Dummy And Kitchen (Sheet) Cakes

Business By kimberlina25 Updated 3 May 2008 , 12:43pm by FromScratch

kimberlina25 Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:29pm
post #1 of 7

this is a question for those who make a styrofoam main cake and kitchen cakes. How do you present this idea to potential brides? are they the ones who bring it up to you because they have heard it is cheaper? how exactly do you charge for it? ( I am full aware it is a CC cardinal sin to not charge the "servings" in the dummy cake. I am not interested in that conversation, I have heard it plenty of times. what I am interested in is what people who actually do this process, what and how they charge. Thank you)

I am not sure how to mention this idea to a bride, I am afraid it'll make me sound lazy or cheap. I am just curious (those of you who actually do this) how you would approach this topic and how you sell it.

I hope that makes sense and I am sorry for the disclaimer on the first paragraph, I just don't want my question derailed by that conversation. thumbs_up.gif

6 replies
SweetConfectionsChef Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:43pm
post #2 of 7

You asked what and how people charge for the dummy cake...so people are going to tell you that you charge the same amount as if you were giving them a real cake. Unless of course, I am not understanding your question. In my shop it is NOT cheaper to ask me to make a dummy and then go to all of the work to make "kitchen cakes". I have had to do it before....a bride wanted a cheesecake wedding cake for an outdoor wedding in September...IN HOUSTON! icon_surprised.gif The guests would have most likely been poisoned and the cake would have certainly fallen apart setting in the heat for several hours so I just told her that. She immediately opted for the styrofoam cake and cheesecakes being cut in the kitchen. She paid $299.00 for the 92 serving dummy cake (regular price) and $31.99 for each of the 10 cheesecakes...but that's what she wanted. I hope I answered your question.

kimberlina25 Posted 2 May 2008 , 11:55pm
post #3 of 7

re-reading my post, i don't think i asked what i meant. There is a wedding cake that I want to do, due to certain constraints, I probably wouldn't be able to make it, unless I did a dummy cake (which I can make ahead of time) and then just have to bake a couple kitchen cakes. I guess I am feeling kinda guilty, I feel like maybe i shouldn't charge her for the servings of the dummy because of my own conflicts. I also didn't want her to think that I am being lazy by "slapping some icing onto styrofoam" or not caring about her wedding. I guess I am not sure how to bring up the idea of doing a dummy main cake or how I should charge for it. I am still new to this and feel guilty icon_redface.gif

Mike1394 Posted 3 May 2008 , 12:00am
post #4 of 7

The work is in the decoration, not the cost of the cake. Baking a cake is a small expense.

Mike

beccakelly Posted 3 May 2008 , 1:47am
post #5 of 7

if you don't feel comfortable charging full price then don't. if its something you really want to do, and it'll be easier on you to do a dummy, then go ahead and discount it. my suggestion (depending on how badly you want to do the cake) would be to do both (dummy and sheet cakes) for the price you would have charged for a real wedding cake. that way you can present it to the bride as not costing her anything extra (i think she might be suspicious if you presented this as a more expensive idea) and it will be easier on you. am i making sense? lol.

CoutureCake Posted 3 May 2008 , 6:12am
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberlina25

re-reading my post, i don't think i asked what i meant. There is a wedding cake that I want to do, due to certain constraints, I probably wouldn't be able to make it, unless I did a dummy cake (which I can make ahead of time) and then just have to bake a couple kitchen cakes. I guess I am feeling kinda guilty, I feel like maybe i shouldn't charge her for the servings of the dummy because of my own conflicts. I also didn't want her to think that I am being lazy by "slapping some icing onto styrofoam" or not caring about her wedding. I guess I am not sure how to bring up the idea of doing a dummy main cake or how I should charge for it. I am still new to this and feel guilty icon_redface.gif




It's o.k. to say "NO!"...

Charge EXACTLY the same as you would charge for that dummy cake if it were real. You're going to put in just as much time and materials cost as if that cake was real, so charge for it. If you're really worried about the time to make the design they want, what you do is you scale the design back to a smaller cake then offer to do the kitchen cakes to finish out the servings. I do a LOT of smaller centerpiece cakes so I can focus on the quality instead of doing huge things to serve 300-400.

O.k. you aren't going to CHEAP out on YOURSELF here for ONE SECOND!!! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gificon_confused.gif ... Hard as it is, repeat that line to yourself until you start to believe it. Putting icing on a dummy cake is not CHEAP!!! It costs you exactly the same in hours, knowledge, skills, abilities and most of all materials.. It takes the same amount of BC to coat a 10" dummy as it does to coat a 10" real cake. How you approach the subject with the bride is simple, you just BE HONEST! If you don't think you can pull the design off in real cake in the time you have the week of her wedding to make it, be honest and tell her that. You'll get better customer reviews if you're honest with customers instead of trying to sugar coat a KSA you need to improve.

If you REALLY want to do this centerpiece design, offer to make it in wall spackle for the display for them to rent then have kitchen cakes in the back for the servings. Time is money, and your time ain't cheap!!!! Ultimately the bride and groom need to make the decision. If you're going to make the cake as a dummy cake, you may as well make it the real thing the week of the wedding with your time planned accordingly. Don't cut your skills short.

FromScratch Posted 3 May 2008 , 12:43pm
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCake

Quote:
Originally Posted by kimberlina25

re-reading my post, i don't think i asked what i meant. There is a wedding cake that I want to do, due to certain constraints, I probably wouldn't be able to make it, unless I did a dummy cake (which I can make ahead of time) and then just have to bake a couple kitchen cakes. I guess I am feeling kinda guilty, I feel like maybe i shouldn't charge her for the servings of the dummy because of my own conflicts. I also didn't want her to think that I am being lazy by "slapping some icing onto styrofoam" or not caring about her wedding. I guess I am not sure how to bring up the idea of doing a dummy main cake or how I should charge for it. I am still new to this and feel guilty icon_redface.gif



It's o.k. to say "NO!"...

Charge EXACTLY the same as you would charge for that dummy cake if it were real. You're going to put in just as much time and materials cost as if that cake was real, so charge for it. If you're really worried about the time to make the design they want, what you do is you scale the design back to a smaller cake then offer to do the kitchen cakes to finish out the servings. I do a LOT of smaller centerpiece cakes so I can focus on the quality instead of doing huge things to serve 300-400.

O.k. you aren't going to CHEAP out on YOURSELF here for ONE SECOND!!! thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gificon_confused.gif ... Hard as it is, repeat that line to yourself until you start to believe it. Putting icing on a dummy cake is not CHEAP!!! It costs you exactly the same in hours, knowledge, skills, abilities and most of all materials.. It takes the same amount of BC to coat a 10" dummy as it does to coat a 10" real cake. How you approach the subject with the bride is simple, you just BE HONEST! If you don't think you can pull the design off in real cake in the time you have the week of her wedding to make it, be honest and tell her that. You'll get better customer reviews if you're honest with customers instead of trying to sugar coat a KSA you need to improve.

If you REALLY want to do this centerpiece design, offer to make it in wall spackle for the display for them to rent then have kitchen cakes in the back for the servings. Time is money, and your time ain't cheap!!!! Ultimately the bride and groom need to make the decision. If you're going to make the cake as a dummy cake, you may as well make it the real thing the week of the wedding with your time planned accordingly. Don't cut your skills short.




DITTO!!!!!! thumbs_up.gif

This is my exact thoughts on this.

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