Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before...

Business By jules1719 Updated 20 Sep 2008 , 2:18pm by PGray315

jules1719 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:23pm
post #1 of 18

I know you've all heard this before.

I just had a request to make a styrofoam dummy cake for display and sheet cakes in the kitchen. This was suggested to the client by the Executive chef of a very upscale venue. (!!!)

I set the client straight about the cost, but she looked at me like I had four heads, two of which were purple.

But I got to wondering- who out there is making cakes this way in a cost effective manner? Doing this out of my shop would cost twice as much. I'd charge just as much for a dummy cake as for a real cake, PLUS the cost of the sheets.

Where did this notion of "saving money" in this way get started... who can I yell at? LOL

17 replies
chutzpah Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:30pm
post #2 of 18

If you find out who is resposible let me know. I'd like to bitch-slap 'em right on into next week.

Atomikjen Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:48pm
post #3 of 18

I second that notion (and I don't even have a business)

it seems ridiculous for people to think that just because they're not eating the "display" cake that it doesn't take any time to make it... boooo

there IS skill involved, eventually they'll understand (wishful thinking, I know) icon_wink.gif

danitza Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 5:49pm
post #4 of 18

I have the same request, if any one finds out who is reponsible for this myth I want to know as well!!!!

The way I explain it to people is that the dummy costs me more than the real cake, I have to use the same materials as a real cake and I have to decorate it the same as a real cake. Since everything is the same I charge the same as if it was a real cake or even more in some occasions. The only way it ever saves money if a bride wants a smaller cake to show and sheets in the kitchen to serve.

rvercher23 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:00pm
post #5 of 18

I actually saw a news station do a piece on wedding cakes and how alot of people are getting dummy cakes and kitchen cakes to save money. I almost fell over in my chair, cause it wasnt but 2 days later I had a bride ask me how much of a discount she would get if she got a dummy cake instead. I quickly told her that there would not be a discount because I was essentially doing double the work. She quickly changed her mind!

KHalstead Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:10pm
post #6 of 18

When people ask me about dummy cakes I tell them the reason they were invented was in case you wanted a 7 tiered cake (or whatever) and only had like a 2 tiered cakes worth of people...then you wouldn't have a ton of leftover cake and still have the grand look you're after....but it still costs the same as a 7 tiered far everyone has just said....give me the cake, I'll find people to eat it LOL

tyty Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:11pm
post #7 of 18

I've heard of decorators offering to rent out dummy cakes that they already have made up and offering kitchen cakes to save $. The decorators I know still get the 4 heads reation from the brides.

littlecake Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 6:46pm
post #8 of 18

than the experts on tv...geeze the cake(as we well know) is not where the expense comes from.

jules1719 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 8:04pm
post #9 of 18

These brides just need a reality check. They all want champagne on a beer budget. They can't see that a cake for 70 with back-ups for 130 is better than a dummy and sheets for 200.

This woman didn't want to be told that her brilliant idea was idiotic.

This whole idea is such a non-story. I've seen this reported on TV and suggested in magazines. It just doesn't reflect reality. And who would rent a dummy? Do you guys have dummies in your shops? I do (not for rent) and they last about a year before they fade and get too dusty.

dinas27 Posted 11 Sep 2008 , 8:37pm
post #10 of 18

there are very, very few situations where you could actually save money doing dummy cakes. But there are other reasons - perishable fillings or stability for instance that you might want a dummy.

The only situation where you might save money with a dummy is for VERY elaborate cakes ( like a lot of string work etc) that might take several days of just decorating. If the decorator has to pay staff to work around the clock (thus paying out a lot of OT) because the decorating must be done at the last minute for the cake to remain fresh, then it might be cheaper to do a dummy (can be done at anytime during the week) and kitchen cakes baked fresh at the last minute.

This of course only applies to very few cakes from the big names that get $50,000 + for a cake. Unfortunately these are usually the decorators being interviewed on TV, not the average one who will decorate in one afternoon or day.

tammi Posted 13 Sep 2008 , 2:39am
post #11 of 18

You want to know who is responsible, its Rachael Ray. A couple of months ago I watched it, and I couldn't believe it. They aren't saving money if they want it custom made, but I can see if they rent one that's already made up.

karateka Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 7:42am
post #12 of 18

I've had 2 brides email me asking about dummies. I explain that while I'd be happy to accomodate them, they aren't saving any $$.

I never heard back from either of them.

marmalade1687 Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 12:50pm
post #13 of 18

I just got the "sheet cakes are cheaper than a tiered cake" bride in last weekend (didn't want the dummy cake, but wanted a kitchen full of sheet cakes). The kicker was that she wanted them intricately decorated like a tiered cake would be for a "sheet cake" price! I patiently told her that I would still have to charge her the same amount as my wedding cake prices since there would still be the same amount of cake and labour involved - she wasn't too happy about that. The rest of the consultation went well - tastings, design, etc. Then she pulled the "well, we have MANY other decorators to see this week...we won't be able to give you an answer for a while" (hoping that would change my mind on the price?). Again, she wasn't too happy when I told her that was fine, that I encouraged people to compare prices, but not to take too long since my dates were going quickly, and I wouldn't be able to hold the date for her. Zot!! icon_cool.gif

FromScratch Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:23pm
post #14 of 18

I can't stand this little myth. I don't really see any situation where it would be a money saver.. even if the work can be drawn out.. you are still paying them (employees) for the same work.. just not all at the last minute. Maybe if they wanted a smaller heavily decorated display cake and un decorated kitchen cakes in the back it would save some, but not a ton.. not from me anyway.

I was relieved one day when I was reading a copy of REAL Weddings when I came upon a page where they were talking about cakes and they said very matter-of-factly that the fake cake with sheet cakes option was not going to be a HUGE money saver. It made me smile from ear to ear.. FINALLY.. someone printed that you don't save money for styrofoam cakes with real cakes out back.

michellesArt Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:39pm
post #15 of 18

yeah i saw a clip on the news (one of the big ones if i remember) about budget brides and that renting dummies can save money. what i don't understand is who they talked to cuz you still have to take the time to decorate the dummy (even if you rent it someone had to decorate it at one time) oh and as a bride do you want a cake that someone else has already used? likely you want your own spin on this creative expression of your wedding-you the baker still have to supply cake (still covered in icing and probably decorated somewhat) so how does that save money? it really would cost more twice the work twice the price really come on!!

Naturepixie Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:42pm
post #16 of 18
Originally Posted by tammi

You want to know who is responsible, its Rachael Ray. A couple of months ago I watched it, and I couldn't believe it. They aren't saving money if they want it custom made, but I can see if they rent one that's already made up.

Sorry to tell ya it wasn't Rachael Ray. I heard about this over a year ago.. I read it in a newspaper article. A lady in New York had the idea and she had several made up. She doesn't even make cakes, she justs rents out the dummy cakes for about $150 bucks. The brides have to go elsewhere for their sheet cakes..or that's what I read in the paper. I thought it was very interesting.

MacsMom Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:51pm
post #17 of 18

I wish I had known about dummy cakes when I got married. I wanted a huge cake but didn't have a have huge guest list, so I got a small square 3-tiered cake.

So I guess the shocker for me is why would a bride want a small display cake and sheet cakes in the back? Make that sucker ginormous! I want people talkin' 'bout my cake for many years, lol.

PGray315 Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 2:18pm
post #18 of 18

Oh my! I think I'll print out this thread and present it to the people who have asked about the dummy cake idea! Those folks need to be "dummy-slapped" into reality! icon_wink.gif

I, too, charge the same price for dummy cakes or dummy tiers, as I do for the actual cake. One lady, after ordering her daughters wedding cake with a dummy cake as the bottom tier, called back after a few days to tell me to go ahead and make it all cake seeing that it would be the same price. Makes sense to me. The extra is always welcome at the local shelters!

I am so glad to hear that others feel the same way. thumbs_up.gif

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