OK, the last time I made a castle wedding cake, I hideously undercharged. I've been asked to make another castle wedding cake for 07/08/09. I did the tasting tonight, and they loved the cakes, now they want a price. There will be the equivalent of 112 wedding servings and the cake will be made to resemble a real castle in this country (cake walls, towers etc), all scratch made, fondant covered cakes. There will be a modelled gumpaste knight, princess (both about 4ins) and dragon (fairly sizeable maybe 10in in length), and I will be hanging around for 3-4 hours to cut the cake.
I can't comparison shop because no-one here makes cakes like this (except me!). What would you charge?
Can you call bakeries in your area to get an idea of what the going rate for custom carved fondant cakes are?
Depending on where you live, a fair price could be anywhere from $3 to $15 per serving.
I would add delivery and a cake cutting fee because of the 3 hours you'll be "on the clock". Some caterers charge $1 to $2 per slice just to cut!
Oh, duh! I just saw that you can't comparison shop.
Okay. So figure out what the bakeries charge for what they DO, and then look online to see how much of an increase there is between BC and custom fondant cakes on websites that list prices (I've found quite a few). CarriesCakes.com is one place to start.
I mean a 3-4 hour cake cutting is kinda lengthy huh? But the cake I think at about $6 a serving for my area would be good and fair. Then how about a hundred dollars for the three figurines and the cutting? You need to add on the delivery fee too.
I mean you can carve up that cake in less than an hour kwim? So getting paid for four times the amount of time???
I would not do a cutting. Doing the cake is enough for me. So I would charge the $100 for the figurines alone.
The cutting fee should be like $35- $50.
So somewhere around $750-ish plus delivery.
Sounds like a Duff cake and Duff charges a minimum of $1000, so ... $1000 or 680 euro.
I start carved cakes at $7 /serving (USD).. that's a lot of work. Are we talking a castle with walls and a hollow middle? That's even more of a pain. I'd charge $60 for the couple and $50 for the dragon depending on detail.
I agree with Kat.. $1000 minimum.
I mean you can carve up that cake in less than an hour kwim? So getting paid for four times the amount of time???.....The cutting fee should be like $35- $50.
no, no, no. You are not getting paid "to cut the cake". You are getting paid for having to hang around the reception, after you set the cake up, waiting for the wedding party to arrive, waiting for them to finish photos, do the toasts, have dinner, have the first dance, blah, blah, blah ... and THEN you get to cut the cake.
You have to bill them for the time you are sitting in the kitchen reading a book, waiting for the time that they need you.
You know all of those wait staffers who AREN'T serving food yet? They're getting paid to stand around and wait for the couple to arrive. They don't clock out just because there's nothing for them to do right that very second.
If you are wanting to tie up my time for 3-4 hours, then you are paying MY rate for MY time.
And, technically, my time is billable at over $100 per hour .... hubby and I figured it out once.
You want to pay my staff to stand around for 3-4 hours waiting for the time to actually cut the cake? They are getting paid for that. And their hourly pay, plus what I pay in payroll taxes, workers comp, the fee for the accountant to calculate and take care of my payroll, the mileage expense for them to get to your event (yes, I pay my staff mileage) ... ALL of the expenses involved in having one of my staffers take care of your wedding cake for you .... is billable at $25/hour, 4 hour minimum.
If you're going to operate like a business, then you have to think like a business.
you're not getting paid "to cut the cake". It's much, much more than that.
I would figure out what your time is worth, what you should charge by the hour to do the cutting. I would charge the same way for the figures. Make those two separate additional costs. For the castle cake, it totally depends on where you live. Here, it could go up as high as $10 a serving. It depends on skill level, detail involved and reputation (the higher end bakeries around here charge a lot more and get away with it because of their name) - I would charge somewhere between $6.50 - $8 per serving......... Then add the extras.....
When I figured it all out based on my earlier post, it comes to a little over $900. May as well say $1000 - because you're probably going to spend more work, more time and more money making it than you're anticipating!
There is one custom cake bakery in my area, their work is mediocre at best, and mostly copying Wilton designs out of the yearbooks. I called them after giving my price on the last castle cake, and they quoted me 10 euros per serving (1200 euros for the castle alone). I charged about 500 euros for the castle, a carriage, a gumpaste slipper and a gift box - I made about 250 euros profit for 40 hours work, so I'm not making that mistake again!!! This castle will be just as bad, if not worse because it's going to be carved and constructed, with a courtyard in the middle - a potential engineering/logistical nightmare! I'm going to sit down and work it out properly tomorrow, but I don't think I'll be quoting less than 1000 -1200 euros for this one!
If I was hired to cut the cake I would not consider me on the wait staff. I mean it all depends on how far the venue is but I would deliver the cake and come back to specifically cut the cake. That's all they get from me. At a certain time the cake is cut--that's when I'd be there.
If the caterer's staff is cutting the cake then they of course would be there throughout the reception.
If I was hired to cut the cake I would not consider me on the wait staff. I mean it all depends on how far the venue is but I would deliver the cake and come back to specifically cut the cake.
I view that as being "on call". I can't go to a movie with my family, I can't schedule a bride's consultation, I can't get into the middle of making another wedding cake, because I have to go back to the venue. If I'm on-call, then I'm on the clock, because the bride has locked up my time.
They are not paying for "the cake cutting" .... they are paying for my time.
Plus so many venues in my area are quite some distance out...... it's not worth the gas or time for me to drive back and forth a couple of times. WHen I lived in my small hometown, where you could get anywhere in 13 minutes, that would have been ok, but not over here where you can't get ANYWHERE in just 13 minutes.
I knew a lady who ran a consultation business. When I worked in corporate america, my employer was one of her clients. I came back from lunch and she was sitting in our parking lot, with the top down on her converible, catching some sun. She told me "They're late for our appointment .. i"m billing them for my sun-bathing time, because I was here on time. If I knew they weren't going to be here on time, I could be making money with another client."
If they are going to tie up my time ... they are paying for it. And being "on-call" to cut a cake is tieing up my time.
Debi is completely right. If I am going to have to be waiting around for them to call me to come back to the venue.. I'm on-call. Cutting a wedding cake is a pain.. as I am sure Debi can vouch. It takes skill and time.
I cut the cake for the first wedding cake I made.. I was on-call. I had to wait around.. they ended up calling much earlier than they said they would so my childcare wasn't there yet so I had to really scramble. ANd I didn't charge.. ugh.
The cutting fee is for more than the cutting.. it's for the know-how, the cutting, and your time spent waiting and cutting.
With a cake that has an inner courtyard, I'd charge at least $10/serving.. that is an engineering nightmare for sure.
That's why I don't do it. I leave it to the caterers or whosoever.
That's why I don't do it. I leave it to the caterers or whosoever.
Hmmm, you've obviously not read my rants about Dutch caterers , there is no way I'm letting them butcher this cake (and neither do my B&G want that!)