I'm just curious to know how the current economy has affected your cake business. I know I have my times of feast or famine. Sometimes I'm swamped and have to turn down orders other times I'm picking up my phone to make sure it still works. Last year was a feast year, this year I'm in a famine. I think I have five weddings booked for the entire year, YIKES! I'm hoping to blame it on the economy...anyone else experiencing an unusual slump?
I divide my sales into "Cake Only" .... "Buffet Only" ..... "Cake and buffet".
My Cake-Only sales are double of what they were last year. My total sales are about 142% of what they were last year, and it's only June.
I attribute it to me being in a mid-price range in my area (mostly for catering .... I'm more expensive than a couple of well known bakeries in town). Those who are cutting back on expenses aren't considering "the big boys" in town and they are calling me instead.
I've been pretty steady this year (my 2nd real year in business). I used to be really swamped but it was during my "portfolio building" stage when I used to take orders at bargain prices just to have something to add to my website! Now, I have settled into a more steady pace of 3-4 cakes a week.
One thing that's effecting me is the cost of ingredients with rising gas prices giving way to rising food prices (more expensive fuel to run the farming equipment means the costs are passed on to the consumers), but I've been able to make a profit by keeping supply and labor costs two separate things. That, and I don't take orders from cheap skates who are looking for a work of art at Costco prices! I make more money off of 3-4 cakes now than I ever did with 8+ orders!!
The funny thing about the economy is that people who still have jobs and disposable income will continue to dispose of it on the things they WANT. I'm the only artist in my area that does 3D cakes. Even my "competitors" send me their 3D cake referrals! And those keep me busy and I'm able to charge more due to the demand and the work involved.
I haven't noticed an increase in the "$200 for a CAKE?!?!" phone calls. I still get about the same amount of those! Hahahahaha!
Could just be your area. The economy effects different areas....well...differently.