This Bride Ordered A 6 Tier Cake And Still Wants It Taller!!

Decorating By Mandica12182 Updated 14 May 2008 , 5:16pm by mindywith3boys

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 12:57pm
post #1 of 38

She has a very small budget soo...I can't really offer her more of MY help....cause she can't afford to add another layer to the cakes to make them taller...or the dummies to make it taller...I am already giving hera bare minumim price sooo...I am really not wanting to go out of my way for this one icon_redface.gif!

I was thinking maybe a candle holder used to sperate the tiers??

I forgot to mention that I told her I have 9 inch tall pillars that could be used to make the cake taller...but I don't think she likes that idea...so that's a no go.

She sent a picture where it looks like dummies with gold ribbon between each tier..I told her if she supplied them, I would use them. Will that work with the SPS System?? I am thinking I'd probably have to put holes in the foam too...to make the SPS columns work...I am at a loss as to how to help her.

I also already suggested putting the cake on a milk crate that is covered in pretty fabric to give the illusion that the cake is taller.

I would think a 6 tier 2 foot tall cake would be tall enough...but she wants MORE!!

Does anyone else have any suggestions that I haven't thought of??

By the way...this bride came to me with a $200 budget...Geeez!! icon_rolleyes.gif

37 replies
mixinvixen Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:07pm
post #2 of 38

you own a liquor store, i go in with $10 and you direct me to the beer aisle...i say no and insist on cristal...

does this sound familiar?

there is such a thing as going out of your way for customer service, and then there is letting yourself be taken advantage of, and you are the one that comes out with the loss. please do not lose another minute of stressing over this. gently BUT FIRMLY explain to her that that is your prices, and you can do nothing else with that budget.

LanaC Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:09pm
post #3 of 38

Tell her if you make it any taller it will look like a phalic symbol. Perhaps it will change her mind.

Six layers is already a mighty tall cake, particularly for $200. I'd break it down for her - add this size layer, and it will cost an extra $x, add this size layer, and it will cost an extra $y. Perhaps that will help her decide if the extra height is worth the extra money.

pastryjen Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:09pm
post #4 of 38

Is the bride the 7' tall or something?

arosstx Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:13pm
post #5 of 38

How the HECK are you doing a 6 tier cake for $200????

aswartzw Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:15pm
post #6 of 38

Seriously, you are waaaaay undercutting yourself. I personally want a many tiered cake for my wedding and estimate the cost to be at least $1K (after comparing prices in the Columbus area). If I were you, I'd simply tell her you are unable to do the cake for this amount of money and show her what you can do to actually make $$$ on this cake for $200. You are undercutting yourself so much that I seriously believe at the end you will be in the red on this cake. Personally, I wouldn't do it especially with her insisting on having it taller. She just wants something for free it's sounds like to me.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:15pm
post #7 of 38

You are going to make her a 6 tiered cake for $200?????? icon_confused.gif No way no how. That's a crazy low price.. unless you are doing it for (barely) the cost of ingredients. Perhaps you should tell her she is getting a KILLER deal and she should shut up. icon_wink.gif

I hope the tiers are small.. 1-2-3-4-5-6".. icon_wink.gif

AmyGonzalez Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:19pm
post #8 of 38

This bride is sooooo lucky she is getting a 6 tier cake for $200. icon_eek.gif She should be thinking of a way to pay you more, not make her cake talller. Good luck, and don't get caught doing any more favors for bridezilla. icon_lol.gif

Kyleen Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:20pm
post #9 of 38

OMG!!!! Six tiers for $200? Darn, I see you live in Ohio. I sure could buy your cake and add my decorations and still make several hundred dollars profit. I agree with everyone else. That is crazy. You get what you pay for. You are going way beyond what you should to have to please this client and her budget. I cant imagine how many servings of cake this would be, but the smallest four tier I make is a 6"-8"-10"-12" round which feeds 130 and my base price for just a covered cake and no decoration what so ever would be $390. That is $3.00 per serving. She would have to add flowers or something to the cake. If you are not going to make a profit from the cake, what would be the point besides experience? Even if it is experience, you still need to get paid for your time and materials. $200 barely pays for the ingrediants, boards, dowels, and such. Sticking columns into styrofoam is a trick. You have to line them up before you put it on a cake otherwise they end up crooked. It is best to bore out the hole first before sticking them through. Something for nothing is what this person wants.

tcakes65 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:21pm
post #10 of 38

Is the bride even having that many guests at her wedding to warrant such a huge cake? icon_confused.gif If not, then she sounds like the type to complain afterwards about having too much cake left over and want a refund. Be careful with this one. I would stick to my guns and tell the bride if she wants a larger cake, she has to pay for it. If she can't afford it, then it's not going to happen. You're not there to provide her with freebies. The way it sounds, you're already getting less than $1/serving for 6 tiers. You've gone above and beyond for her. She needs to appreciate what she's getting and stop asking for more.

AmyGonzalez Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:26pm
post #11 of 38

jkalman, you are so funny icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
I agree on the 1-2-3-4-5-6 inch cake. It would be so cool if you would show up at the reception hall with this $200 cake. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Now that sounds like its more in her budget. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

CelebrationCakery Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:34pm
post #12 of 38

If you have 4" dummies maybe you could show her how tall that is...to some people when you say the cake will be 2 feet tall they think...2 is a little #...small...

Even when I was showing people how tall a cake was that I made this weekend it looked "small" when you are only showing it's height...of course we cakers know differently but most people cannot visualize.
So I would stack up those dummies on a table and let her see just how tall her cake is already...personally I had wished I had a stool this weekend to reach my 5 teired one...I can't imagine trying to get a topper on straight for a cake that is even higher...

You know years ago I saw a cake that was made higher by seperating the teirs with beautiful wine glasses..maybe that is an option some...with that much cake you would certainly need a lot fo support though...even if it just brings the top two teirs higher...

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:34pm
post #13 of 38

My base, starting price is for basic...or no decoration but a border..no fillings or anythign is $1.50 per serving...so I think I need to up my pricing again...especially since orders have been picking up!! There are sooooo many home bakers around me that will do it for dirt dirt cheap...yes, even cheaper than me, that it is really hard to get orders!!

This is the e-mail I sent her about her first request

She wanted a 14,12,10,8,6,5

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The sizes you chose would serve 169 people...just to let you know, I have a clause in my contract that states you cannot bring any cake from another baker. So, make sure you order enough cake to feed all your expected guests!!

The basic /starter prices include basic cake flavor choices and buttercream icing only...no fillings or fondant is included into that price.

Do you know what kind of design you were wanting?? Sometimes very ornate or detailed designs will cost extra...just to forwarn you of extra costs.

A tasting cost a non refundable $25.00...if you book with me that $25.00 goes towards your total balance. Also, when you actually book with me, there is a $50.00 non-refundable deposit to hold your date. Again, that 50 is deducted form your total balance. Your total balance is due 3 weeks before your wedding date. Once you pay your total balance no changes are to be made...and if for some reason you need to cancel the cake....I would return to you your total minus the $75.00 non refundable deposits.

Tiered cakes also have another stipulation...that is...there is a $35.00 security deposit on the support system/plate pillars. If you return those items to me I will return the $35.00.

~~~~~~

Mind you the $35 deposit was for my SPS system...this e-mail was sent before she started asking for an even taller cake.

I am seriously going to tell her that anything more than a border and ribbon (that I am making her purchase and give to me) is going to cost her more...I am not too sure what kind of designs she is think of besides that her colors are gold and white and that she wants it TALL!!

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:35pm
post #14 of 38

Oh yeah...her total is NOT $200...she said that was what her budget was!! LOL...She said she thinks she'll be asking her parents for more money.

I think she better if she wants A CAKE!!

My total for basic cake with minimal decoration is $253.50 for her sizes.

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:43pm
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristianDonovan

If you have 4" dummies maybe you could show her how tall that is...to some people when you say the cake will be 2 feet tall they think...2 is a little #...small...

Even when I was showing people how tall a cake was that I made this weekend it looked "small" when you are only showing it's height...of course we cakers know differently but most people cannot visualize.
So I would stack up those dummies on a table and let her see just how tall her cake is already...personally I had wished I had a stool this weekend to reach my 5 teired one...I can't imagine trying to get a topper on straight for a cake that is even higher...

You know years ago I saw a cake that was made higher by seperating the teirs with beautiful wine glasses..maybe that is an option some...with that much cake you would certainly need a lot fo support though...even if it just brings the top two teirs higher...




That's what I was thinking...taking my dummies with me...to show her what she actually is ordering...I think it will be tall enough!! I am NOT doing any extra work for this lady...every suggestion that I have made to her has been....if YOU do this or Supply this...NOT me!!

My price right now is for the cake, icing and 1 cardboard round under each cake...anything more than that and she'll have to fork over some more money...bottom line!!

mbh724 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LanaC

Tell her if you make it any taller it will look like a phalic symbol.




I LOVE IT! My first laugh of the day.

poshcakedesigns Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:49pm
post #17 of 38

She's definetly getting a good deal. Let's us know how this one turns out.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:57pm
post #18 of 38

That's 195 servings by my chart which is a less than what wilton would tell you (213 according to Wilton). Are you going by the party cake charts?? Just know that the people cutting your cake are going to cut by the wedding chart no matter what you say. That's how they are trained to cut the cake. Even by my charts (which are a bit generous than Wilton's) you are underestimating your servings. I wouldn't even clear ingredients for that cake at your price.

You can tell her that if she ordered that cake anywhere else she'd be paying close to $1000 in buttercream and over $1000 for fondant.. I can tell you now.. if you do this.. you will be cursing yourself 1/2 way through when you realize that you are making next to nothing on it.

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 1:59pm
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You are going to make her a 6 tiered cake for $200?????? icon_confused.gif No way no how. That's a crazy low price.. unless you are doing it for (barely) the cost of ingredients. Perhaps you should tell her she is getting a KILLER deal and she should shut up. icon_wink.gif

I hope the tiers are small.. 1-2-3-4-5-6".. icon_wink.gif




Not quite $200 but may just as well be...I am thinking there was a reason I kept avoiding this ladies e-mails!!

You're a hoot!!

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:06pm
post #20 of 38

I actually have been using Earlene's serving chart...pretty mcuh copied exactly.

Maybe I should re-do my servings then...I'll have to look into that!

By the way...I am already cursing myself over this one!! I don't think she ever mentioned her date...except that it's in July...I am not booked at all in July...But, she doesn't know that!! LOL

aswartzw Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:16pm
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You can tell her that if she ordered that cake anywhere else she'd be paying close to $1000 in buttercream and over $1000 for fondant.. I can tell you now.. if you do this.. you will be cursing yourself 1/2 way through when you realize that you are making next to nothing on it.




Exactly! Forget the home bakers. I checked out your work and it is awesome! Just remember, regular buttercream slices in the Columbus area are $3.50-$5/slice at bakeries. That's usually without special fillings too! You are way undercharging. The more you charge the better people will think your work is.

It also looks like you are going by Earlene Moore's servings. She uses extremely large slices. I suggest going by Wilton's. You will not only get more $$ but it will be reasonably priced and people no doubt will go back for seconds. As jkalman said, if cut by the vendor, that's the sizing they will go with. Might as well get your $$'s worth.

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:18pm
post #22 of 38

I think I'd be booked for this one.. let her get shell shock when she goes else where.. I'd charge a minimum of $780 for this size cake done in BC and a min $970 in fondant. That's not including delivery and equipment rental or anything like that.

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:23pm
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by aswartzw



Exactly! Forget the home bakers. I checked out your work and it is awesome! Just remember, regular buttercream slices in the Columbus area are $3.50-$5/slice at bakeries. That's usually without special fillings too! You are way undercharging. The more you charge the better people will think your work is.

It also looks like you are going by Earlene Moore's servings. She uses extremely large slices. I suggest going by Wilton's. You will not only get more $$ but it will be reasonably priced and people no doubt will go back for seconds. As jkalman said, if cut by the vendor, that's the sizing they will go with. Might as well get your $$'s worth.




Thanks for the compliment!!

I actually started my website with prices of $1.25 per serving!! LOL
I upped them to $1.50....I am thinking about upping them again....because I am attracting these kind of people!! icon_rolleyes.gif

And actually....I went from no orders at all to being pretty busy...now that I feel I have a little experience under my belt...I am gaining confidence in my abilities!! icon_smile.gif

I think there will be a price change on my website VERY SOON....like maybe NOW!! I am also going to be changing my serving sizes.....I never really knew that Earlene's were really big pieces...I guess that's what I get for being lazy and not figuring it out myself!!

Auryn Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:34pm
post #24 of 38

has she made a deposit for this order yet?? I assume no since you don't even know her date.
If she comes back to you to talk cake, I would let her know that because she took so long the prices have changed.

Thats what happens when you lollygag and don't get anything in writing

Prices change day by day in a lot of industries now, I don't think baking should be exempt.

You do lovely work, you are definitely being your own worst enemy

cakesbyallison Posted 5 May 2008 , 2:43pm
post #25 of 38

"I actually started my website with prices of $1.25 per serving!! LOL
I upped them to $1.50....I am thinking about upping them again....because I am attracting these kind of people!!"


That's exactly what you're doing - attracting "these" kind of clients. Don't undercut your prices so much, that you are attracting this type of client. You don't want to be known as the "cheap cake lady"! I don't see how you can make a profit off this cake?! I can see if you trying to build your business or gain experience - but be professional. Giving into her "wishes" beyond her budget, (unless she's a friend or relative) is crazy. Even if you don't add more cake or dummies - and you add pillars or anything to create height - is still more work (labor and materials) that are coming out of your pocket!

Mandica12182 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:43pm
post #26 of 38

Nevermind...this has been taken care of....turns out I really was booked the day she needed the cake!!

And because of this post...my eyes have been opened a little and my prices are now 2.00 per serving for buttercream.

Thank you everyone for your advice!! icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 5 May 2008 , 8:55pm
post #27 of 38

I poured over all the serving charts....IMHO, Wilton's was too small and Earlene's was a bit too big so I sort of made my own. I realize if I charge $X per serving and then offer larger pieces, I lose money, but I am afraid they will be disappointed at how incredibly small the pieces are or run out of cake.

So here was my brilliant solution icon_razz.gificon_lol.gif

Round Cakes start at:
6" (serves 9 party / 12 wedding) $
8" (serves 15 party / 22 wedding) $
10" (serves 24 party / 35 wedding) $
12" (serves 35 party / 50 wedding) $
14" (serves 47 party / 68 wedding) $
16" (serves 62 party / 89 wedding) $
18" (serves 78 party / 112 wedding) $
20" (serves 96 party / 140 wedding) $

Square Cakes start at:

4.5" (serves 9 party - 12 wedding) ~ $
7" (serves 15 party - 22 wedding) ~ $
9" (serves 25 party - 36 wedding) ~ $
12" (serves 44 party - 64 wedding) ~ $

Ok, it is a bit more complicated then sticking to a standard chart but I was having trouble charging the same for weddings as for party cakes without pricing the party cakes outta site. It's not perfect but so far, its working out pretty well.

Also, I price according to the 'wedding' serving - the party serving is used to calculate how much cake if the client chooses bigger slices.

** I deleted the prices - see, I play nice! icon_wink.gif

*** EDITED to add: I wanted to say that you and I know that a wedding slice is not as small as it seems but around here, they don't get it. So I go a little bigger to keep the piece icon_wink.gif

FromScratch Posted 5 May 2008 , 9:02pm
post #28 of 38

Why have the party/wedding servings? You just open yourself to someone saying why do you charge for 12 servings when it only serves 9 party servings? I had party servings and pricing.. party sized servings cost 50% more than wedding servings because they are 50% bigger. So I decided to just have the wedding servings because that's what I price by. The least complicated you make it the better. Do you charge differently if they order by the party servings? If so is it less money? Because it's the same amount of cake no matter how you slice it. icon_smile.gif

CakeDiva73 Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:55pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Why have the party/wedding servings? You just open yourself to someone saying why do you charge for 12 servings when it only serves 9 party servings? I had party servings and pricing.. party sized servings cost 50% more than wedding servings because they are 50% bigger. So I decided to just have the wedding servings because that's what I price by. The least complicated you make it the better. Do you charge differently if they order by the party servings? If so is it less money? Because it's the same amount of cake no matter how you slice it. icon_smile.gif




It's not that I don't agree with you....like I said, this is a bit more complicated. I charge a flat fee on single tier cakes....the 12" round is the same price. If you order a tiered cake, I charge $X per wedding serving and make that clear. If they choose to serve larger slices, they use the party serving to determine how much cake to order but I charge by the wedding serving regardless of how they decide to cut it.

Around here, people freak at the thought of a 1 X 2 slice of cake. They don't seem to 'get' that the freakin' thing is over 4" tall! icon_confused.gif

One of the teachers ordered a huge cake for her sons grad, stating that her 4 boys would plow thru cake like it was water. I advised her of this and even though she was having X amount of people, she ordered and paid for double that to accomodate the larger slabs....I mean servings. icon_lol.gif

I know that IndyDeb charges a flat rate and gets it - regardless of the event. Or maybe she only does wedding cakes - either way, I was having trouble NOT charging more for a wedding, which was a no-no, but still being able to get business for the smaller cakes since theoretically my 8" would cost $44 if I charged by the serving.

So I charge by the serving (wedding figures) only when they order tiered cakes. It ain't for everyone and it is an extra step but so far it's working out....

FromScratch Posted 6 May 2008 , 7:22pm
post #30 of 38

But.. does your flat rate for an 8" equal the same as your per serving price for an 8" tier in a wedding cake? That's the only thing I can see getting you in trouble. If your (completely hypothetical) 8" cake costs $30 and the 8" tier in someone's wedding cake costs $40. People do that math and will ask. Not that I don't understand. I tell people that an 8" cake will serve 20 1x2x4 slices of cake and that is what I base my prices from. If they need more cake they can order it.

I had party servings and pricing for a while, but it got confusing for the customers.. like it was $3.00/serving wedding and $4.50/serving party.. same price for the cake though so I just went with wedding servings.. it's cheaper (looking) per serving and they were going to pay the same amount no matter what they ordered. icon_smile.gif

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