How To Charge...

Decorating By pinkpanthachik Updated 8 Oct 2008 , 5:46pm by meldancer

pinkpanthachik Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:25pm
post #1 of 13

Okay, I'm sure this question pops up all the time, but I'm curious.... I just barely started charging for cakes. In fact, I've only done one for actual profit! But the problem is, I had no clue what to charge the client, so I told her to see it and decide. Well, I got 20$ which is virtually nothing when you subtract cost. (it left like 3$ and hour...icon_cry.gif) However, because I'd never charged for a cake, and am a total amateur, this was,perhaps, a good place to start. Also note that I am only people are naturally inclined to pay me less....

Getting to the point, I need a good basis on how to charge. Once you add up costs of materials, how much do you charge per hour? As in, if a cake cost 10$ to make and required 5 hours of work, how much would you charge? Also, what else would effect the cost? (Such as: How much to add if special flavorings/fillings were used, or fondant, etc.)

Hope that made sense.. icon_redface.gif

12 replies
BabyBear3 Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:32pm
post #2 of 13

I am pretty sure that almost everyone chargers per serving instead of hours. The "profit" is built into the price per serving. For example, a per serving of a plain buttercream cake is going to be a different price than the per serving of a fondant cake with many decorations. I usually charge about 2 - 2.50 per serving on a plain buttercream cake with very simple decrations and anywhere from 3 - 5 dollars on more difficult cakes.

Correct me if I am wrong -- but that is what I have gotten from this website is that people don't charge "per hour" they build that cost into a "per serving" cost.

gingersoave Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:43pm
post #3 of 13

here is a cake matrix that I have been using. Read the instructions b/c it looks overwhelming at first. But it will give you at least a place to start. There is an instruction tab to click on. It's an excel spreadsheet. I got it from the business section on CC.


tye Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:53pm
post #4 of 13

there is a great cake matrix on this site... do a search for "cake matrix". its an excel program that has all the formulas you need to determine your cost.. you can adjust it to your area and the hardcost that you pay... i highly recommend it

tye Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:54pm
post #5 of 13

wow.. i was too slow..

pinkpanthachik Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 8:59pm
post #6 of 13

Wow, I didn't know they had that.

Thanks everyone. icon_biggrin.gif

tye Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:05pm
post #7 of 13

this one works better for me.

dmhart Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:22pm
post #8 of 13

Thanks for posting these matrix. I have wanted these too.

meldancer Posted 7 Oct 2008 , 9:50pm
post #9 of 13

How do you determine what you are worth though? Its easy to add up ingredient total, but where does the profit amount come from? An ametuers hourly wage can't be the same as an expert because an expert can do a cake in less hours. I ask because I struggle with this same topic.

gingersoave Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 11:12am
post #10 of 13

check out the matrix above that I have to download, you can put in what you want to charge per hour, I put in 10 dollars an hour and I have 12 hours as an estimated time to decorate, this matrix gives you a total at the end what you should charge for your cakes based on size, recipes your time, extra costs etc... Check it out, you'll be impressed. I have used it a couple of times, but make sure that you tweak it to your prices at home. Not sure how old this matrix is but I had to go in and change some of the prices to reflect today's costs. You can always call your local bakeries and ask what they would charge for a particular cake, you will need to play as the bride though.

meldancer Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 11:17am
post #11 of 13

I understand how you got the total, but how did you come up with the $10 per hour amount? Do I just pick a number out of the air and say my work is worth $xxx per hour on top of the cost of ingredients?

gingersoave Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 12:31pm
post #12 of 13

melanie, yes, pretty much I just pulled a number out of the air, of course that is based on reading tons of CCer's info too. I actually read where more are charging $12 per hour. It really depends on your skill level as well. If your a beginner it will take you longer to do a cake that would take someone that has been doing it for years, so obviously you should not charge that much. I would check with local bakers and just play around with cakes at home, maybe dummy cakes.

hth, I know it's so tough to charge people and figure out all these numbers. But if you price yourself too low then people will think your product isnt worthy of buying and also on the flip side you can't overcharge b/c people won't use you. So just go with a happy medium.

meldancer Posted 8 Oct 2008 , 5:46pm
post #13 of 13

Thank you, gingersoave! I have been struggling with that hourly wage and what I'm worthy of making. We just moved and I'm having to re-evaluate everything.

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