I know we talk about pricing and to see what others are charging in your area. But should we still charge the same even if you are just starting out? I still struggle when it comes to special occasion cakes and wedding. In my area its from 2.75 - 4.00. Like I have someone who has a budget for 100.00 but if I was to go by serving alone that cake would be $300. This is for a birthday. Now the 2.75 - 4.00 are based on wedding cake prices. I'm just wondering for now if I just have a set price for this special occasion cakes just until I build up my client base and to get the experience to do different cakes. What do you guys think?
I'll always firmly be in the camp that there shouldn't be a price difference based on the occasion. It's bad for the industry, it makes us look like we're price gouging brides.
Plenty of occasion cakes are as involved -- or more -- than a wedding cake. Don't look at it as "they shouldn't spend that much on a birthday cake". Look at it as: they are buying a custom cake to serve 100 people. And anybody with enough $$$ to throw a birthday party for 100 ( ) shouldn't be surprised at the cost of a custom cake for that many. Remember, if they don't want a custom cake they can always go to Costco and get sheets for $17 each.
Kelley is absolutely correct on all points.
These days, birthday cakes can be MUCH more ornate than a wedding cake. Wedding cakes are moving to the simple stage ... just some dots and a ribbon on the base. But birthday cakes are moving toward the Duff style ... wild, exaggerated, and lots of extra work. They are just as big (or bigger) than wedding cakes and take up the same (or more) of my time.
So why should they be cheaper just because you call it a birthday cake instead of a wedding cake?
That kind of pricing comes from the archaic thinking of "Wedding cakes are expensive tiered cakes .... birthday cakes are sheet cakes and cost twenty bucks." But then they see Ace of Cakes and they want a big elaborate 5 tier monkey butt volcano cake ... yet in their mind, they are thinking "birthday cake ... twenty bucks".
When I buy my eggs and flour from Sysco and GFS, they don't give me a discount if I tell them I plan tol use the eggs/flour in a birthday cake instead of a wedding cake. On my website, I flat out state, "If it looks like a wedding cake, it's priced like a wedding cake."
As far as the "just starting out price", I can see a number of valid arguments on both sides. There are SO many factors. But I stand firm on the theory of "If you know a dentist or doctor who charges less because he/she just graduated medical school and they're just starting out, then you give me his/her name so I can go to them. If you know an insurance agent or a real estate agent who charges a lower commission because they are just starting out, then DEFINITELY give me their name!" They don't do it ... no reason you should undercut the market either.
I totally agree with Kelly & Indy. I use a one price fits all per serving of my cakes. Doesn't matter what they are using it for, per serving is per serving. As Indy would say, "it is what it is". Saves you getting confused as well.
Thanks guys. Its all about a mind set. This industry has changed so much and to get away from the traditional way cakes were done for birthday to what people are asking they can't get it for $20.
I don't know about you guys, but on a serving by serving basis, my birthday cakes are almost ALWAYS more labor than the wedding cakes.
I charge the same for both....as a matter of fact I think I'm slowly losing birthday cake customers as I'm raising prices because of the type of cake I offer. (My prices are still lower, especially 3D cakes, than some of the best competition in the area, as I have heard from some brides who have actually priced the well known specialty bakers in the city).
I would say don't price your experience, but price your work. It doesn't matter if you've only been doing it a year....if your work looks like you've been going it for 20, then you price like you've been doing it for 20.
I have an education degree...not a pastry degree....but it doesn't matter if my cake tastes delicious and my customers are happy.