THECAKEPLACE Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 5:57pm
post #1 of

I have no idea how to charge for my cakes! do i charge per serving? how much is a serving? do they tell me how ,any people and i tell them they can have a _ tier cake size_,_,_? HELP PLEASE!!!

42 replies
pattigunter Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:04pm
post #2 of

This is a touchy subject here! Basically (and realistically) you have to charge what people will pay in your area until you get your name out there. icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:06pm
post #3 of

You need to familiarize yourself with the serving chart system, Wilton or Earlene, Wilton is pretty much the standard. Figure out what it costs you make a cake, and figure out how much you think your cake is worth, how much you want in your pocket after you pay for the iungredients, the supplies, the gas to deliver, rent, utilities,....it's a process allright. Check out some websites of cake decorators, see what they charge, what you feel you can get in your area. Me...$4.50/serving and up. I know that may not be terribly helpful, but it's not something anyone can just say "you charge exactly this amount". icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:09pm
post #4 of

I think you need to consider your location, experience, quality of work, materials used etc before you arrive at a price. I think most people charge by serving. Some add extra for detail work, sugar flowers, bows etc. I would say depending on these things cakes go from 1.25 a serving to $10 or $12 or more. Research other cake sites and see how you compare experience-wise and what your community can afford.

A wedding size serving is generally a 1x2x4 inch slice and a party serving is a little bigger. You need to know about how many servings particular cakes feed. There are some guides like from Wilton or Earlene's to help you get started.

mrswendel Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:11pm
post #5 of

pattigunter is right...this is a really touchy subject on here! Charging per serving seems to be the method that most people use, with the majority using the Wilton serving chart or Earlenes (or a combination of the two). I've seen ranges from $2/serving to $7 or $8/ serving (or more), it all depends on your area, the type of cake, etc. You want to be competitve in your area, without undercutting or undervaluing your time. Call around to local bakeries and find out what they charge and go from there.

mommyle Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:21pm
post #6 of

Ok. I'm going to jump in here. I was asked to make a cake for 500 people. based on $3.00 a serving that would have been $1500. I know for a fact that they got cake from a boutique bakery that charges $5.00 a serving for about the first 20 servings, and then they are all over the board after that. So, I can understand charging $3 a serving (or whatever), but what if it is a huge amount? Like 400 servings? that is an 18", 16", 14", 12", 10" and 8" round. I've broken it down, and the cost is under $300 (supports, boards, etc all in). Obviously boutiques aren't charging per serving all the time, so how do we decide after that???

THECAKEPLACE Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 6:53pm
post #7 of

thanks so much for all the advice, i will check out other bakeries around my area. thanks again everyone!!! icon_biggrin.gif

skaggs1 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 7:54pm
post #8 of

I know that in my area the only bakery around is Krogers and Wal-Mart. There is a bakery about 30 miles south from me and that's it. So how would you go about figuring out pricing? I'm alway at a loss on this subject. The town I live in has a whooping population of maybe 700 people lol!

leah_s Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 8:21pm
post #9 of

Yes, I charge a set amount per serving for however many servings there are. Plus an equipment charge and a delivery charge.

jammjenks Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 8:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaggs1

I know that in my area the only bakery around is Krogers and Wal-Mart. There is a bakery about 30 miles south from me and that's it. So how would you go about figuring out pricing? I'm alway at a loss on this subject. The town I live in has a whooping population of maybe 700 people lol!




Sounds to me like you can set your prices at whatever you want. If you are the only one around then you have cornered the market.

indydebi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 8:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyle

Ok. I'm going to jump in here. I was asked to make a cake for 500 people. based on $3.00 a serving that would have been $1500. I know for a fact that they got cake from a boutique bakery that charges $5.00 a serving for about the first 20 servings, and then they are all over the board after that. So, I can understand charging $3 a serving (or whatever), but what if it is a huge amount? Like 400 servings? that is an 18", 16", 14", 12", 10" and 8" round. I've broken it down, and the cost is under $300 (supports, boards, etc all in). Obviously boutiques aren't charging per serving all the time, so how do we decide after that???




If you want to give a volume discount, that's your call. My cakes are flat priced no matter how big the cake is. Cake for 500 people is a LOT of work. They aren't paying for the ingredients ... they are paying for the talent it takes to convert those $300 worth of ingredients to a mind-boggling sugary creation. If you're basing your price JUST on ingredients and not on the labor (and level of skill labor) needed, you're missing it.

Like this poster I made says ......

leahk Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 8:51pm

well done debi!
do you have that hanging in your office?

indydebi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 9:03pm

It's hanging right by the light switch by the front door of the shop! icon_biggrin.gif

mommyle Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 9:29pm

I really do love it, and I totally get it, but how do you compete against other boutique bakeries? The ones that actually taste decent AND look pretty, but charge less than you do?


ETA:
For instance...
slab cakes listed
8 x 12 = 15 - 20 servings = $65
12 x 15 = 30 - 40 servings = $95
15 x 18 = 40 - 60 servings = $145
15 x 23 = 60 - 80 - 100 servings = $175

See what I mean? They kind of seem to be all over the place.

julitre1 Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 10:05pm

jumping in with a question of my own. i have been asked to do a castle cake for a little girls first b-day. it will cost roughly $20 to buy all the ingredients for this cake. we have quite a few bakeries, plus 3 different grocery store bakeries in our area and i have found it very difficult to compete with them. my husband wants me to charge $40 plus the cost of ingredients but that sounds a little pricy for me. i have been doing cakes on a regular basis for about 3 years and i think i'm better than beginner but still a lot to learn. any help/advice you can give would be great. oh, i charge a set price per serving for wedding cakes but not usually for birthday cakes. sorry if this was long.

indydebi Posted 18 Feb 2009 , 11:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by julitre1

....but that sounds a little pricy for me.


You mean pricey as in as a cake maker you think you're charging too much or you mean pricey as in "gosh, I'D never pay that much for a cake!" icon_eek.gif
Don't set your pricing based on what YOU'RE willing to pay.

I just did a castle cake. The client furnished the decopac kit. I charged $80. She paid it without batting an eye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by julitre1

oh, i charge a set price per serving for wedding cakes but not usually for birthday cakes. sorry if this was long.


It's semantics. If you take the birthday price and divide it by the number of servings you're going to get out of it, you have a per-serving price. When folks say they charge a flat fee for cakes, they've just gone ahead and done the math.

skaggs1 Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 12:47am

Gee I really don't think I could charge those prices in my area. I live in such a rural area but like I said before I don't have anyone to compare my prices too. I have priced some wedding cake's and the people thought it was outragous and that was at $1.50 per serving for BC

jammjenks Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 1:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaggs1

Gee I really don't think I could charge those prices in my area. I live in such a rural area but like I said before I don't have anyone to compare my prices too. I have priced some wedding cake's and the people thought it was outragous and that was at $1.50 per serving for BC




Who else are they gonna go to for a wedding cake? You said:

Quote:
Originally Posted by skaggs1

I know that in my area the only bakery around is Krogers and Wal-Mart. There is a bakery about 30 miles south from me and that's it. !




Charge what you're worth or #1 you will not be happy with yourself, and #2 it will be VERY hard to raise your prices in the future. You have to sell your cakes...not just receiving $ for a cake you created...it's more than that. You are your best salesperson....SELL (as in marketing) those cakes. Make sure your customer knows that they will only get a custom, one-of-a-kind creation like that from you.
[/quote]

leah_s Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 2:20am

Debi - I was at your place when the lady with the DecoPac castle kit came in. You got $80? Damn, girl, that had to be easy money! GOOD FOR YOU!

And let me tell you folks, that customer was so glad to find Debi and get that cake made for her darling little daughter that $80 was nothing. These people did not appear to be rolling in $ either.

Remember it's not what you would pay for a cake. It what the customer will pay. Repeat that to yourself 47 times.

On my first day of work at the bakery, I was stressing about my skills not being up to par. The lady supervising me said, "Look. If they could make it themselves they would. Whatever you can do it's better than what they could do on their own or they wouldn't come in here to buy a cake. Calm down and just decorate."

Good advice.

rockysmommy Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 2:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

If they could make it themselves they would. Whatever you can do it's better than what they could do on their own or they wouldn't come in here to buy a cake. Calm down and just decorate."

Good advice.




Yes it is...printing this off and framing it...LOL! thumbs_up.gif

springlakecake Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 1:16pm

lol, that so funny...and true! Some people are so amazed by a little do-dad in frosting.

sambugjoebear Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 9:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by skaggs1

Gee I really don't think I could charge those prices in my area. I live in such a rural area but like I said before I don't have anyone to compare my prices too. I have priced some wedding cake's and the people thought it was outragous and that was at $1.50 per serving for BC





Skaggs, I live in Ohio and in a rural area too. Both of my competitors are about 30-40 minutes away from me in opposite directions. At a recent bridal show I was able to compare notes with them and I had the highest BC cake price at $2.00/serving, but had the lowest fondant price at $3.00/serving. I really can't understand how they could make a profit from their cakes if everything is made from scratch like mine are. I know I wouldn't make much of one.

Personally, I wouldn't want to pay $2/serving either, but I'm on a tight budget. There are customers out there that want that special one-of-a-kind cake and will pay for it. Especially if you're the only one in town icon_wink.gif Set your prices to your level of expertise and go with it- dont' back down icon_smile.gif

Good luck!

dragonflydesserts Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 9:44pm

I have raised my prices as my skill levels have gone up. My prices are average with the area, but every time I start feeling unhappy while I am making the cake and feeling I'm not getting enough, I raise the price! I don't feel that so much any more, but you really have to keep and eye on gas prices and cost of ingredients. My shortening went from $35.00 for 50# to $84.00! I try and make sure I am making $15-$20 per hour.

Cheryl

julitre1 Posted 19 Feb 2009 , 9:44pm

well the problem for me is that everyone I know is cheap-cheap=cheap. they really expect me to do stuff for free. they don't understand the time and creativity it takes to do a cake. my hubby said that my cakes are good enough and to charge what I think they are worth and if the client doesn't agree they'll go somewhere else. lol, this is great but i would like to build a business. i think i'm going to charge $45. about pricey-i meant the "holy crap, you want me to pay what for that cake?" thank you for the advice-love it

skaggs1 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:35am

Alright ladies I have a baby shower cake to do this weekend and thanks to all of you I am going to charge what I should of been charging woo hoo it feels good!!! lol

cylstrial Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 1:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockysmom

Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

If they could make it themselves they would. Whatever you can do it's better than what they could do on their own or they wouldn't come in here to buy a cake. Calm down and just decorate."

Good advice.



Yes it is...printing this off and framing it...LOL! thumbs_up.gif




Me too!!

CeeTee Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:42pm

Speaking as one who originally started out in the "There's no way I can charge THAT much for a cake!" camp, I can assure you that it -will- bite you in the britches in the not too distant future. I quickly got burned out spending my weekends in the kitchen only to have $25-$45 to show for it come Monday morning, and realizing I was lucky if I got a $10 profit out of it. I love decorating cakes, but not so much that I'm willing to give up all my spare time and pocket spending money for it.

I even have the added 'pressure' of there being another cake decorator in my social circle who charges way, way less than me, so I know I'll always be undercut no matter what I do. I know for a fact she takes a loss on every cake she's ever made because she is always complaining about it, but she keeps doing it anyway because she doesn't want to "take advantage of people" (her exact words). Really...if you sell a three tiered wedding cake with a custom flower topper for $75, who is the one REALLY getting taken advantage of? (and yes, she did do this. I read her the riot act over it)

I stick to my guns and charge what I'm worth. I won't even turn on my oven for less than $65. That's my base charge for a basic 9x13 birthday sheet cake. Granted, there have been times I've charged less for a cake, but it's only been when I've wanted to rather than because I felt I had to in order to get the sale. I'm much happier doing cakes on my own terms rather than stressing over having to live up to some self-inflicted, unrealistic expectations out of fear that someone won't like me.

Nessah75 Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 12:45am

I really don't know what I should charge for my cakes :( it's always been a hobby, now, I had to refuse orders for the month of March so I could have some down time! Also to focus on my kids cakes all 3 are in the month of March.

OK, I understand charging per slice, however, there are times that there is a LOT of detail that can go into a cake. Example are those Monster's High cakes or cakes with fondant or gum paste flowers, some of those flowers can be tedious!

I got to a point where I know I'm charging too low! All my customers have been saying I should advertise, I like the word of mouth right now LOL. It shows me how many are happy with my work!

Monster's high cake I charged $125 CDN, 6 ' top and 8" bottom, 4" high on each do you think that was sufficient?I hope the pic is attached...

Nessah75 Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 12:47am

*

jason_kraft Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 2:06am

A

Original message sent by Nessah75

Monster's high cake I charged $125 CDN, 6 ' top and 8" bottom, 4" high on each do you think that was sufficient?I hope the pic is attached...

Given the detail, market value is probably closer to double what you charged.

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