What Makes People Think Birthday Cakes Should Be Cheaper?

Decorating By mamajan61 Updated 28 Jul 2008 , 5:17pm by Texas_Rose

mamajan61 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 6:36pm
post #1 of 27

I'm completely baffled.... I just completed a wedding for a young lady that has a son that will have his first birthday in October. She contacted me yesterday and asked me how much for a small cake for the birthday boy, then a cake large enough to feed 75 guests...

When I quoted her the price for the guests' cake she couldn't believe a "birthday cake" would cost that much. I tried to explain to her that when you're feeding 75 people, it doesn't matter if it's birthday or wedding... cake is cake... PLUS she's wanting all kinds of decorations on the birthday cake...

Then she made the all so famous statement... "I could get a cake cheaper at Kroger".... Let me tell y'all.. that was NOT the thing to say after I struggled with her for 6 months on her wedding... Lord knows... if ever there was a bridezilla... well, y'all know the rest!

Sorry to vent... but it just amazes me that people can't understand the simple fact that if you have a wedding cake for 75 people... and a birthday cake for 75 people... the price doesn't vary... Maybe I need to find a new way to try to explain myself... How do I do that?

26 replies
Pookie59 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:15pm
post #2 of 27

I think people assume birthday cakes are always in the Walmart $20 range, but a cake for 75 people with a lot of trim is not going to be cheap.

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:46pm
post #3 of 27

What pookie said!

Way back in the day, tiered ornate cakes were reserved for weddings and they were expensive. A birthday was a twenty buck sheet cake.

Now parties are bigger (75 guests instead of 10) and cakes are tall, tiered and ornate.

But in their heads, it's a twenty buck sheet cake.

As I said in another thread recently: Their eyes have seen the glory, but their brains haven't caught up.

Or my exaggerated illustration ..... "I'd like a SIMPLE little cake ... 4 tiers, 5 flavors, with a volcano at the top and a monkey band climbing up the side ... but you don't have to make ALL the instruments .... you can forget the drums. And since you don't have to make the drums, I get a discount, right? Twenty bucks should cover it?"

Its what I call a Twinkie Budget Bride (or in this case, Mom): "At that price, you couldn't buy a pack of twinkies for each guest! ANd you want a custom made, ornately designed, multi flavored cake for less money than you'd pay for a Twinkie??????" (stand there, look shocked, wait for them to admit they're a dumba$$.)

MosMom Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 8:59pm
post #4 of 27

Its what I call a Twinkie Budget Bride (or in this case, Mom): "At that price, you couldn't buy a pack of twinkies for each guest! ANd you want a custom made, ornately designed, multi flavored cake for less money than you'd pay for a Twinkie??????"


This is an excellent way to phrase it. I don't think people THINK of the time it takes and when you compare gorgeous cakes to a twinkie it really hits home.

I get the people who know Kroger cakes are garbage but still want to pay Kroger prices for quality. Logically, it makes no sense.

GenGen Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 9:09pm
post #5 of 27

I hate the expression when one's flabberghasted with the price "but its just a cake"


fine.. those are Just shoes.. i bet you paid over $100 for them.. and thats "just a ring" bet that was well over $100... and your car... is Just a car.. sorry no cream cheese for you..

CakeMommyTX Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 9:09pm
post #6 of 27

Well you do know they sell cheaper flour, sugar, eggs and butter just for birthday cakes right?
Thats why they should cost less because you don't have to buy the "fancy wedding" ingrediants.

tracycakes Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 9:13pm
post #7 of 27

I think that was the reason I started decorating in the first place. I wanted nicely decorated cakes that tasted good but couldn't afford the prices. Besides, I'm a "do it myself" kind of person with a few control issues (according to hubby). icon_lol.gif

Aliwis000 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 9:22pm
post #8 of 27

I like the twinkie comment!

I think people are stuck on the sheet cake thing. And I say 'hey if thats what your budget allows for then go for it, thats why its there'. I mean money is tight in my home right now, and I suspect it is in many homes. So paying 200 bucks for a birthday cake is not an option, so we run to Kroger or where ever. Its a cake, if ordered and not off the shelf we have never had a problem with taste, yes it is a store cake but hey thats what we can get, and its not that bad.

But it amazes me that people think that that pricing structure can be applied to the custom creations people on this site do. In a store you get limited options, with limitied decoration. With a bakery or home baker you get limitless options and a personal touch that you cant get at a store. (Not to say the individuals working there are bad, they are just limited to what they are allowed to do by money and time restraints.)

People just arent using their brains sometimes I guess lol

Alicia

poshcakedesigns Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 9:32pm
post #9 of 27

LOl I blame WALMART.

osorio Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 10:14pm
post #10 of 27

I also like the "Twinkie Budget Bride", but there are many "Twinkie Budget People". I live in México City and as I see people think exactly the same in the U.S.A than in Mexico when it comes to paying cakes. Here, we can get very cheap cakes, so when they see a cake covered with fondant and with lots of decorating work, they want to pay the same they pay for other kinks of cakes. It´s hard to make people understand that this are not commercial cakes like the ones you can get in Walmart.

mamajan61 Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 11:04pm
post #11 of 27

I guess the funniest part about all of this is.. this new bride which is the mother of the birthday boy spent ALL of her mother's 401K on her wedding... the cost of the cake didn't seem to bother her then as long as her mother was paying for it... but when it's coming out of HER own pocket... then she wants to compare me to Kroger...

Even if i did a sheet cake for 75 people... the price won't vary in my business. There's just as much time baking... just as much cake batter... just as much icing...

It really wouldn't surprise me at this point if she goes to Kroger, and if she does, then she'll get Kroger quality...

indydebi Posted 24 Jul 2008 , 11:29pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yourstrulytx

Well you do know they sell cheaper flour, sugar, eggs and butter just for birthday cakes right?
Thats why they should cost less because you don't have to buy the "fancy wedding" ingrediants.




Oh I absolutely LUV this one!!

sarahpierce Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 12:58pm
post #13 of 27

In spirit of the soup nazi "NO CAKE FOR YOU! BACK OF THE LINE!"

michellesArt Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 1:28pm
post #14 of 27

that's too funny lol- i want to go to the store where they sell the "fancy flour"!! i only use the best ingredients!! see your bridzilla has issues now because it's her money-she doesn't want to fork it over but she doesn't want to look cheap!!and i totally agree-sheet or tier it's the same batter and icing i think the only difference being that you have to construct the tier-but still-most of the hard work is over then right? and if you had issues with the bridezilla (i'm assuming the name fits?) then what do you think you'd deal with as momzilla? i'd let it go...sorry booked that day...

randipanda Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 1:30pm
post #15 of 27

I think people expect birthday cakes to be cheaper because they expect wedding cakes to be more expensive. Alot of people charge the same price for a birthday cake versus a wedding cake per serving, but there are also a lot of people who charge more for a wedding cake per serving because it is a wedding cake and inherently a hassle. I don't any commercial baking, but I have had cake that have totally not turned out before, and it would make me alot more nervous to be making it for a wedding than a birthday. I dont' know that if I ever went commercial I would want to do a lot of the wedding cake making, though that is where the money is. Tastings, bridezillas, reception venues, melting cakes, picky perfectionistic brides, I've heard too many horror stories about how miserable making wedding cakes can be to NOT charge more for all the annoyances. (That said, those who expect to have 20 or 30 dollar birthday cakes are seriously diluded).

indydebi Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 1:37pm
post #16 of 27

randi, I've experienced birthday cake orders that were way more PITA than any wedding cake I've done. A recent example was a woman who spent over 30 minutes with me talking about a $60 birthday cake for her daughter. Then she wanted to think about it. Then she came back in and talked for another 30 minutes before she ordered it. I spend less than an hour with a bride on a sampling for cake for 150 that gets me $450. ANd she wasn't the only one I've encountered like this.

Melting can occur on a birthday cake as easy as it can a wedding cake. Picky brides? omg, the horror stories about little Charlie's first birthday cake make me want to NEVER deal with First-Birthday-Moms!! icon_surprised.gif

Dollar for dollar, I think wedding cakes are way less work. Brides dont' take up near as much of my time as a birthday-mom does.

PinkZiab Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 2:55pm
post #17 of 27

A big part of this problem--besides the wal-mart/supermarket factor--is the fact that many wedding items (not just cakes, but anything with the word "wedding" slapped in front of it) have their prices greatly inflated simply BECAUSE it's for a wedding. Some cake decorators even have a higher per-slice range for wedding cakes vs other cakes (a practice which I do NOT agree with on any level). Some people expect that this is always the case, and assume if it doesn't have wedding attached to it, it's going to be cheaper from the get-go.

mamajan61 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 4:29pm
post #18 of 27

indydebi... Girl.. you are preachin to the choir...!!!

I have spent more time with "First Birthday Moms" than with most of my brides that walk in. I thought I was the only one with those types of Moms... I'm really glad to know that it's not just me icon_smile.gif

I just had yet ANOTHER email from this bridezilla/momzilla again this morning... and asked if I do "less decorating" would the price come down? Then she goes on to say that she wants her son's first birthday to be perfect....

I guess I'm going to have to stop this roller coaster ride. I really don't have the time to be playing back and forth with her over this. I played with the wedding for too many months... I have my own grandbaby coming and I'm trying to get my orders and weddings in line so I can make a 1500 mile trip to Phoenix for the grand arrival.

I guess I'll have to turn into the "cakedecoratorzilla" icon_smile.gif

littlecake Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:08pm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenGen

I hate the expression when one's flabberghasted with the price "but its just a cake"


fine.. those are Just shoes.. i bet you paid over $100 for them.. and thats "just a ring" bet that was well over $100... and your car... is Just a car.. sorry no cream cheese for you..




HA HA HA!

littlecake Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:26pm
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Dollar for dollar, I think wedding cakes are way less work. Brides dont' take up near as much of my time as a birthday-mom does.




omg, i'm glad i'm not the only one.

i had a customer(mom) of a 28 year old MAN come in and take forever....i told her a man that age prolly doen't care how it's decorated...well after 30 minutes of me trying to tickle her with my too short feather...

she e mailed me changing her mind...cancelling...reordering another design...about 10 times.

finally i emailed her and told her i prolly wasn't the decorator for her since she had such discriminating tastes.....all this over a quarter sheet cake icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

i don't think they realize as small business owers we are not forced to take them as clients. icon_cool.gif

indydebi Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 7:33pm
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

i don't think they realize as small business owers we are not forced to take them as clients. icon_cool.gif




As I told someone just today, "They think when they come in for a sampling that they are interviewing the caterer ..... nuh-uh .... it's a two-way street and I've declined to work with more than one bride because of the bad vibes I was getting during our "interview"!"

mamajan61 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:47pm
post #22 of 27

Just to give y'all an update on the whole "momzilla" thing.... the mom just emailed me to let me know that her best friend found her a cake to feed 75 people for $50 and she would no longer be needing my services. She went on to say that she was really disappointed with me since I had done so much for her wedding, she would have thought that I would at least do this one "little" thing for her and make her son's 1st birthday cake for a more reasonable price.....but she realizes that the only reason I did her wedding was for the $$ and NOT because we are friends....

WOW... that one came at me from left field... I would have never expected that kind of response due to the fact that I didn't even know her before I started working on her wedding....

Well, I guess I'll get some bad publicity off of this one.... you win some..... you lose some....

I'm really curious though.... who in their right mind would make a cake to feed 75 people for $50? That's 67 cents per serving.... Maybe I've been zapped back in time... but I can't make a cake for 67 cents a serving....

indydebi Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:50pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajan61


.... who in their right mind would make a cake to feed 75 people for $50? That's 67 cents per serving.... Maybe I've been zapped back in time... but I can't make a cake for 67 cents a serving....




I luv my competition who makes cakes at that price! Because at that price, they wont' be my competition for very long! icon_twisted.gif

7yyrt Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:07pm
post #24 of 27

randipanda, I read it as the folks wanting a $20 birthday cake were "diluted" ! I thought 'Yeah, probably been drinking a bit' then realized you meant deluded!
ImageImage

fondantgrl Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 4:38pm
post #25 of 27

What makes people think Birthday cakes should be cheaper?


It's their ignorance. thumbsdown.gif

mamajan61 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:08pm
post #26 of 27

It's almost like a slap in the face to me... or maybe I'm just taking everything too personally.... but I worked with this bridezilla for 6 or 8 months... she honestly had me thinking I was going to throw in the towel on weddings.... but now I'm not good enough to do her son's 1st birthday cake because I won't "give" it to her.... It's like I owe HER for something... and I know her well enough to know that she will tell EVERYBODY that I'm over priced... blah... blah... blah... oh yea, did I mention she's a drama queen?

I could just go on my radio spot Wednesday and make a comment about people wanting me to give them cakes.... I know she'll be listening!

Texas_Rose Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 5:17pm
post #27 of 27

Don't let this girl get to you. I'm sure her cheap cake will be a cheap cake and she'll be sitting there wishing she had just forked over the money for one of yours...and if she complains to her friends about you while they're eating the cheap cake, they'll be remembering her wedding cake and comparing the two. It won't be your reputation that suffers there icon_biggrin.gif

Anyhow, ignore her...there are always going to be cheap people in the world, and people who want something for free.

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