$1.50 Per Slice??

Business By cuteums Updated 12 Nov 2008 , 6:10pm by cakesdivine

cuteums Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:51am
post #1 of 39

Okay is it me, or is this just way too low to charge per slice for a wedding cake. I saw this site and it made me mad. I can't create a 3 tiered wedding cake for $1.50 a slice without losing money on my supplies. I haven't even factored in the labor yet. I'm just wondering if any one else can do this at this price. I live in NY so everything is more expensive to begin with.

http://www.costhelper.com/cost/wedding/cake.html

38 replies
indydebi Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 3:18am
post #2 of 39

I think what they are saying is get a small tiered cake at the regular "wedding cake price" .... then get sheet cakes for $1.50/serving.

I did notice the ever present "get one layer of real cake on top of styrofoam cakes, then use "a" sheet cake for serving" ..... without nary a WORD about how much a fake cake costs!!! icon_mad.gif

SweetResults Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 3:43am
post #3 of 39

I added my comment to the bottom of that list - Styrofoam and icing cost MONEY! Crazy people.

2508s42 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 3:52am
post #4 of 39

That drives me crazy too. "But it is just styrofome!!" yes, stryofome shaped into your cake, iced, fondant, decorating.

I actually tell my brides that they will save money by having a real cake and serving that, then serving sheet cakes with a dummy deco. The dummy is going to cost about $300 by itself, then the sheet cakes are $2 a serving. Do the math. They still have delivery fee. They may as well get the cake of their dreams.

abruntz Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 4:20am
post #5 of 39

OMG I am glad that I am not alone someone here where I live is advertising on Craigslist for a 1.00 a slice for a wedding cake. I had this lady call last week about my cakes and she asked how much I charged and I told her 3.00 a slice for buttercream and 4.00 a slice for fondant. She said oh well I found someone for a 1.00 a slice and I think we are going to go with her. I thought to myself oh well I wish I was a mouse at the reception to see what the cake really looked like, maybe thats mean but that lady isn't doing any justice to herself or any other cake decorator out there....

So where I am getting at I am totally with you cuteums...

2508s42 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 4:32am
post #6 of 39

There is one lady here that totaly steals all the business. She charges 1.5 a serving. I honestly don't know if she just likes doing it for no labor cost, or if her ingredients are inferior.... BUT around here, most people go to walmart or something, so a high end decorator is a shock to them... EVEN AT ONLY $3 a serving. I find myself apologizing to people i know. Slap me... I need it.

wyatt Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 4:38am
post #7 of 39

I did notice on the website that the $1.50/slice cake did not mention ANY icing. So I'm visioning a small/medium size cake in vanilla or chocolate with no icing... In that case $1.50 works for me! icon_biggrin.gif

chutzpah Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 5:19am
post #8 of 39

If I charged as little as $1.50/serving it would be the same as paying people to buy my cakes.

Swede-cakes Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:52pm
post #9 of 39

Geez, I'm sick of the same generic info being regurgitated over and over in articles like these. The author/editor of this article didn't even come up with anything original; you can read this stuff everywhere. icon_confused.gif

I think we should start a movement to re-educate brides on what it really does cost to go dummy/sheet vs. cake of their dreams. We could write up something that we all agree on, and start with a viral e-mail that spreads across the country. It can include an abbreviated chart for exampes. Also, send it to Weddingwire, The Wedding Channel, The Knot.

Hopping off the box now...I hafta go get a second cup 'o joe. The first one is obviously not getting into my bloodstream fast enough! I'm still feeling crankish. lol! icon_wink.gif

SweetResults Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:17pm
post #10 of 39

I volunteer chutzpah and Indidebi to write the next big Wedding cake article and we can spam the world with it - just like those emails from Microsoft and AOL merging, and that poor little boy who has been dying of cancer for the past 20 years and wants postcards from everyone in the world.

If they see it in an email then it MUST be true! Don't forget to add in that they simply MUST tip their baker!

Swede-cakes Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:22pm
post #11 of 39

Oh Laura! I second that motion!

Those two women will go down in history as the greatest, most influential authors of wedding cake advice! A double dose of Common Sense with a side of Dopeslap! icon_lol.gif

sjmoral Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:21pm
post #12 of 39

I guess it depends on where you are at. Here in Michigan I saw an advertisement outside a cake shop for $1.50 a slice for wedding cakes (I don't know the details). So for my neighbor who was going to order from them before knowing that I make cakes so I charged $1.50 a slice flowers included (what a steal!!). That same shop changed their ad to $1.75 a slice so that's what I charged for my 2nd one.

Mencked Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:30pm
post #13 of 39

Once again, depends on where you live--One lady here who has been decorating for 30 years and is so good she would put all of us to shame charges 1.65/serving ....... Amazingly talented lady and everyone expects to pay these prices...It's tough! I charge more than she does, but feel guilty although CC is making me feel not quite so guilty icon_smile.gif.

calicakequeen Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:32pm
post #14 of 39

When I started making wedding cakes I charged $1.75 (about $.50 cheaper then the going rate around here) but when I started getting more and more orders for the Sacramento area I upped my prices for two reasons... 1) my skill level improved drastically and 2) Sacramentos prices were MUCH higher and if they got a cake from me they are still getting one hell of a deal even with my delivery charge!! But I do enjoy the fact that I can help out a bride on a serious budget (we all know what that is like). I just don't think poor people should have to go without a gorgeous wedding cake just because the can't afford to pay $4 a serving!

Robertbakewell Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:02am
post #15 of 39

hi. it just so happens i am putting together our wedding cake brochure...and decided to charge 3.00 for bc and 5 for fondant... we figure very genorous slices but i still cringe when a couple comes in and ask for a quote immeditely....diamond encrusted flowers grown in iceland...whatever...most people want a designer cake but dont want to pay designer prices....oh..and i think i saw that website...i was shocked...i think her name was earlean....sorry but if you are on here earlene...you should raise your prices a little bit...not only are you undercutting all the other decorators in your area, you are doing an injustice to yourself!!!! your cakes looked nice...hopefully they tastegood too...all i can say is thank god you dont live here in NY!

ps
i love this website....i dont write much,,,,just when something really moves me...

Lea[/b]

indydebi Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:20am
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by calicakequeen

I just don't think poor people should have to go without a gorgeous wedding cake just because the can't afford to pay $4 a serving!


Can't wait for you to get a job at a Cadillac dealership! I don't think I should go without a $70,000 Escalade just because I'm poor can't afford one! icon_lol.gif

leah_s Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 1:38am
post #17 of 39

oooo . . .I'd like an Escalade too and I can't afford one either!

Seriously, my prices are my prices and not everyone can afford me. I'm sure they still find a wedding cake that they're happy with, fits their budget and at the end of the day, they are still married.

The bride's budget is not my problem.

calicakequeen Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 2:04am
post #18 of 39

My prices aren't much lower then a bakery in my area, also I can't charge too much because I do them from home.

SweetResults Posted 30 Oct 2008 , 2:37am
post #19 of 39

yay! did you see the latest comment on that site from a bride who actually priced out a dummy cake and kitchen cakes against a real cake? Guess which cake won???

jenbakescakes Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 8:13pm
post #20 of 39

I personally would LOVE to get $3.00 per slice, but in some markets it is not as easy as some of you make it sound. I live in a pretty rural area where people don't live in multi-million dollar houses. I charge $1.75 for bc party cakes, $2.75 for fondant party cakes, $2.00 for wedding cakes, and $3.00 for fondant wedding cakes. In this area, I am very slightly cheaper than some of the decorators that have been here for awhile, but I just started my business not even a year ago. I have a hard enough time trying to get people to pay the prices that I am charging. I quoted two cakes last week and haven't heard back from either and the parties are within the next 3 weeks. I understand that considering the time and effort I put into my cakes, they are worth a lot more, and I need to find people that are willing to pay for quality work, but I can't explain that to VISA. They don't care that I want to get $3.00/serving, all they care about is me paying my bill. No customers=no bills paid! On another thread someone had said that if you are the only place in town that does custom cakes then you can pretty much charge whatever you want and if they want it, they will pay it. That is true to a point, but unless these customers have found out how to make money grow on trees and haven't let me in on this secret, they CAN'T afford to spend that amount of money on a cake. I know I couldn't afford myself! I would never spend $3.00/serving on a party cake, maybe a wedding cake, but I would still be on a budget. The point I'm trying to make is this, I'm not saying that I should walk into a Cadillac dealership and say, "I don't have the money to buy this, but I want it anyways" and expect them to give it to me, I'm just saying that in some markets, $1.50-$2.00 per serving for bc may be all that that market will tolerate. It's not always that the decorator doesn't know better or that they are trying to undercut the competition. I'm not trying to start an arguement with anyone, just putting in my 2 cents from someone who is not selling cakes out of some big city, but out of rural America. Stepping off my soapbox now! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 8:49pm
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbakescakes

I live in a pretty rural area where people don't live in multi-million dollar houses. I charge $1.75 for bc party cakes, $2.75 for fondant party cakes, $2...... just putting in my 2 cents from someone who is not selling cakes out of some big city, but out of rural America.




99.9% of my clients don't live in multi-million dollar houses. As a matter of fact, I dont' think I've EVER had a customer who lived in a multi-million dollar house. A good bulk of my customers are from the surrounding small towns ... not "the big city".

I do understand what you are saying about what the local market will bear. That is true. I won't assume all small town folks are poor, if you wont' assume all "big city folks" are rich. Deal? thumbs_up.gif

(grew up in small towns .... one was even a one-horse town ... until the horse died, then we couldn't call it that anymore!) icon_lol.gif

jenbakescakes Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 9:49pm
post #22 of 39

I'm not trying to make the assumption that rural=poor, city=rich, sorry if it did sound like that. I just don't think that people can make the assumption that if a decorator is selling her cakes at $1.50/serving, they are cheating themselves or trying to undercut the market, sometimes it is merely what the market will bear. Like I said, I would love to make $3.00/serving, but I don't think VISA would let me pay my bills with my good looks until I find those few customers that would pay that in my area.

indydebi Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 10:11pm
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbakescakes

... but I don't think VISA would let me pay my bills with my good looks until I find those few customers that would pay that in my area.



icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Yeah, I lost that advantage a LONG time ago!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

cuteums Posted 31 Oct 2008 , 10:27pm
post #24 of 39

Maybe things are much cheaper in rural areas and I should go move there. I live in the suburbs of NYC. I recently made a 3+ tier cake for a friend. (the fourth tier was 1/2 a small ball pan) It cost me about $100 to make the cake. That was supplies to bake it. That didn't include all of the stuff I already own, like pans, and tips and stuff or my electric. Then it took a good 12 hours to bake the cakes, make the frosting, frost, assemble & decorate everything. Now I am kind of new to this so I work a bit slower than a seasoned professional. But the cake served about 85-95 people. Lets round up to 100 people to make the math simple. at 0.50 cents per slice over the supply amount (if I charged $1.50 per slice) I would make $ 50.00. Now divide that over 12 hours and I made $4.16 an hour - well under minimum wage.

melodyscakes Posted 1 Nov 2008 , 2:29am
post #25 of 39

one of my competitors in a large city starts her prices at $1.90 per serving.
it hurts to watch, she is always booked on wedding cakes and people snatch her up in a heart beat....although I'd like to be as busy as her, have as many orders, I am not working for nothing! I refuse. (although I may reconsider after paying overhead this winter when business is slower. ???

melody

FromScratch Posted 2 Nov 2008 , 9:07pm
post #26 of 39

I don't live in an affluent area either, but there's no way I am making cakes for any cheaper than I already do.. and mine aren't cheap.. they start at $5/slice. It costs me at least $1.00/serving just to make my cakes and some go as high as $1.40/serving.. there's no way I am making $50 on a 100 serving cake. There are plenty of people who make cakes on the cheap around here.. and I still get business. There are people who will pay for cakes made from scratch with the best ingredients I can find. All of my cakes include fondant in the base price as well so people like that there's no up-sell on the fondant. It's all in how you market yourself. I concentrate mainly on the wedding market, but I do make some party cakes as well.

-K8memphis Posted 2 Nov 2008 , 9:48pm
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertbakewell

...and decided to charge 3.00 for bc and 5 for fondant... we figure very genorous slices but ...
Lea[/b]




Here's my question. Define generous. I mean a savvy cake cutter can take full advantage of that generosity and make two traditional wedding servings out of one generous one so that would make it more like $1.50 and $2.50 a slice. Yes?

I just thought I'd toss that out there since you said you are just doing up your website.

It's just a nugget to consider.

-K8memphis Posted 2 Nov 2008 , 10:09pm
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenbakescakes

...On another thread someone had said that if you are the only place in town that does custom cakes then you can pretty much charge whatever you want and if they want it, they will pay it. That is true to a point, but... I'm just saying that in some markets, $1.50-$2.00 per serving for bc may be all that that market will tolerate. It's not always that the decorator doesn't know better or that they are trying to undercut the competition. I'm not trying to start an arguement with anyone, just putting in my 2 cents from someone who is not selling cakes out of some big city, but out of rural America. Stepping off my soapbox now! icon_biggrin.gif




Who said it's easy?

Interesting that you are in Virginia, home of The Inn At Little Washington. It is so remote and so rural that the highway by passed it years ago. The Wal-Mart is about an hour away. About 70 miles from Washington DC. The guys built the place out of a defunct gas station. It is a multi Michelin starred inn and restaurant with tons of accolades.

He, Patrick O'connell, bathed in the river, spent a lot of time at the library in the winter because it had central heat, started the catering business that became the restaurant with a wood burning stove and an electric fry pan they bought for $1.59.

Today>>> "On Sunday to Thursday dinner is $148 per person, on Friday is $158 per person and on Saturday dinner is $178 per person. These prices - which may vary on holidays and special events - exclude tax, gratuity and beverage. Two kitchen tables are available for a surcharge of $300 each (Sunday to Friday nights) and $450 each (Saturday night)."

Just don't settle. Aim for it. Yes?

I mean if you believe that nobody will pay more, guess what? You're right!

Just some inspirational thoughts/nudges for you.

Denise Posted 3 Nov 2008 , 2:05am
post #29 of 39

I was in WalMart in southwest Louisiana last week putting paint chips in the chiprack. (I work pt for Sherwin Williams calling on walmarts) This lady was talking to me and she said her DD was getting married and we started talking abou cakes. She said that a lady in that town did cakes for $1.25 a serving.

Being a southern gal I nearly swooned. Saints preserve me - a $1.25? icon_surprised.gif She said, "I am sure it is not near as fancy as your cakes". I said, "Fancy aside, she pays the VERY same thing I do for sugar and basic ingredients so she is not making a dime!" Don't know who that lady is but $1.25 in today's market? I work for $$ - I know I am probably one of the most expensive cake decorators in my area. I don't care if I am not booked out the wazoo - when I do a cake I am well paid for it. I have done 26 wedding cakes plus I have 3 more for this year to do. I have done other cakes this year as well so I am busy enough!

TexasSugar Posted 3 Nov 2008 , 5:50am
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by melodyscakes

one of my competitors in a large city starts her prices at $1.90 per serving.
it hurts to watch, she is always booked on wedding cakes and people snatch her up in a heart beat....although I'd like to be as busy as her, have as many orders, I am not working for nothing! I refuse.




You have to remember, if you have a higher price you are making more per wedding cake there for you don't have to have as many orders to make the same amount.

Just some figures. Say you are both making a wedding cake for 100 people. Her's is $190. Lets say your prices is 3.5 per serving, so $350 for your cake. You are almost making double what she is, doing the same amout of work.

Plus because your cake is higher priced you are earning more off the cake. If both your supplies are $100 for the cake (just pulling a figure out of the air she will be making only $90 on that one cake while you are making $250. It would take her almost 3 cakes to earn the same amount.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'd rather have one cake per weekend and make two to three times the money than making two or three cakes to earn the same amount.

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