Selling Myself Short??

Business By noosie Updated 24 May 2008 , 2:32am by vickster

noosie Posted 17 May 2008 , 11:52pm
post #1 of 9

It never fails! Every time I mention to my family the price I charge for a cake I always hear, "That's it??, Why so cheap? You're totally selling yourself short!"

So fellow cc'ers what do you think?

I have a 50th anniversary cake due next week. It will be a 10"x8"x6" white cake filled with vanilla buttercream and wrapped in white fondant. The cake will feed about 48-50 people "regular slices" not wedding cake slices.

There will be some RI work on the outside, some white gum paste roses & I made a beautiful cake topper that will be about 9" high (including 5" pillars).

The cake design and topper are a replica of a cake photo provided by the client.

Charging - $250 - what I feel to be a fair price.

Thoughts, opinions, criticism are all welcome.

8 replies
costumeczar Posted 18 May 2008 , 12:48am
post #2 of 9

For my location I think that's a fair price. It depends where you are and what the standard is, though...If people keep telling you that you're selling yourself short, you could always tell them that tips are welcome! icon_wink.gif

FromScratch Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:22am
post #3 of 9

it is 10" long by 8" wide and 6" tall???

Am I picturing this right? Or is it a 6-8-10 stacked cake?

If it's the latter it's more than 50 servings.. my chart (which is a little bigge than wilton) says 60. That's $4 and change per serving.. which isn't bad. I charge $5/serving for fondant. But with you "bigger slices" you are losing money. icon_smile.gif

chutzpah Posted 18 May 2008 , 5:36am
post #4 of 9

I would charge $600, but that's me.

noosie Posted 18 May 2008 , 11:01am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

it is 10" long by 8" wide and 6" tall???

Am I picturing this right? Or is it a 6-8-10 stacked cake?

If it's the latter it's more than 50 servings.. my chart (which is a little bigge than wilton) says 60. That's $4 and change per serving.. which isn't bad. I charge $5/serving for fondant. But with you "bigger slices" you are losing money. icon_smile.gif




Hey jkalman, thanks for your input! It is actually a stacked cake. The party will be taking place in someone's home with about 46 guests. I'm curious, the chart I'm using says 25 servings for 10" / 12 servings for 8" and 8 servings for the 6". These are based on regular cake slices not wedding servings in the book. I figure with all the "oh, just a little piece or just a wedge for me" the cake will serve more than 45. What is your charts breakdown for the above cake sizes?

Thanks for you input thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 18 May 2008 , 3:12pm
post #6 of 9

This is my round chart numbers.. I just like round numbers so I came up with this. You definitely have more cake than you need, but not TONS of extra cake.

6" - 10 serv (wilton says 12)
8" - 20 serv (wilton says 24)
10" - 35 serv (wilton says 3icon_cool.gif
12" - 50 serv (wilton says 56)
14" - 75 serv (wilton says 7icon_cool.gif

a wedding sized slice of cake.. isn't tiny.. it's a good sized piece of cake. I base my pricing off of this.. and tell people if they are used to huge pieces of cake they should order extra servings.

Edited to add that I would sell a 6-8-10 cake as 65 servings and charge $325.00 just for the cake part. The roses/topper would be extra. I couldn't tell you exactly how much as I don't know exactly what you did, but I'd be selling the cake you are describing for between $375 and $400.

HTH's a little.. and if you want.. I can e-mail you my chart so you can have it. icon_smile.gif Just PM me your e-mail addy.

wgoat5 Posted 19 May 2008 , 12:47pm
post #7 of 9

Ohhh Jeanne can I see your chart also?

I am having a hard time pricing any kind of GP work.. be it flowers or what have you.

If you say it is ok I'll pm you my email icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 19 May 2008 , 1:52pm
post #8 of 9

of course you can.. icon_smile.gif

vickster Posted 24 May 2008 , 2:32am
post #9 of 9

I really dislike the per serving approach to charging. For a lot of situations it works. But, in my area, cakes are rarely served by caterers. Even wedding cakes are cut and served by aunts or cousins. So the number of servings charts are pretty dubious. Most events I do cakes for are not rsvp'ed and the hosts are just guessing. I use the charts for ball park ideas of servings, but my approach is to ask the customer how many they think they'll need to serve and then suggest a cake size. I price my cakes by the ingredient cost (plus a percentage for overhead) and what I want to make per hour. This works really well for me. But, that is the market I have. The per serving price quote is not helpful in most of my sales. They just want to know what size cake they most likely need and what that cake will cost. For example, a customer is having a birthday party. I say "how many guests", they say about 25 (usually very guessy, guessy). I say, "well, an 8 inch layer cake will cut it pretty close but a 1/4 sheet cake will be plenty if you end up with an extra guest or two, or people want a second slice." If I say this cake serves 24 at $2 a serving, this serves 32 at $2, they get into the mental gymnastics of "how many servings am I paying for that I won't need". If I say this cake is $40 and this ones $50, nine times out of ten, they go ahead and order the $50 cake. My business is very diverse, birthdays, retirements, showers, business events. Weddings are just a small slice of my customers. That's where the tradition of charging by the slice comes from, I think. The idea that you have an exact number of guests and you will give each one a uniform serving of a food item. For most of my business, that's just not the case, so it's a bit counterproductive to use that system.

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