I know this question has been covered under the "business" section and there is even an excel spreadsheet to help figure out what to charge for cakes, but I don't have excel and am not able to view either.
A friend is getting married in Oct. of this year and wants me to make her cake. She is inviting 170 people, she wants a four-tier buttercreme cake with roses in between each layer and her budget is only $150.
I am still REALLY new to cake decorating and this will be my first wedding cake to make and hopefully make a bit of profit off. I am not yet licensed so is it ridiculous for me to tell her that I cannot make her cake for less than $300.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
First, welcome to Cake Central! We're glad to have you!
Now for the question at hand, $150 for 170 people is insane. That's less than a $1.00 a slice. I doubt that $150 would even cover all of your expenses (supplies, electricity, water, etc), let alone the time that it takes you to make and decorate it!
Just my opinion. Now if you want to take the $150 and do the rest for her because it's your friend and maybe that's your present to her or something, maybe that could work for you.
Is she providing the roses? What kind of supports are you going to use...if you've got to buy pillars and separator plates for all of it, plus ingredients, plus pans...assuming you don't have them yet...$150 sounds more like the cost of your supplies and ingredients than what she should be paying...and if she's expecting you to provide the roses, that's going to be even more.
$150 for 170 servings of cake works out to 88 cents a serving. She's not going to find cake for that price anywhere...she could probably buy everyone a donut for that price. $1.50 a serving is the least I've seen people charging for cake usually...that would be $255 for the cake which is still low but at least you'd stand to make some money.
You're talking about days of work too. Unless she's your best friend or you owe her a huge favor, you should tell her that her budget's not very realistic and she should either invite less people or adjust her budget.
This is always a tough situation. I've even ended up paying for the supplies and not getting reimbursed for them! This is really a tough call because it is a friend. If you really feel like you can't charge her more than $150, then don't. However, don't get into the habit of always doing "favors" for people. Make a vow after this to start charging people what your cakes are worth!
I would tell her what YOU CAN do for that amount of money. If her budget is small then you needs to choose a smaller cake. If she is a super good friend then I would tell her all the ingredients that need to be bought and then tell her you will make the cake for free. At least that way when SHE goes out and buys all the stuff, she will at least realize how much money it takes to make a cake w/o even getting any profit.
Don't do it. Even though she's you're friend, she needs to have a realistic budget. You don't want her or her guests thinking you're the cheap cake lady! Maybe you can get her to adjust her budget and surprise her with a "gift" of a bill for only $150 (but I wouldn't). HTH
I'd give her directions to the nearest Sam's Club or Costco, and tell her for that budget she needs to settle for sheet cake. Or she can bite the bullet and pay for beautiful, delicious cake.
Good things cost money, that's all there is to it.
I don't think that you need a license for making a cake for one friend and wanting to get paid for some of the work and the materials. I think you need to charge more.
It's a lot of work..
Thanks for the quick replies. Both the bride and groom work with my DH, and we have become friendly with both but I wouldn't say we are great friends (in the sense we don't go out and doing things together as couples would do if they were friends). She and I have not yet settled on a price, I just asked her what her budget was and after much research realized that I cannot make the cake for that price. I have no problem telling her it will be $300 if that is a fair market price even for an amatuer like me.
Since I am just starting out I don't have anything that I would need for the cake she wants. I just bought a set of 4 round pans today at Michaels for half price but I didn't intend on charging her for costs of the pans anyway as I thought I would need them down the road for other cakes. But I did include everything else in my estimation of what it would cost me to make the cake and I came up with $180 approx. and that did not include the price for fillings or flowers.
Thanks again for your help!
One more thing to consider - if she is INVITING 170 people, (I use Indydebi's 60% rule, only 60% of the people invited actually attend) - that means she only will need cake for 102...big difference in the sizes there.
where is she having the wedding? some people only let cakes in from licensed bakers anyway.
you cant do the cake she wants for the budget she has. and she isnt even a close friends anyway. id do a quick sketch of what can be done for that price, and have the number of walmart etc too.