misslibertysmom Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 11:50am
post #1 of

Hello there,
I have been so stumped about pricing with the recent surge in people wanting unique tiered or shaped special occasion cakes. I decided to set a base price of $60 for anything I have to carve or anything 2-tier and I was thinking $100 base for a 3-tier, I honestly (and maybe I am wrong) but I can't imagine even wal-mart does a 3-tier cake of any sort for less than $100, yet people really want to pay $100 for a birthday cake, really?

I don't know, my wedding cake pricing I have very straightforward it includes any of my 30 flavors, fillings, any design pretty much, I send brides a pricing and policy list and try very hard to keep it straight forward and clear.
What is the most frsutrating is that I find myself taking more time at times on a $60 birthday cake than I do on my $400 wedding cakes, yet if I want the extra income from special occasion cakes...

I have been in business 12 years and when I opened I did anything anyone wanted, last minute, etc. Than after a few years I decided to not do special occasion cakes except for a few customers that had built a reputation with me, and just concentrate on weddings.

Last year I hired a couple of interns and started increasiny my special occasion workload adding it on my website, etc. to pay for my extra help, but the pricing is so perplexing to me...

Anyone want to share their policies?
Thank you, Tamara

15 replies
MikeRowesHunny Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 12:14pm
post #2 of

I have made several 3 tiered birthday cakes that cost $200+. I have also made single cakes (carved & modelled) that cost $150+. You have to put a price on what your time & talent are worth. Portions are irrelevant (to me at least!).

Deb_ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 12:55pm
post #3 of

What's worked for me is to price all of my cakes by the serving.

Example~ if a client needs a cake to serve 100 then in my mind I automatically know what the *base* price will be........for BC 100 servings X $3.00 (or whatever your per slice price is).

Setting a *per slice* price to me is imperative. In order to set that price you need to figure out what it costs you to make that serving of cake. For me......my *cost* per serving is $1 to $1.25 per serving for BC basic flavors and fillings.

Once I know the details of the cake I can add any *upcharge* if need be......like gourmet flavors, intricate flower work or figure work etc.


I think once you get out of the mindset that people won't pay $XXX for a Birthday cake, you'll be better off.

To me it doesn't matter what the occasion, it's still a cake to serve 100 whether it's for a wedding or birthday. I charge the same amount per serving (Wilton wedding chart) since it's the same amount of work.

Hopefully, I haven't confused you!

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 12:56pm
post #4 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by misslibertysmom


What is the most frsutrating is that I find myself taking more time at times on a $60 birthday cake than I do on my $400 wedding cakes, yet if I want the extra income from special occasion cakes..



oh man that is SO true!! Bugs me!!

Quote from your other thread:

Quote:
Quote:

Also do you allow for a larger serving of cake for special occasions? I do.


No. Example: A 10" round serves 38 per the wilton wedding chart. I tell the customer who buys a 10" birthday cake that it will serve 25-35, depending on how they cut it. They are welcome to cut it in half and serve it to just two people, but they are PAYING for the number of servings it's designed to serve. I'm not giving away free cake.

But this is why I have one pricing. It's right on my website, "If it looks like a wedding cake, it's priced like a wedding cake".

If someone wants a 3-tier birthday cake, I see no problem in you handing them your wedding cake price list.

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 12:57pm
post #5 of

dupl thread ... see also http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6361440.html#6361440

FromScratch Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 10:42am
post #6 of

This I never understand. Why would you give a bigger slice and charge less per serving for the same cake? It makes no sense what-so-ever. If anything, a bigger slice warrants a more expensive per serving price. So if you price weddings by the wedding chart and parties by the party chart you are giving them 50% more cake for 40% less the price. (100$ vs 60$)

I charge by the wedding slice no matter what the order is for. A cake is a cake is a cake no? Your party cakes are the same on the inside as your wedding cakes no? You put the same amount of time and effort into your party cakes as you do your wedding cakes no? (and I agree that party cakes are more of a PITA than most wedding cakes) So why then would you devalue them so much?

I understand the want to make your cakes enticing for your customers, but to devalue your work is counter productive. You will kill yourself with the feeling you are working your ass off for not enough money. Do you torte your cakes? Do you offer fillings other than BC? If you do, then perhaps if you don't torte your party cakes and only fill them with BC you could justify a lower price per serving, but if they look the same on the inside... and are decorated the same on the outside... they should hold the same value.

Carved cakes are a whole different ball game too. I start 3-D carved cakes at $250. They are a lot of work... planning... constructing supports... etc. They take more time and require more detail. If you sit back and really think about how long it takes... actually clock it... you'll have a better idea of how much you are making per hour... it shouldn't be a small number.

emma_jada Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:23pm
post #7 of

I struggle with this... BIG TIME. If you charge per serving for 8", 10" 12" cakes this makes sense to me, but to charge per serving for a 1/4 sheet cake that serves around 25 people that would be one expensive sheet cake. Do you do something different for sheet cakes? What about a carved sheet cake (not a 3-D) cake that actually loses servings but takes more time?

ChefAngie Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:36pm
post #8 of

My base price for yellow and white cake is 3.50pp.
Chocolate-4.50pp
Red Velvet-4.75pp
Pound-5.50pp
Carrot Cake 5.75pp
Happy baking and Decorating,
Chef Angie

PS-Carved cakes is a whole different matter. $275-$300 to start off with.

emma_jada Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 5:54pm
post #9 of

everytime i post it posts it again later??

indydebi Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by emma_jada

I struggle with this... BIG TIME. If you charge per serving for 8", 10" 12" cakes this makes sense to me, but to charge per serving for a 1/4 sheet cake that serves around 25 people that would be one expensive sheet cake. Do you do something different for sheet cakes? What about a carved sheet cake (not a 3-D) cake that actually loses servings but takes more time?



I charge a different price-per-serving for non-wedding sheet cakes .... the reason I say "non-wedding" is because the price does NOT cover any delivery.

And charging for a cake and charging per serving is semantics. If you charge $1/serving for a 24 serving cake (i.e. 9x13), then you're charging $25. OR .... if you charge "$25 for the cake", then just break it down to see how much it is per serving. It's just semantics and a matter of "doing the math".

When you go in walmart and see a 9x13 for $12, they are ALSO charging "per serving".....they've just done the math and put a final price on the cake. ($12 for a 24 serving cake = $0.50/serving. icon_surprised.gif )

A carved cake can't really be charged per serving because of the extra work. That's why many bakers who do carved cakes have a minimum and then add to it, based on the extra work involved. Again it's just semantics. By the time they're done, if the grand total is $250 and it ends up serving 20 people, you just divide $250 by 20 to get a per-serving-price, if you're interested in what that would be.

emma_jada Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:35pm

Thanks, I realize this is just semantics and how to get the per serving price. I just didn't know where to start with a sheet cake. I obviously cannot do it for the price the local grocery stores and doing it from scratch I am actually more than another local baker that uses box mixes. Is $35 too much for a base price for a 1/4 sheet cake? I feel like it is not for the "others" that go into it, but I am so intimidated by pricing.

indydebi Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 6:55pm

emma, all of us hate the pricing issue, so you're not alone! icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

9x13 serves 24 times my $1.50/serving rate = $36. (But I dont' do anything smaller than an 11x15.)

emma_jada Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:27pm

This is actually the cake that concerns me. It has more detail than a sheet cake so i just added onto my base sheet cake price. She is asking how much this would serve if it was carved out of a 9x13, but I have no idea once I carve it.
She sent me this link:
http://www.cakedot.com/2008/Bustier680BridalShower6-14-08.jpg

MikeRowesHunny Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 11:58am

Well, that's NOT a sheet cake! It may have started life out as one, but now it's a whole different ball game! I personally wouldn't charge less than $3.50 per serving for that cake (that's fondant on the top), including the bits you carve off & the extra cake you've had to bake for the boobs (the mini ball pan is excellent for this sort of size and you can always build height with the cake you cut off if needs be!). So for me, 9x13 sheet cake = 24 servings + 2 servings for the boobs = 26 servings x $3.50 = $91 for the cake pictured. HTH!

emma_jada Posted 2 May 2009 , 3:37am

Thank you for that! Very helpful.

jenmat Posted 3 May 2009 , 5:27pm

missliberty-
I am in your area (a little north) and I struggle too. I often spend more time on the celebration cakes than my weddings. I am about where you are price-wise for the sculpted cakes and everything, and it is incredibly low. For a while, I just wanted to do those cakes so I could get pics of them, but now I am probably going to raise prices on the really hard stuff. If they want it, they'll have to pay for it. People around here are so practical, they just don't see the reason for a bday cake to be so expensive, but they still want the moon. If they only knew....

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