Renting Cake Plateaus

Business By sweetlayers Updated 29 Jan 2009 , 3:42pm by FromScratch

sweetlayers Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 6:55pm
post #1 of 21

My wedding cakes come standard with the "thick and sturdy" foam core base. However, I'd like to make renting cake plateaus part of my business.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience in doing this and how does it work? How much do you charge? Do you charge by the day? What's your return policy and how is it returned to you, (ie do you go pick it up? Is it mailed?)

Or do you every rent them from a 3rd party and charge the bride?

Any help would be nice.

TIA

20 replies
Chef_Stef Posted 26 Jan 2009 , 7:14pm
post #2 of 21

I have stands they can use. I don't actually rent them to the brides, although most people probably do. Instead I take a deposit for the replacement value of the plateau ($125.00 or more for most), and I hold their check until the plateau is returned to me by the Wed after the wedding, when I simply return their check. I either meet them and pick it up somewhere convenient to us both, or they bring it to me. I've never had one mailed, but they could do that I suppose.

If they keep the stand, I keep the check, but I haven't had to yet.

FromScratch Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:22am
post #3 of 21

I have a bunch of silver cake plateaus and my policy for using them is this...

A deposit equal to the full replacement value is paid upon signing the rental agreement and, if it is a check, it is cashed immediately. If I get the stand back in good condition I cut them a check equal to 75% of the deposit price. They have a week from their wedding date to return the stand, though I am going to change that this year to two days. I am willing to pick it up if the venue is close to me... if not then it is up to them to get it back to me by the specified date. If circumstances arrise that make that impossible and they call me in advance to their rental being late I am accommodating, if not then $25 per day is subtracted from their total refund. If the stand is returned damaged they get no refund at all. Instructions for care are given to them upon signing their rental agreement and left at the venue when I drop off the cake.

Don't wait to cash that check... they could easily stop payment or the money could not be there... you want to know if you will have troubles getting your money should you need to purchase a new stand because they ruined it.

FromScratch Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 1:25am
post #4 of 21

adding on that...

I wouldn't rent them from a third party for the bride. If they are interested in renting one from another source they are welcome, but I am not willing to be out the hefty deposit should the bride's uncle run the stand over or they decide to leave it at the venue and the staff ruins it by running it through the dishwasher.

snarkybaker Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 4:02am
post #5 of 21

We have about half a dozen cake plateaus. We include the plateau for orders over $500 at no charge. For orders under $500, we charge $30. I have easily paid for all of my plateaus several times over.

We take a $100 to $150 deposit by check or credit card and the renter has 4 days to return the stand. That way I have them back by the next weekend.We have several venues within half a mile of our store and we REALLY like those deliveries, so we offer to collect the plateaus from those venues ( which also gives us a chance to schmooze the venue managers). Brides getting married farther away need to have someone bring them bak themselves.

sweetlayers Posted 27 Jan 2009 , 2:23pm
post #6 of 21

Thanks for the advice. Would any of you mind sharing the rental contract you use? You can PM me if you'd like. I'd be greatly appreciative.

loriemoms Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 4:11pm
post #7 of 21

The tax laws in our state are so screwy that I now just ask for a check that covers the cost or a CC number, hold on to it, and when I get it back (they have five days) I give back the check, etc. If I charged them anything, I have to do a different tax rate and its just not worth it to me for the bookkeeping. I have a rental contract as well, which includes any cleaning fees (10 dollars) as I have gotten back plateaus with icing on them which made a mess of the silver! I also do them first come first serve. I also have a clause that if the rental is returned after the 5 days, it is considered Missing and they dont get thier deposit back.
I only made an exception once when we had a big snow storm!

acookieobsession Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 7:58pm
post #8 of 21

I have a deposit and a fee for usuage. A caution though...if you just hold on to the check and fon't deposit it...what if they keep the stand (or lose or whatever) and then stop payment ont he check..you are then left with no money and no cake stand. I know we want to believe everyone is honest and would not do that, but the reality is people do actually do that.

Lorie brings up an interesting point about diff tax rates though..i guess i should check into that as I did not know...always something i guess...

Julia

loriemoms Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 8:22pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by acookieobsession

I have a deposit and a fee for usuage. A caution though...if you just hold on to the check and fon't deposit it...what if they keep the stand (or lose or whatever) and then stop payment ont he check..you are then left with no money and no cake stand. I know we want to believe everyone is honest and would not do that, but the reality is people do actually do that.

Lorie brings up an interesting point about diff tax rates though..i guess i should check into that as I did not know...always something i guess...

Julia




I have been doing it this way for a couple of years and never had a problem with the checks. YOu can always take a CC number instead.

In our county, it is very mixed up with taxes. We are considered an artisan bakery, since they dont eat the food here. The tax rate is much lower. But for things like delivery fees, and tasting fees and rental fees, there is a different set of tax laws. I found it very hard to try to figure out how to break it down when it came to paying my taxes, so I don't charge delivery fees, tasting fees or rental fees. (I rolled them into the cost of the cake...)

acookieobsession Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 8:28pm
post #10 of 21

Ugh....the sound of me calling the tax line!!!

loriemoms Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 8:44pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by acookieobsession

Ugh....the sound of me calling the tax line!!!




Are you in wake county? We received a letter about 4 or so months ago with the new tax laws. At least we don't have to pay wake county food and beverage anymore! yeah!!!

KoryAK Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 8:57pm
post #12 of 21

No local taxes here - yipee!! What a headache that would make!

I have about 30 plateaus that I rent out. Deposit is generally $150 (more if its a big stand - like 18" or more) and then the rental fee is $25 per week. I cash or run whatever payment they give me then refund in kind when returned.

snarkybaker Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 9:38pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by acookieobsession

I have a deposit and a fee for usuage. A caution though...if you just hold on to the check and fon't deposit it...what if they keep the stand (or lose or whatever) and then stop payment ont he check..you are then left with no money and no cake stand. I know we want to believe everyone is honest and would not do that, but the reality is people do actually do that.

Lorie brings up an interesting point about diff tax rates though..i guess i should check into that as I did not know...always something i guess...

Julia



I have been doing it this way for a couple of years and never had a problem with the checks. YOu can always take a CC number instead.

In our county, it is very mixed up with taxes. We are considered an artisan bakery, since they dont eat the food here. The tax rate is much lower. But for things like delivery fees, and tasting fees and rental fees, there is a different set of tax laws. I found it very hard to try to figure out how to break it down when it came to paying my taxes, so I don't charge delivery fees, tasting fees or rental fees. (I rolled them into the cost of the cake...)



Unless I am mistaken, rentals are not taxable. At least that is what my accountant says. Like services ( think haircut), you are not obligated to collect sales tax for "service fees" .

loriemoms Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 10:29pm
post #14 of 21

We and some other bakeries I know spoke with the NC Tax people directly because the new artison law was confusing (this went into affect Jan 1 2009) They told us that deliveries are considered a fee and is taxable as well as any rental of "personal property that is beyond the normal service". You may want to ask your accountaint about the new laws.

Even though this applies to rental companies and hotels, it also applies to anyone renting anything.

Taxable Receipts from Rentals of Tangible Personal Property (Not Accommodations)
Hotels and similar businesses may make rentals of or charges for tangible personal property that are considered separate from the charges for the rentals of rooms and accommodations. Such charges are taxable as rentals of tangible personal property rather than as part of the rentals of rooms or accommodations and are subject to sales and use tax under a different statute in the Sales and Use Tax laws. G.S. 105-164.4(a)(2), which levies the tax on rentals of tangible personal property, provides that:
The applicable percentage rate applies to the gross receipts derived from the lease or rental of tangible personal property by a person who is engaged in the business of leasing or renting tangible personal property, or is a retailer and leases or rents property of the type sold by the retailer.

snarkybaker Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 3:14am
post #15 of 21

I have to charge the full 6.75% anyway, because we do have "restaurant" facilities.

loriemoms Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 4:35am
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

I have to charge the full 6.75% anyway, because we do have "restaurant" facilities.




That is true...do you have to charge that for the wedding cakes too or can you just do the 2%?

sweetlayers Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 2:24pm
post #17 of 21

All this tax stuff is very intriguing.

I have one more question.

When setting up a wedding cake at a venue, have you ever had to show your business information to their "people" before they let you set up? (Ie your inspection papers, business info, etc?)

loriemoms Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 2:30pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetlayers

All this tax stuff is very intriguing.

I have one more question.

When setting up a wedding cake at a venue, have you ever had to show your business information to their "people" before they let you set up? (Ie your inspection papers, business info, etc?)




Nope!

sweetlayers Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 2:34pm
post #19 of 21

Thanks--

tcp

ladyonzlake Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 2:48pm
post #20 of 21

Yes, I rent my cake plateau out for $25.00 with a refundble $125.00 deposit. I collect all payments, rental and cake 4 weeks before the date and they have until the Wed. following to return the plateau. I charge $25.00 per day late fee.

Here in the Seattle area there is no tax on cakes and delivery but if I rent something out then I have to tax the rental fee and the delivery fee based upon the county that I'm delivering it too (about 9%).

FromScratch Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 3:42pm
post #21 of 21

I have only had one place ask to see my food service license and proof of insurance. Most places just assume.

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