Help Please... 2 Cakes, 1 Small Wedding..

Business By kellertur Updated 23 Jun 2009 , 1:39am by kellertur

kellertur Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:08pm
post #1 of 29

Hello,

I have figured out my "base price" for fondant, but am not sure how to price all the other stuff... can you please help?

Wedding is actually really small BUT~ they are ending up with 160 servings... 160 x fondant base price = ___ ... then what to add?

They want two 3-tier cakes side by side ( 6,8,10)... personalized, one for each fiancee. There will be a lot of gumpaste work, possibly hand painting, etc. A foodnetwork celebrity priced their cake at over $1800.00, but obviously I can't charge that much... how much "extra" to charge? They said price is not a big issue at this point...but the above quote was too much.

thank you.

28 replies
FromScratch Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:14pm
post #2 of 29

What sort of gumpaste work? Can you show us a picture of the cake (or give us an idea of what exactly will be involved)? If it was priced at $1800 then I am going to assume there's a bunch of stuff going on.

kellertur Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:21pm
post #3 of 29

Hi Jeanne! icon_smile.gif

Each cake will have some gumpaste blossoms. Branches, gumpaste details to fit each fiancee's personality, yes... lots of stuff going on.

I've not finished sketching yet, but have told them it won't be cheap... no big reaction from mentioning that.

We'll be meeting soon, but I wanted to give a rough idea now of what a cake like this might cost.

thanks icon_smile.gif

Bluehue Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:24pm
post #4 of 29

Are you charging per slice?
If so, then $4.00 per slice x 160 servings = $640.00 x 2 cakes = $1280.00

For all your time and effort - i doubt you would want to charge anything less -

They said price is not a big issue at this point...but the above quote was too much.

Well obviously price is an issue - otherwise they would undestand that 2 x 160 servings = 320 servings and that is alot of cake....and thats your time and effort..plus ingrediants.

Bluehue.

kellertur Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:33pm
post #5 of 29

Bluehue~ I should have mentioned it's 160 servings TOTAL...not per cake. It's 80 servings per cake. Sorry about the confusion.

160 x $4.00 = $640.00 (does that sound like enough to charge...the detail work is throwing me - I've not charged enough in the past for this type of work.) In a sense, I was giving my time/skills away beyond base price.

The FN star quoted over $1800.00 for 160 servings... about $11.25/serving.

PinkZiab Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:39pm
post #6 of 29

$4.00 should be my BASE price just for fondant... if it has as much going on as you say, as far as flowers and gumpaste work (and it's all going to be handmade), then (and this is without seeing the actual designs of course) just from your description I would say somewhere in the $6-9/slice range (or more)... the $11.25 from the "food network celebrity" may not be that far off the mark if the designs are that intricate and involved.

Bluehue Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:50pm
post #7 of 29

Aussie 4.00 is different to USA 4.00 - altho i am not sure what 4.00 is worth in the *Twilight Zone* - icon_wink.gif

If there is going to be so much detail - then anything UNDER $11.25 is less than what they where quoted from the other place.

Seeing as i can't see the cake - what if you went to $6.50 per serving
$6.50 x 160 servings = $1040.00
= $520.00 per cake

If you are worth that - then by all means - charge it.
If YOU are worth more - charge that.

The sooner people realise that they aren't just paying for eggs and flour - the sooner they will realise that cakes cost money -
Hmmm, wonder if that way of thinking will happen in my life time - icon_wink.gif

Bluehue. icon_smile.gif

kellertur Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 5:57pm
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

Aussie 4.00 is different to USA 4.00 - altho i am not sure what 4.00 is worth in the *Twilight Zone* - icon_wink.gif
icon_smile.gif




Thanks, I need a laugh! icon_smile.gif

Figuring out what you're worth "in cake" is tricky. This is an artsy cake, and I'm a visual artist so I do think I should charge more for this cake. BUT for "frilly" cakes (not my strength), I don't feel confident charging much... How to find the ballance, or can I keep the pricing different? (I know, I'm complicating things...) icon_redface.gif

On a funny note~ They aren't actually paying for eggs and flour... I'm vegan and so are they! Finally, a vegan customer!!! Whoo hoo!!
(I always factor in for baking organic, scratch, blah blah, etc on all my cakes, though... )

Bluehue Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 6:43pm
post #9 of 29

This is an artsy cake, and I'm a visual artist so I do think I should charge more for this cake.

well in that case - nothing under $6.50 per slice then.
Be proud of who you are - and what you CAN achieve - and people will soon realise that YOUR cakes are worth every cent you charge.

let me know when you have posted a picture of the cake - i look forward to seeing it.

Bluehue icon_smile.gif

cylstrial Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:10pm
post #10 of 29

They are asking for a lot of work, charge the right amount of money. Plus, they do have a rather large budget for their cake if they were consulting Food Network stars. Maybe they don't want to pay $1800, but it sounds like they aren't against paying $1000 and up. Or they probably would have said what their budget was.

snarkybaker Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:20pm
post #11 of 29

We do our pricing to include 20 minutes of decorating time for each $50 in cake, and charge by the hour after that, so :

$5.50 X 160= $880 base price
$880/50 =17.6 or about 5.8 hours of decorating PLUS $25 an hour so

if the gumpaste work will take 10 hours

880 + 105 ( 4.2 hours X$25) = $985

Deb_ Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 7:30pm
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

Hello,
A foodnetwork celebrity priced their cake at over $1800.00, but obviously I can't charge that much... how much "extra" to charge? They said price is not a big issue at this point...but the above quote was too much.




OK they were quoted $1800.........which was too much for them so they want to keep it under that............quote them $1799 icon_biggrin.gif


OK I'll be serious now............if your base is $4 per slice then you need to figure your price for each gumpaste flower/branch.

Depending on the level of difficulty of the flowers that could be anywhere from $2 to $10 each.

So then add it all up and there's your price. Don't sell yourself short. 2 cakes is double the work for you with delivery, stacking etc.

mombabytiger Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 10:10pm
post #13 of 29

When meeting with a bride for the first time, do you all ask what the budget is or do you listen, design and quote? Just curious.

FromScratch Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 10:13pm
post #14 of 29

Well I already PM'd you, but I agree... charge plenty...

Nothing under $1000 for what you are doing. icon_smile.gif

bakers2 Posted 15 Jun 2009 , 10:25pm
post #15 of 29

I usually ball-park my time/labor and matierials and charge a flat fee above and beyond my base fondant price. I figure out how much it will cost it materials to complete the design and then how much of my time will it take times how much per hour I feel I deserve for my talent .... when I was less experienced I earned less per hour - more money comes with more experience....I also would try and be fair in regards to how much time it would take me - no fair penalizing a customer if it takes me two hours to accomplish something that should really take about an hour.... hope this is helpful

kellertur Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 12:44am
post #16 of 29

Thanks for all the help/perspective.
They did say money's not really a concern, and the cake will probably be the most expensive thing in the wedding. I mentioned my wed cake cost 10 yrs ago ($500.00 for 50 serv - gulp...our cake was a gift, but the way).
They didn't seem surprised at that. I guess that gives me an idea when I stop and think it through.

Wow, can I really charge $1,000.00 for these? That would be awesome! (said by a child of the '80's...)

I guess I'm afraid of two things: charging too much and scaring them away, OR selling myself short/ripping myself off. This is a delicate dance I haven't quite mastered yet...

It's hard to guage because the guy that did our wedding cake is now a celebrity and his cakes are on Nip Tuck, and other shows... I'm still learning as I go.... I'd love to start charging $4.00/serv base price, only that's double what any of the bakeries around here charge. I'm going to do some math and figure out how much/how long these cakes might take. I don't even have all the detail yet (what to add to each cake to personalize...) icon_confused.gif I'm meeting with the bride in a few weeks to talk more about the design, flavors, etc, but will email a rough quote as soon as possible.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself... I'm just excited and a little nervous.

cylstrial Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 11:40am
post #17 of 29

If their design is complicated and going to take up a lot of your time, then yes, you CAN charge $1000. You're not going to take a loss on the cake (your time and money) when they are willing to pay for it!?!

You can do it! Let us know how it goes with the bride!

And you should be excited! This is a GREAT opportunity for you to get out there and sell an expensive cake. You're moving up the pricing tier! Yeah!!

kellertur Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 5:37pm
post #18 of 29

Thank you. I am very excited... so much that I increased my price per serving (for future orders) last night, and also put a minimum amount on sculpted cakes!

I got a call for a 3-D baseball themed cake this morning and got to try out my new "minimum price of $__.00 on sculpted cakes" speech, and they said that was fair. We're finalizing servings, design tonight.

I sketched out the two cakes last night for the wedding and I LOVE it!!!
I hope they do too... thanks again.

cylstrial Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 9:43pm
post #19 of 29

I can't wait to hear what happens tonight! You better be on here letting us know right afterwards!

CakeForte Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 10:30pm
post #20 of 29

One time, with one of my very first clients, the bride wanted this martha stewart cake. Then she emailed and said she wanted it "way bigger". Completely off of my charts and pricing guide, so I didn't really know what to charge her, so I said...$1500. Of course I thought that was a CRAZY A** number and was for sure going to lose the sale.

She didn't flinch at all and was so happy to get me. In fact, her dad also wrote me a nice letter about how much he enjoyed meeting with me and working with me, and they loved the cakes.

After that, I changed all of my pricing to that order, and that's when I started to book more cakes.

Anyway, the point is that if YOU are confident in your work, and know you should pay yourself more...this is your chance to make that change and charge for every ounce of work you put into the cake.

kellertur Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 10:47pm
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

I can't wait to hear what happens tonight! You better be on here letting us know right afterwards!




Thanks Cakeforte. icon_smile.gif

Cylstrial~ I have a huge wholesale order due for an Arts Festival one of my friends has every year at her organic farm... so I'll try.
I'm hoping this festival increases my business. icon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 11:47pm
post #22 of 29

I'm so excited for you........sending you good luck vibes, I hope you get this order!!!

Deb icon_biggrin.gif

cylstrial Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:54am
post #23 of 29

Don't worry! There's no rush (except inquiring minds want to know)! I'll just have to wait until you get time! Hehe.

kellertur Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 4:48am
post #24 of 29

Ok, I had 2 peanut butter cakes fall tonight ~ this hasn't happened in over a year. Can humidity effect peanut butter cakes since they are heavier?
So, I'm behind and will be up late again tomorrow night to finish this order... icon_cry.gif

I missed their call ~ I was tucking in my daughter (you know, one more hug Mom routine - which I always fall for ). I heard the machine pick up. I'll call them back tomorrow.

icon_rolleyes.gif I'd like to freeze frame time for one night - to catch up on sleep...only I'd make that night last 4 yrs. Don't worry though, we wouldn't age because when time stands still... it stands still. (OK, I need sleep... not making sense) icon_redface.gif

cylstrial Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 11:58am
post #25 of 29

You'll get it done and it will be beautiful. Don't worry! We'll hear about everything soon enough!

FromScratch Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 3:44pm
post #26 of 29

I'm proud of you for raising your prices... icon_biggrin.gif

I can't wait to hear how it all pans out.

kellertur Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:40pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratch

I'm proud of you for raising your prices... icon_biggrin.gif

I can't wait to hear how it all pans out.




Cake humor ("pans out") I LOVE that!! icon_lol.gif Thanks ~


knock knock
who's there?
Icing.
Icing who?
Icing, but no one wants to hear it.... (rimshot, on drums)

cylstrial Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 1:14am
post #28 of 29

So what happened with the cake? Did you get all the details worked out?

kellertur Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 1:39am
post #29 of 29

Weird ~ I could have sworn I replied to this thread last night... icon_confused.gif

I'm meeting with the wedding couple next week. I did find out that the price quoted by the FN celeb was for only ONE cake, then there would be several hundred $$ delivery fee, etc. So, I'm making TWO cakes, and even when I mentioned the quote possibly being $950.00, she said it was acceptable. icon_smile.gif


Baseball cake~ Yes, I got the order. Instead of carving the baseball, I told them I'd use a ball pan so it's not technically a "carved" cake, so they saved some money. I'm putting it on a base and decorating that like a ball field, etc. I tried out my new higher prices, and they didn't seem to mind.

Thanks everyone.

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