Okay, so I've been doing cakes for about 2 years mostly for friends and family but it's getting to the point now where the DH and I are trying to figure out how to get me into a commercial kitchen so I can have a biz. We've even started looking at moving to a home where a 2nd, separate, legal kitchen can be had. So I help a girlfriend make her son's birthday cake (she likes making her kid's cakes) as she needed my extensive knowledge to do this "pool party cake" with slides from Wilton's 2007 yearbook. So we get the cake set up at the Water Park in their party room and the event coordinator went bonkers over the cake and wants to meet with me about doing these pool cakes to offer in their party packages. Now just on Saturday, they had 16 parties booked at this water park. Right now they just let parents bring their own cakes in.
Obviously, I cannot do these cakes for them without a commercial kitchen, but this water park complex could easily set up a kitchen on site for me.
I do not even know where to begin with the logistics of doing something like this. I thought of offering do do their pool cakes for practically zip as long as I can build my own business using the on-site kitchen. Does anyone else know what ???'s I should ask or how else to go about this opportunity. I also don't want to be so busy doing 20 "pool"cakes a week that I don't have time to do other style cakes.
INDYDEBI - got any nuggets of wisdom for me??? ANYBODY???
HELP!!! This party coordinator wants to meet this week and I'm clueless how to go about this!!
I would my regular price, less a percentage to account for energy costs. Would their purchasing dept. be able to buy your ingredients in bulk for you? That might be helpful as far as cash outlay on your part, but if they mess up your order or forget to place your order you are in trouble.
I had a similar deal with catering, and I paid them a percentage of my sales on "outside" orders.
If you do their cakes for free...when will you have time to do your own cakes?
Plus saturday will be you own busy day.
I have a "pool cake" i can decorate in about 10 minutes...maybe you can get just a standard cute cake you make for them everytime...then you could line them up assembly line style and knock em out pretty quick.
but if you are gonna make them labor intensive cakes...that'll take all your time up.
so they don't already have a kitchen?....hmmm that's gonna cost them a bit.
i'll be interested to see what indy says.
IF it was ME. I would take the business, then worry about it. LOL sorry I know that didn't help. Try to find a kitchen you can use. It's only a seasonal thing, right? It could give you the backing though to start up your own kitchen. Since hubby is behind you. Stick a pastry bag in his hand, and have him learn real quick. Too much business is A LOT better than NO business
This water park is indoors! So it would be a year-round thing. It is connected to a hotel in a touristy part of Indiana. Right next door is a convention center that hosts weddings, ect. Not sure if that could develop into an opportunity to offer wedding cakes as part of their catering package?? This place just opened this past year and is swamped with biz.
Just off the top of my head, here's what I'd ask:
1) When you say they could easily set up a kitchen for you to use, is this your thought or did the person you met with actually bring this up? What are she and the water park prepared to offer at this time as far as facilities, or was she expecting that you'd have your own place? Are they willing to invest in some pcs of commercial equipment for this aspect of their business? Commercial mixer, for example?
2) What are their avg. # of bookings each weekend (would it be just Sat or Sun too?). Since it's indoors, this could keep you busy year round, and may end up being the bulk of your business. You may not have enough time to take on your own bookings.
3) You and the coordinator can agree on a nice "standard" design (as littlecake said) for their cakes so it will make your decorating life easier! Repetition would enable you pick up your speed and get them done faster.
4) Before the meeting, have all your costs written down and know what you charge for your time.
This sounds like a really cool opportunity! I hope you get plenty of responses on this before your meeting, and that the meeting itself goes well!
2nd Where is the pic of this famous pool cake? I wanna see
3rd I have no real advice, I'm like the person who said ' do it and worry later ' I would jump at the chance to expand my experience and customer base. Especially in states that make the regulations difficult. But, I like your approach because I 'have' jumped into opportunities and been left exhausted and grossly underpaid. Thank goodness for CC and all the helpful people here!
Don't forget to post the pic of this attention grabing cake
It sounds like you are getting some good advice here... just remember to make sure you are getting enough for your time doing cakes for them. If they let you work in their kitchen for your business, you need to get some money for the cakes you do for them. If you spend 30 hours/week doing cakes for them and just get a few dollars... it isn't worth your time. This is a business deal... make sure you treat it as such. If they bring in all the supplies and equipment, they could just pay you a commission on the cakes (maybe 45% of the price) and then you could pay them a percent of your outside sales to them (maybe 15%).