Standard Vs. Specialty Flavors Pricing

Business By Swede-cakes Updated 25 Jul 2008 , 1:15am by CakesByJen2

Swede-cakes Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 8:53pm
post #1 of 18

Hey CC'ers,

I've noticed on a couple of randomly chosen websites that some cake flavors are considered standard (gold, choc, etc), and other flavors are more elaborate and costly to make thus cost more per slice. But is that just for the cake?

Do any of you categorize your frosting finishes and fillings the same way? (I mean, besides charging more for fondant.) For instance, do you charge the same for a buttercream covered cake vs. one that's covered in dark chocolate ganache, or is the ganache an upcharge? What about fruit preserves vs. fresh sliced strawberries for a filling?

I did a cake with fresh strawberries back in May and by God, I had to buy two pkgs ($8 total) just to find enough good ones for the filling and dip some for the top. A jar of pure preserves would have cost me half that.

I'm asking because as I develop my website, this part of the pricing page has me a bit stumped. If anyone has some feedback, I'd appreciate it!

tia!!

17 replies
littlecake Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 9:47pm
post #2 of 18

you gotta upcharge for stuff, or you'll lose money.

then you come to resent the customers who want it all....don't ask me how i know...lol

KoryAK Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 10:24pm
post #3 of 18

I charge one price that gets you any filling, icing, whatever you want. Here's the catch tho... charge the price you want for the "premium" stuff. People like it when you tell them you can have whateeeever you want... then they order basic stuff (most of the time) for that premium price. I took away my fondant upcharge (or rather, took away the lower BC price) on wedding cakes because I wanted to promote its use. Birthdays still pay more per serving.

FromScratch Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 10:31pm
post #4 of 18

I do the same as KoryAK does.. one price for any flavor of cake and filling. I do charge more for fondant and ganache though. Set the prices to what you want for you more expensive options and chrage that for everything.. that way you make out when they want vanilla cake with plain BC.

People do like it when you tell them go ahead and order whatever you want and it won't effect the price per serving.

Thanks a great idea KoryAK about not upcharging for fondant on your wedding cakes.. I might steal that one from you if you don't mind. icon_wink.gif

smoore Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 10:49pm
post #5 of 18

I charge $.50/serving more for "specialty flavors" becuse of the increase in my costs. Most of my customers only want my "classic" flavors (White, Choc, Butter) and I'm only able to charge slightly more than the only bakery in town here charges. I don't even get many requests for anything outside of White and Chocolate, but recently I did and I explained that that flavor was one of my specialty flavors because it has additional, expensive ingredients and is more labor intensive and she had no problem with it. She said "I don't care, I just want you to make the cake." Darn! I should have told her a $1 more per serving!!!! icon_smile.gif

littlecake Posted 22 Jul 2008 , 11:31pm
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I charge one price that gets you any filling, icing, whatever you want. Here's the catch tho... charge the price you want for the "premium" stuff. People like it when you tell them you can have whateeeever you want... then they order basic stuff (most of the time) for that premium price. I took away my fondant upcharge (or rather, took away the lower BC price) on wedding cakes because I wanted to promote its use. Birthdays still pay more per serving.




hmmmm interesting...they do order basic stuff most oif the time....gee i'll have to take this into consideration!

loriemoms Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 12:26am
post #7 of 18

I charge more for things like carrot cake and banana cake and cake with chocolate chips...because they just cost so much more to make! Everyone always seems to understand that. I don't charge extra for like red velvet or lemon cake, where i Have seen a lot of people do. I dont get that..except maybe they dont want to do the RV and lemon cake!

I charge more for fondant because it just cost more...

Swede-cakes Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:20am
post #8 of 18

So some bakers have a one-price-fits-all-flavors theory, and others categorize between standard and specialty. Hmmm.

I may compromise between the two, and go with standard and specialty CAKE prices, and the client can choose any filling and finish they'd like. Ganache and Fondant will just have to be an upcharge on ANY cake.

Only because, although I think the one-price theory makes cake shopping simpler for the client, I'm not sure a $4-$5 per serving cake would fly well here in my town.

I'm going to have mull this over more...thanks everyone for your input!

smoore Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 2:07pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by skichic68

So some bakers have a one-price-fits-all-flavors theory, and others categorize between standard and specialty. Hmmm.

I may compromise between the two, and go with standard and specialty CAKE prices, and the client can choose any filling and finish they'd like. Ganache and Fondant will just have to be an upcharge on ANY cake.

Only because, although I think the one-price theory makes cake shopping simpler for the client, I'm not sure a $4-$5 per serving cake would fly well here in my town.

I'm going to have mull this over more...thanks everyone for your input!




That's the same issue that I have in my town. As it is, I charge a little more than the local bakery (they charge $.75/serving and only offer chocolate, white, butter and strawberry and I charge $1/svg, but strawberry is one of my specialty flavors because I use fresh strawberries when in season - frozen out of season - and there's more labor involved in that cake. There's another lady in my town that bakes/decorates and she charges less than the bakery! Personally, if I'm going to take time away from my kids and other responsibilites, I'm going to want to get something in return. I don't know how she does it????? One of my daughter's friend's mother told me she got her 3 tiered oval wedding cake with 3 sheet cakes from this lady last year (a 2nd marriage) - ALL for $100 even!!! Huh???? How the????? She's been doing it for years (in her 60's) I'm lucky I get what I get, I guess. Not many request fondant here .... no one seems to know what it is, and since they already pay more for my buttercream pricing they're not about to tack on additional $1/serving for fondant. To try and introduce it to people, I'll incorporate some fondant accents on a cake, list it on the invoice, but take that amount back off the invoice as a "portfolio builder discount". When they ask for fondant again, I don't back it off of the invoice as a discount .... they don't seem to have issue with it so far. icon_lol.gif

FromScratch Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:19pm
post #10 of 18

You really can't compare yourself to the local bakery. They most likely make their cakes using bulk mixes and can buy in larger quantities than you could. I wouldn't even break even charging $1/serving.. it costs me on average $1.10/serving just to MAKE my cakes. So I would be paying people to buy my cakes.

dinas27 Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 3:32pm
post #11 of 18

The majority of my cakes fall under basic pricing - chocolate, carrot, vanilla, rum, coconut etc because I bake from scratch and all my cakes have the same quality of ingredients (ex vanilla has lots of real vanilla beans). I upcharge only for cakes that have nuts in them and even more for fruit cake (nuts, dried fruit and lots of chopping!).

Buttercream or creamcheese icing are included in the basic price as well as any filling. (Butter and creamcheese are very close to the same price here)

I charge extra for fondant, ganache or marzipan.

smoore Posted 23 Jul 2008 , 4:40pm
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You really can't compare yourself to the local bakery. They most likely make their cakes using bulk mixes and can buy in larger quantities than you could. I wouldn't even break even charging $1/serving.. it costs me on average $1.10/serving just to MAKE my cakes. So I would be paying people to buy my cakes.





In my case, I can't compare myself with the other local bakers, as they charge less than the bakery ... I'm charging more than all of them.

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:17am
post #13 of 18

I have about 30 specialty flavors, and I priced each recipe out by cost of ingredients to get the per-serving price for each. They vary between $4.50 and 6.50/sv, and I charge $0.50/sv more for fondant.

I also charge $0.25 more per serving for extra-time-consuming finishes like tons of tiny scrolls, hand painting, lattice work or anything else that will take more time and $ than a more 'standard' design.

So, if someone orders a traditional flavor cake but wants it with fondant, and then wants it covered in brush embroidery, and then wants the embroidery painted with luster dust, they'll pay the standard price + $1.00 (0.50 for fondant, 0.25 for embroidery, and 0.25 for painting). I don't break all this down for them, though, I just say, "That cake will cost $xxx.xx, which includes delivery and setup."

Try getting your receipts out and spend a day working on costs, and see where *you* need to be; it might surprise you.

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 12:03pm
post #14 of 18

This thread is so timely .... I just had lunch yesterday with a dear friend about this very topic. He had run his own bakery for years and he lets me pick his brain alot!!

A bride recently told me that one bakery in town charges $65 just to wrap ribbon around a cake, and the bride provides the ribbon. icon_eek.gif I about died when I heard that! What I find "confusing" about it is if the bride wanted an iced cake with a BC border, there was no upcharge, but to add a ribbon was $65 for the "extra" work.

I dont' know about you guys, but I can wrap a lousy ribbon WAY faster than I can do borders! icon_confused.gif So the extra charge for the (non-existent) extra labor just makes zero sense to me. It's not logical.

But .... I asked my friend if I'm smart for having simpler pricing (KoryAK method) or am I stupid for missing the boat? As my very good friend he said, "You're stupid." icon_lol.gif

But what's causing me to also re-look at how I do things is stuff like doing the chantilly lace on 4 tiers of cake .... my aging hands seem to cramp up much more than they used to! icon_biggrin.gif I'm leaning toward an upcharge for this one. I dont'mind doing 2 flavors of cake in a 4 tier wedding cake, but if they want 4 different flavors, it IS extra labor for me. Now that I have the 20 qt mixer, I can mix up enough white cake batter for a 5 tier cake all at one time ... but with 4 different flavors, I have to stop 3 times to wash the bowl/beater and re-measure/mix another flavor. It's a legit add'l labor expense that I believe merits an add'l labor fee.

My inner turmoil is our philosophy of "we keep it simple for you" (i.e. the KoryAK method!) and I really detest the nickle-and-dime-you-to-death system!

Ok, I'm rambling now .... I like telling brides "anything you want ... same price" thing, but that lace design is just killing my hands! (literally!! icon_lol.gif ) and it's starting to bug me when I have to wash that mixer bowl 3 times to make one wedding cake!

KoryAK Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:00pm
post #15 of 18

Welll... the "KoryAK method" only applies to the inside of the cake! For decorations, I have a base price and things go up from there. I try to keep it reasonable and not nickel and dime... but the price goes up to about $9, average cake is about $7. Ribbon wrapping is free and I'll even provide it icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:13pm
post #16 of 18

Thanks, Kory, that actually helps a lot!! thumbs_up.gif

cocobean Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:50pm
post #17 of 18

This is one reason I keep thinking, tell everyone you will bake ANYTHING they want! icon_biggrin.gif Just tell me how many you want it to serve. Then tell them you CHARGE BY THE LB. The more stuff you want on it the heavier it will be! Fast and easy quote! It's the way I want to start going! icon_biggrin.gif

CakesByJen2 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 1:15am
post #18 of 18

You definitely have to charge more for cake, filling, or icing flavors that require more expensive ingredients or more labor. If you are in a market that can bare it, it is easier to charge the premium price for everything, and they can have whatever they want. But in some areas you would lose too many customers to sticker shock. On the other hand, you don't want to charge a really low price, then upcharge for everything and make them feel nickel and dimed to death.

For my area, a compromise works best. I have a moderate base price ($2.50/serving), and that includes two basic cake flavors ( I have about 10), two fillings, buttercream icing, basic piped decorations, piped flowers, and local delivery. I charge extra for few flavors that are more labor intensive or have special ingredients such as Italian cream, carrot cake, Kahlua Fudge, or that I just don't like to do, such as red velvet (hate messing with all that red food coloring and I just don't see the point). I also charge more for ganache and fondant.

So far everyone has seemed happy with my pricing scheme, and no one has been surprised at the few flavors that have upcharges, but are pleasantly surprised that they get 2 flavors and 2 fillings for the basic price.

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