Bride Wants A Styro Cake!?!?!?!? Advice Needed....

Decorating By janebrophy Updated 13 Feb 2009 , 7:01pm by MikeRowesHunny

janebrophy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:04pm
post #1 of 26

I just got a call from a girl who works with my Mom. She's having a wedding, inviting about 200 guests, but isn't going to serve them cake for dessert. She wants to order a three tier cake, fondant covered, with one layer of cake, 2 layers styro. She wants to use it for pictures. What do I do??? I'm still at the point where I'm happy to get an order (even if it is styro), but I definitely don't want to become the "lady who makes cheap foam cakes".....How do I handle this situation????

25 replies
Cakepro Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:09pm
post #2 of 26

You accommodate the bride and charge her full price. The work you put in on the dummy cake will be the same work you put in on a real cake.

The only way you would become known as the "lady who makes cheap foam cakes" is if you seriously undercharge for the dummy cakes...and then brides will probably be flocking to you. Good for them, bad for you. LOL

janebrophy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:23pm
post #3 of 26

So, let's say she wants a 12", an 8" and a 4". That would be about 74 servings. My other concern is that she's going to slice up some Walmart sheet cakes to give to the guests. I really don't want people to think that I made the Walmart cake....if that's what she's doing....this is a crappy position to be in!! LOL!

FromScratch Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:28pm
post #4 of 26

I don't offer dummy cakes unless they are ordering kitchen cakes from me as well, and I don't allow dummies (or kitchen cakes) to be used unless they order a cake of 100 servings or more. I am not in the fake cake business so I don't make it easy. I also charge basically the same price for a dummy cake as I would for a real cake. I take 20% off of only the dummy servings. It isn't much.

Don't take an order just because it's flattering they thought of you. Only take it if it's worth your time. icon_biggrin.gif

Cakepro Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:30pm
post #5 of 26

Oh....yeah, the low-end sheetcakes would be a problem.

Personally, I would quote her the full price as if you were making the entire thing out of cake and let her know that in order to protect your reputation, your policy is that there may be no other cakes at the wedding. If she doesn't like that, you just have to figure out how badly you want the order and what compromises you are willing to make to get it.

I hope that helps a little. icon_smile.gif

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:34pm
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

this is a crappy position to be in!! LOL




This is a way of getting around (in her mind) paying for the real thing. I like JKalman's advice. I wouldn't do a dummy without the kitchen cakes being ordered. I wouldn't want the guests thinking the store-bought cake was made by me either! Maybe once the bride realizes that it's going to cost her $$ either way she'll opt for the usual route.


Lisa

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:35pm
post #7 of 26
Quote:
Quote:

this is a crappy position to be in!! LOL




This is a way of getting around (in her mind) paying for the real thing. I like JKalman's advice. I wouldn't do a dummy without the kitchen cakes being ordered. I wouldn't want the guests thinking the store-bought cake was made by me either! Maybe once the bride realizes that it's going to cost her $$ either way she'll opt for the usual route.


Lisa

msmeg Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:51pm
post #8 of 26

price the dummies first they are not cheap. If they cost more than the material cost of real cake charge more for the dummy cake.

janebrophy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:52pm
post #9 of 26

I agree with all of you, and in fairness I have to say that I don't know she's going to serve sheet cakes, I just wonder what she's going to serve for dessert if it's not cake?? So, I guess really, I just need to grow a backbone, and stop worrying about offending her! LOL!! When I do the math, subtracting 20% off the fake tiers, it only takes $8 off the cost of the cake!! She wants about a 12" bottom tier. Hmmm, that sounds like a good way of addressing it.

KoryAK Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 8:57pm
post #10 of 26

How much would you charge for the real thing that 20% only comes out to $8??

janebrophy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 9:07pm
post #11 of 26

LOL!! Not enough!!! Okay, my brain is frozen....I've tried to do the math a couple of times, and it's just not happening....I'm having a blonde moment! I charge $2/serving.....forgive me - it's been a long day!!

cakesbycathy Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 10:59pm
post #12 of 26

I charge the same for a dummy cake as I do the real thing.

I tell my brides that the cost of the styrofoam is just as expensive as the cost of ingredients to bake a real cake. It takes me the same amount of time to decorate a dummy cake as it does to decorate a real cake. I charge the same to deliver a dummy cake as I do a real cake.

If the bride wants to order a kitchen cake to supplement servings, I charge 50 cents less per serving, since I don't decorate those cakes at all (I don't even smooth the icing).

I also have in my contract that NO other cakes are permitted.

grama_j Posted 11 Feb 2009 , 11:08pm
post #13 of 26

If she is not serving cake, why have one at all ? Either go traditional, or forget about it all together........ Flat out ask her what she is serving in place of cake...... ( I think she will be serving crappy cakes from the kitchen )

KoryAK Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 12:31am
post #14 of 26

So 74 servings @ $2 ea is $148 (which is really, really low still). 20% of $148 is $29.60 for a discounted price of $118.40. icon_smile.gif

prterrell Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 2:33am
post #15 of 26

$2/serving is WAY too low for wedding cake!

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 2:45am
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I charge the same for a dummy cake as I do the real thing.

I tell my brides that the cost of the styrofoam is just as expensive as the cost of ingredients to bake a real cake. It takes me the same amount of time to decorate a dummy cake as it does to decorate a real cake. I charge the same to deliver a dummy cake as I do a real cake.

If the bride wants to order a kitchen cake to supplement servings, I charge 50 cents less per serving, since I don't decorate those cakes at all (I don't even smooth the icing).

I also have in my contract that NO other cakes are permitted.




Agreed!! Hey Cathy, how do you "police" the "no other cakes permitted" issue? I had a bride who I to this day feel she slighted me on it but it's just a feeling I've had and of course I wasn't invited to the wedding... icon_rolleyes.gif

pastrychef22 Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 2:59am
post #17 of 26

I would agree with everyone that you charge the same and make sure that she is not serving a cappy store bought cake. On another note if $2 a slice is to low i must be low to becuase i only charge $2.50 per slice for just a basic cake covered in fondant with some decoration.

cakesondemand Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 3:06am
post #18 of 26

Here in Canada most Venues include the full dessert buffet with the dinner even cake slices so sometimes it difficult to sell a large cake most brides still want a wedding cake for the cutting ceramony but they dont order the cake for everyone I am doing one for this weekend withthe middle tier as a dummy and it cost exactly the same amt as if it were real no differance. Once you let them know that they are paying for your decorating they will usually change there minds. There are also lots of venues that charge a cutting fee of $1 to $7 per guest just to cut and plate it. At my sons wedding it cost us an extra $300 just to cut and plate it but because I did his cake that covered the plating fee. This happens also when you have a caterer they supply the desserts too.
I charge $5.50 per serving weather its real or fake.

cakesbycathy Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 3:10am
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I charge the same for a dummy cake as I do the real thing.

I tell my brides that the cost of the styrofoam is just as expensive as the cost of ingredients to bake a real cake. It takes me the same amount of time to decorate a dummy cake as it does to decorate a real cake. I charge the same to deliver a dummy cake as I do a real cake.

If the bride wants to order a kitchen cake to supplement servings, I charge 50 cents less per serving, since I don't decorate those cakes at all (I don't even smooth the icing).

I also have in my contract that NO other cakes are permitted.



Agreed!! Hey Cathy, how do you "police" the "no other cakes permitted" issue? I had a bride who I to this day feel she slighted me on it but it's just a feeling I've had and of course I wasn't invited to the wedding... icon_rolleyes.gif




As far as I know, it hasn't happened yet. Of course if it were to happen after I've delivered, I wouldn't know and wouldn't be able to do anything about it. So far my deliveries have worked out time-wise that if another cake were to show up it probably would have arrived by the time I get there.

When I am going over my contract with them, I really stress this point pretty seriously with them and why it's in my contract. I do tell them that if I show up at the reception hall and there is another cake there I take my cake and go home and they do not get any of their money back.

I know a lot of others have this in their contract as well. Has anyone else had to deal with it? I'd love to know!

evasmama Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 4:48am
post #20 of 26

I have no input to offer on the price issue, but I do have a comment.

A bride who chooses to skip serving cake to her guests, yet insists on showing one off at her reception so that pics look nicer, deserves a firm boot to the patoot and a reserved front row seat in Etiquette Hell! http://www.etiquettehell.com

janebrophy Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 1:04pm
post #21 of 26

Thanks for all the replies, I'm sorry I disappeared, but it was "Lost" night! icon_smile.gif. I'll sit down today and speak with her frankly. I'll need to know that she isn't serving wally world cakes, maybe I can convince her to at least order kitchen cakes to go along with the foam one....sounds like a sweet deal not even smooth icing them!! I'll definitely let you all know how it goes! Thanks for saying my price is too low - I'm still learning, and am not yet super confident in my skills. The thing is that around here there isn't much call for "fancy" cakes! So the time I get to practice is limited, but I'm getting there. Really, my competition is store bought sheetcakes, or super talented decorators that charge $10/slice....anyhoo, thanks again, and I'll post the outcome later this afternoon! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Feb 2009 , 1:56pm
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrychef22

....becuase i only charge $2.50 per slice for just a basic cake covered in fondant with some decoration.




A cake covered in fondant with add'l decoration is not what I would call a "basic" cake. icon_confused.gif

janebrophy Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 4:10pm
post #23 of 26

Quick update - I don't know why, but this had me so stressed out!?!? I called her yesterday and told her I could do a real cake, 10", 8", and 6" for $125, or a styro same size, bottom tier real cake for $100. This is a simple fondant cake with a ribbon around the bottom of each tier.

I still haven't heard back from her! Which, I'm guessing means she thinks it's too much $...am I crazy, or is that SUPER CHEAP for a freaking WEDDING CAKE???

I mean, even if you are on a budget, who gets a cake for $100?? I don't know - but I'm actually kinda glad I haven't heard anything back.....

Sorry for the rant!! icon_wink.gif

-K8memphis Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:03pm
post #24 of 26

This is a little aside here--but what is up with caterers and restaurants serving cake in the dessert bars at wedding receptions?

We need to work on that. How about cakers start delivering some stuffed crown roast with the cake?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jane, she might still come around but underpricing can bite sometimes. Where the value of the product might be thought to reflect the price. I'm just saying that pricing is an art form in itself.

An idea for you, is to say that this cake should cost (I don't know just tossing out a figure) $300 but you are in luck because I will discount it for you because I need this style cake to build my portfolio or something like that.

Make a greater value of your product then discount a little (20% max) so they think they're getting a bargain.

Maybe an idea for you.

janebrophy Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 5:55pm
post #25 of 26

Thanks for the advice Kate, and btw, I came across the story of your daughter's wedding cake, and enjoyed it thoroughly!! Great cake!!

I did tell this girl that I was giving her a deal, since she works with my Mom, but I totally agree with you. For the first time, I'm actually hoping she doesn't call....it's just not worth doing for that kind of money....

I think my next effort will be to do up a few dummy cakes, photograph them, build up a portfolio, and start charging, hmmm, let's say $15/slice !!!! LOL!!! But really, I think that's what I'll do. That way I will feel comfortable quoting whatever price I think is fair. icon_smile.gif

MikeRowesHunny Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 7:01pm
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

$2/serving is WAY too low for wedding cake!




and for a fondant covered cake you are giving it away icon_eek.gif !!!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%