tips for the crew if they pay fully in advance. Thanks for bringing that up. Perhaps I should consider having the last 25% or so of the balance due the day of.
Thinking back, we had the last payment for our wedding due the day of the reception. It was like 20% or so I think of the final balance.
I do 50% to book the date, and the remaining 50% due 2 weeks prior to the event.