$99 wedding cakes

Business By JillK Updated 27 Jan 2009 , 10:48pm by mommicakes

aggiechef Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:00pm
post #31 of 71

There's no way I'd do any of those designs for $99. I'm doing a wedding cake in April to feed 116 ppl and it's costing the bride a whole lot more than that. Some of those designs were intricate (basketweave!!!!) so they take a lot of time.

I'm interested to see if this pays off for them in the end.

all4cake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:03pm
post #32 of 71

99 dollars would be cheaper than even the price walmart offers. I believe the simple offerings make it possible to reduce the price....one could buy in bulk, bake in bulk and sell in bulk. The oven would be running anyway, might as well throw some cakes in there...and if full use was being made of oven time, down time....slower times of the week...you could produce cakes without compromising quality...just limiting potential budget shoppers' options.

I don't see where the undercutting is here either.

I do like the idea that if there are to be any changes other than color to the options....you go by the regular pricing scale. There would be no ..."can I get this but with mousse filling?" sure you can! that would be 100 servings x 3.00 (whatever) + .25 x100 for mousse filling=325 plus tax.... "but it says...only $99" uh huh....and that's for THOSE OPTIONS ONLY. there wouldn't be any , "....and how much extra for....?" allowed.

The more I think about it, the more I realize the anguish they'll be going through.

indydebi Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:23pm
post #33 of 71

"No substitutions". icon_razz.gif
A co-worker of mine was ticked one day because she went to lunch, ordered their special deluxe (5-ingredient) pizza "without onions". What ticked her off is she paid $12 for a 4-ingredient pizza instead of the $9.99 for the 5-ingredient pizza, less onions. I thought of this story as I read all4cake's post, above! thumbs_up.gif
But you guys are missing the opportunity here! All of you in the area just need to fill up their calendar with orders from YOU! Order the $99 cake from them, iced and bordered. Then you just add the finishing touches, which should only take less than an hour, give or take, bill the bride $300 and then kick back and watch a Lifetime Movie! icon_lol.gif
I think I'm casting my vote for whoever said it earlier .... buying pre-baked frozen rounds and slappin' 'em together. How limited is their delivery area?

(Psst! I luv doing basketweave and can do a 3-tier basketweave in under an hour. And I don't charge extra for it.)

muddpuppy Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:27pm
post #34 of 71

LOL!!! Very smart...

lostincake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:31pm
post #35 of 71

Even if there is no profit or even a loss at $99, they saved tons of money on free advertising and look at the interest they've already generated by being featured on a local news station.

They also say some dates are limited (which probably means all - because you can only make so many cakes no matter what the offer) so they probably will not really be making all that many at that price but man what a response they've gotten.

And people will now know of their special Pink Lemonade cupcakes and other aspects of their business. Not to mention that the orders are to be paid in full at time of order and are non-refundable and we all know things happen.

It is kind of a smart business move AND it makes them look generous.

snarkybaker Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:38pm
post #36 of 71
Originally Posted by littlecake

you know they are prolly shipping them in frozen....frozen cakes are cheaper than the stuff to make them, hence the only white and chocolate.

sams sells cases of 10 inch rounds and cases of 5 inch bistro cakes...in white and chocolate.

i thought of using them for "price buster" lil stacked cakes...you'd only have about 10-20 minutes in it...(if ya ever "did time" at an in store bakery).

I was thinking the same thing. You can by that much cake ( 6-9-12) from dawn foods for about $20, especially if you buy in bulk. $10 worth of bucket-o-criscocream and $15 in labor. Doable, and would have the added benefit of knocking off a couple of competitors.

all4cake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:43pm
post #37 of 71

and if that was one of the cakes they were icing....hell...there ain't no splittin' and fillin' goin' on....them bad boys are straight up 2 layers...oh, yeah...uh huh...I can so see this happening.

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:43pm
post #38 of 71

I wouldn't worry about the competition really.....its not like these $99 brides were thinking about paying one of us $750 to do a cake anyways so...hey! I don't think its really an undercutting or a 'disservice'.

Hope it works out for them! Nice blessing for some small wedding brides on a budget.

Ayanami Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:49pm
post #39 of 71

Indydebi sadi: (Psst! I luv doing basketweave and can do a 3-tier basketweave in under an hour. And I don't charge extra for it.)

We don't know if these people use cake mix or bake from scratch for these $99 cakes or what recipe of icing they will be using. I don't think cost of supplies will be any problem for them, labor is the only thing I think they have to really consider. And if they are good decorators (which it looks like they are) They should be able to bust out these super basic cakes in minimal time. IMO.

aligotmatt Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 10:56pm
post #40 of 71

You know... I was looking all over their website for their standard pricing and I can't find it...

We have a guy here who pumps out like 30 wedding cakes a week, no melvira method on that buttercream, just one swoop around and it's done. He charges $2.25 per serving for pretty much anything.

village Desserts may be that kind of bakery, and so, while it's still cutting the price, it may not be cutting it as much as some of us would have to to get to $99 for up to 100 servings.

And back to the other guy I'm talking about, he has 2 delivery vans, 15 cakes in each one and tools all over town dropping off cakes. So the included delivery for VD (hah!) may not be a big deal in their world.

Lenette Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 11:15pm
post #41 of 71

I've been thinking about this post all afternoon. I can see the good (for them) and the not-so-good.

Bottom line IMO:

This is a good lesson on why we should not compete on price alone. Someone will ALWAYS find a way to come in for less!

Happy cakin' ya'll!


Juds2323 Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 11:56pm
post #42 of 71

I was looking thru the cakes. Most have ribbon or live flowers which I'm sure the client has to provide (i.e. pay for) and other than a couple with what looks like fondant stars are all buttercream with some buttercream piping of some sort and all are round. No squares, hex, hearts or anything else.


MaisieBake Posted 15 Jan 2009 , 11:57pm
post #43 of 71
Originally Posted by vlin28

They also say some dates are limited

Meaning no high-season weekends, probably.

How much business did y'all turn away last weekend? Are you overbooked for this coming weekend? How about the Wednesday after Valentines Day?

Lenette Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:30am
post #44 of 71

Okay, thinking about this some more (because I ponder things too much )
How would some of you handle this- You want to implement the $99 cake thing to drum up business but you have other brides that have been booked with you for months at the regular price. How does that work? Do you think the brides that booked a while ago would feel slighted? Any poor reflection that way?

Slightly different angle- I read on here a while back that folks who do custom work should never discount, maybe offer "added value" but no coupons, % off etc. Could a move like this prove detrimental in the long run? Does it drive down the perceived value of the bakery's work? Does it cheapen things in any way?

It's great to make sales now but as business people we have to think big picture, long term...

I feel bad for the bakers local to this place. Some businesses are already struggling right now with folks tightening their spending.

Yeah, I know, I ponder too much... icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:45am
post #45 of 71

POnder away! It gets us ALL thinking!!

if any of your booked brides ask about it, you could tell them it's the no-frills cake. No frills, no choice, no design. "Were you thinking of downgrading your wedding cake or something?" icon_rolleyes.gif
As someone mentioned above, when the car salesman offers the Kia at a really low price ..... no one REALLY wants a car with no air, no radio, etc. (I know too many people in the car biz ... NO ONE really wants a car like that.) I know a lady who runs a chapel and offers a 1-hour time slot for a really low price. She gets LOTS of calls from people wanting that, but after finding out what size and style of wedding they're having, then end up buying a bigger package .... lots of calls for the cheap one .... lots of bookings for the pricer ones.

I don't think offering a no-frills cake is the same as discounting. I view discounting as selling a $500 cake for $350. Selling a $99 cake for $99 isn't discounting.


I'm interested to see if this pays off for them in the end.

This is a silly thing to come to mind, but it DID come to mind, so I'm sharing it anyway! icon_rolleyes.gif
My point is to be careful ..... make sure that your efforts to get the cash in there isn't one of those "we're losing a dollar on each one we sell but we'll make it up in volume" things.

Lenette Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:57am
post #46 of 71

While I get your point about the no-frills price, most of us have a base price for wedding cakes. Let's say you normally price your wedding cakes starting at $2 a serving.

So, by selling a basic cake at $99 is still "discounting" in a sense because it is half your normal basic price. Someone mentioned that price is cheaper than Wal Mart. How good can that be for business to be cheaper than the place KNOWN for being the cheap place?

I guess I am thinking that I have spent that past year telling folks my wedding cakes start at $xx so now to jump up with a "no frills" $99 cake seems like a bit of a disservice to my clients and myself.

I am not criticizing, just thinking out loud.

I hope I am making sense, perhaps I should ponder more tomorrow and go to bed now. icon_wink.gif
While I have no idea about the contest you are referring to I think you make a good point about someone thinking about "making it up in volume". thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:03am
post #47 of 71
Originally Posted by Lenette

While I have no idea about the contest you are referring to ....

Ahhh.... and that's how we separate the old timers from the young whippersnappers! icon_lol.gif

all4cake Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:11am
post #48 of 71

I was looking at it like it was a completely different product line....say base price for one line ...the 'regular' line of wedding cakes-layers that are split and filled with a set selection of fillings and certain kind and amount of decorations...the $99 offerings would fall below that and there would be upgraded fillings and amount/kind of decorations...fondant covered for a higher price range.

Like the .99 menu at Wendy's or wherever it is.

The $99 would be for straight, two-layered cake per tier...no other filling choices, limited decorations...

"limited time only"

One could notify any previously booked customers and let them know about the discounted line to see if any were interested...

all4cake Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:17am
post #49 of 71

How come they can offer buy 1 get 1 free during certain times of the day? Are those items of less quality than during the rest of the day? Oh, well...it could be like ladies night at the nightclub...and watered down drinks? I was told by a friend of a friend of a second cousin that this is what happens on ladies night....I don't know that first-hand.

joy5678 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:28am
post #50 of 71

Hey Indydebi! This ole hen loved Dallas!! I was giving a Tupperware party the night JR got shot and we all stopped the party to watch the dirty double crossin JR get what he deserved. Really I just wanted to stare at Bobby icon_smile.gif

mamaheath Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:35am
post #51 of 71

I am from Buffalo as well and when I saw the topic I was thinking who else is doing this. I as well saw it on WIVB the other day. I have not had Village Dessert cakes but have had their cookies many times. They are to die for! I have actually been in this shop and it is a small shop but many many options to choose from.

Ruth0209 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:37am
post #52 of 71

First Debi, yes I do remember who shot J.R.!! I just don't remember why!

I think this is the same as any other product that has a discount line. I've been shopping for wedding dresses with my daughter (VERY exciting). They have a $99 dress rack that has modest polyester dresses that are mass produced with inexpensive embellishments and stock styles. The other racks have taffeta, silk, satin, sequins, Austrian crystals, unique designs, etc., etc. Both racks offer a product that different brides need. (Of course, my daughter looked for about 5 minutes at the $99 dresses and picked one that is perfect in every way for $800... sigh.)

ANYWAY, I don't think there's a thing wrong with what this bakery is doing. It's free enterprise, folks. If they think they can offer this discount line to brides who can only afford that, then good for them. They're filling a need in the market. I think everyone knows the difference between those and their custom cakes. And if it turns out to be bad for their business, well, that's their business.

chefjulie Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:57am
post #53 of 71

Im 26, and I remember JR!! My parents used to watch Dallas religiously when I was a kid icon_biggrin.gif

angelcakes5 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:33am
post #54 of 71

Hey Indydebi I am guessing you are talking about the show Dallas? If so I use to watch it way back then with my parents. It was one of their favorites and I think Knots Landing??

MaisieBake Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:36am
post #55 of 71
Originally Posted by Lenette

So, by selling a basic cake at $99 is still "discounting" in a sense because it is half your normal basic price.

I guess I am thinking that I have spent that past year telling folks my wedding cakes start at $xx so now to jump up with a "no frills" $99 cake seems like a bit of a disservice to my clients and myself.

It's not an everyday price.

Rent/mortgage and all other fixed costs come due even in those months when one has very, very slow business (i'm guessing that in Buffalo, this would be January plus February except around Valentine's Day). Discounting off-season (or weekday) cakes might bring in business at an otherwise dead time.

Think about catering or banquet hall pricing-- around me they all cost more on Saturday night. Same thing.

swoozie Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 6:06am
post #56 of 71

Well most of the cakes look nice. but what the heck is wrong with the cake in the 2nd to last row 2nd from the right? That bride got the new wreckerator. I have to agree that the rounds must be smaller size. these are the style cakes that the grocery store that I work for offers. 1.50 a slice. they pick up. I actually did about 25 last year. (small town)
I am very new to wedding cakes and I work hard at them. each one better than the next.
I hope in the next year I can quit the grocery store and work ft for the real cakery I work pt at. then I will feel ligit.

lostincake Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 6:36am
post #57 of 71

indydebi: This is a silly thing to come to mind, but it DID come to mind, so I'm sharing it anyway! Being an old fart, I actually watched the episode where J.R. got shot. There was one storyline where Bobby and J.R. were competing to see who would run the company. J.R. started opening gas stations on every corner and selling gas really cheap. Bobby was fretting because it would show an immediate jump in income, but the long run profit just wouldn't be there ... but those numbers wouldn't show up during "the contest". (How many other old-timers out there know what show I'm talkin' about here? )

...GREAT...now it's really killing me who did it and why!!! I watched it as a kid and cannot remember...was it the baby or no...that was the Simpsons one...oh man!

red0027 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 7:01am
post #58 of 71

I think it's great! There are couples who want $800 cakes, but will never be able to afford them. It reminds me of David's Bridal $99 gown sale. If you are willing to be patient and look, you'd be amazed at some of the dresses for that price, but if you do not like any of them, they have plenty of other higher priced and more elaborate gowns.

I want to give this company the benefit of the doubt and believe that they are trying to give back, help out people in hard times. If their other items are as good as some are saying then I doubt they are too worried about going out of business. That is definitely not a decision I'm sure they made lightly. I just find it amazing that when something like this goes on, no matter how unbelievable, people tend to put a negative spin on it immediately. There's gotta be something wrong, maybe they are ugly, they don't put as much care into them, etc. Are there no good people out there anymore who just want to help others out for the sake of helping? I'd like to think they understand that whoever orders those cakes, there will be a bunch more eating them. They couldn't afford to not take care with them or they would lose a lot of business...word of mouth travels fast when you do something horribly. They are a smaller business and perhaps their other items make up for the lack of profit they would make. Then again, maybe they aren't so worried about profit on these particular cakes. They are getting great marketing and their reputation is still on the line.

I don't feel their price diminishes anyone else's hard work or sales. It's about supply and demand. As long as there are weddings and brides, there will always be a need for wedding cakes. If you are good at what you do, you shouldn't need to worry as much as those who aren't.

This is to no one post in particular...just a few of my observations.

Lenette Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 10:18am
post #59 of 71

hmmm, Dallas... I've heard of that show. Never watched it though.

Well, spread me with buttercream and call me a whippersnapper Debi!


costumeczar Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 1:08pm
post #60 of 71

The sizes of those cakes also look small, and according to my serving charts, they'd have to cut those pieces REALLY small to get 100 servings out of them. Even if it's a 6-9-12 they'd still be cutting little pieces.

The $99 cake bride isn't my customer anyway, but if I was in that area I'd be irritated that I'd now have brides expecting me to justify why a custom cake was more than $99. And you know that they'd expect you to justify it. I'd tell them that if they want to serve a quarter of a twinkie to their guests for dessert to go right ahead, since that's probably similar to what you'd be getting with that kind of a cake.

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