Confused On Pricing! Please Help

Decorating By maddiseeyore Updated 10 Jul 2009 , 3:38pm by ShayShay

maddiseeyore Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:14pm
post #1 of 26

Can anyone clarify a pricing issue for me? I have had a lot of requests for cakes lately and am confused about pricing. I made the following cake

http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1354662

a while back (not for money, just for for a friend. I gave it to her at cost) and I figure it's a good example of the question I'm wondering about. This cake, if I remember right, was double layer, 10" and 8" tiers, butter cream filling and fondant covered and fondant flowers. The figure is hand moulded. Now from what I've read of serving charts, this cake would be 24 party size slices right? Well, at (for example) 3.50/slice it would work out to $84. Is that really right? 3.50/slice seems kind of pricey to me and yet $84 BEFORE the cost of ingredients does seem a bit too cheap. Even if you add a bit for the figure...well, it doesn't seem to me that it would be worth all the work it takes to make cakes! Am I doing something wrong?

25 replies
soygurl Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:29pm
post #2 of 26

Where did you see 24 party servings for an 8" and a 10" cake? According to Wilton, that cake will give 48 party servings (62 wedding servings).
So at $3.50/serving (which is NOT pricy if you think about how much work you put into a cake like that, and really, go to a resturaunt and try to find a slice of cake for less than $3.50!) that cake would be $168. And you really need to charge extra for that topper. Heck, I'd charge extra for the topper, the bow, and the flowers. That cake should be at least $200 IMO.
HTH! thumbs_up.gif

soygurl Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:29pm
post #3 of 26

Sorry... double post. icon_redface.gif

saffronica Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:37pm
post #4 of 26

Those are going to be 24 VERY big pieces -- each slice would be 21.5 cubic inches, as opposed to a typical wedding slice (1"x2"x4") of 8 cubic inches. I know cakes tend to be cut larger at parties, but I think most people charge based on a wedding slice. That would give you 45 slices (according to a chart I found from Earlene's Cakes). 45 x $3.50 = $157.50, and I think your cake is worth at least that.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:40pm
post #5 of 26

A 6" on an 8"? So 32 servings...times $6 or $7/svg here (depends on how I'm feeling).

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:43pm
post #6 of 26

Oh whoops...an 8 and a 10...closer to $250-300. That is a darling cake. Very well done. Your skill level matches a designer price, so don't short change your self.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:44pm
post #7 of 26

Nope sorry...$300. That figurine is a lot of work. Lol...it wouldn't walk out my door for less than $300. icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 10:52pm
post #8 of 26

For me that would serve 55... at $5/serving plus $75.00 for the figure topper.. so $350.00

Where did you see that an 8" and a 10" serves 24?

It's a super cute cake too.. icon_smile.gif

iownajane Posted 8 Jul 2009 , 11:03pm
post #9 of 26

I'm NO expert,and haven't sold many either...bit OMG...your cake is amazing..super cute..super PERFECT...flawless...I agree wit the other posters...$300.00..$350.00...my God...it's prefect !!!

maddiseeyore Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:18am
post #10 of 26

Wow. Clearly I was doing something wrong! I got the serving chart on the site (remove spaces) cakes by bing.com. It says that a 8" cake is 10 servings and a 10" cake is 14. Now maybe she/he is referring to single, really short layers? I was wondering how anyone made a living if they could only charge $84 for that size and type of cake! It seems there are so many different charts, can you share the serving charts you use? And if it is referring to single layers?
Thanks so much, I feel better already! icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:26am
post #11 of 26

This is the wilton wedding chart that I use to determine pricing: http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm

8 = 24 servings
10=38 servings
------------------
total: 62 servings x my rate of $4.50/serving for fondant = $279
Plus additional charges for the figures, the bow, etc.

Easily a $300 cake.

If they want bells and whistles .... then there is an extra charge for bells and whistles.

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:55am
post #12 of 26

I use the wilton wedding chart rounded dow to the nearest 5th. (makes for easier math)

wrightway777 Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 2:29am
post #13 of 26

I use Earlene's chart it makes sense about the serving size that she mentions in regards to the chart.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 2:32am
post #14 of 26

I use Wilton because the slices are way big enough, and catering staff are going to use that one too.

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 3:01am
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

I use Wilton because the slices are way big enough, and catering staff are going to use that one too.




As a caterer ... yep, that's how it's cut.

maddiseeyore Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 10:39am
post #16 of 26

Oh boy, now I'm confused again! (I'm not usually this dense icon_redface.gif !!)Indydebi, do you use the Wedding Chart to determine prices for a party cake as well as a wedding cake? If so, how do you explain it to customers?

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 11:15am
post #17 of 26

I use the wedding chart to determine pricing. I don't differentiate between party servings and wedding servings. A 10" round serves 38. If they want to cut it in half and just serve 2 people from it, I could care less. the cake is priced for 38 servings.

I tell them the 10" round will serve 25-35, depending on how they cut it. If they are planning a party for 30, they usually upgrade to a 12" because they think the 10" will be too close.

I do not go into "the cake is designed to serve 38, times my rate per serving, = a cost for the cake". I tell them, "The cake costs $xx.xx and wil serve 25-35."

That's it.

maddiseeyore Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 11:42am
post #18 of 26

Thanks Indydebi, for the clarification. I guess it makes sense; if you charged per slice and had the different slice size for party and wedding, then despite the fact that a party cake could be just as intricate as a wedding cake, you'd be getting half the price! So yes, I think it's finally clicked and I see how it's done by using the wedding chart to determine cost. Thanks so much for taking the time to clear things up for me! Do you charge extra for things like moulded figures? Or do you build that into your price?

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 12:14pm
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddiseeyore

.... then despite the fact that a party cake could be just as intricate as a wedding cake, you'd be getting half the price!




This is what I don't understand about those who do party servings and wedding servings.

Let's assume their wedding serving is $3/serving and let's assume a standard wedding cake slice of 1x2x4 (8 cubic inches). Let's assume the party slice is 1.5x2x4 (12 cubic inches .... 50% bigger than a wedding cake slice).

*WHY* would the cake be half price for party servings? If the slice you're giving them is 50% BIGGER, then wouldn't the price per serving be 50% HIGHER???? Why would you give them 50% more cake for the same money?

If your 1x2x4 slice is $3/serving, then by all rules of logic, the 1.5x2x4 slice of cake should be $4.50/serving. THe price of the CAKE is the same. They can cut it in party servings, they can cut it in wedding servings. Why is it cheaper just because they're going to cut it different?

If I buy a large fry at my local fast food restaurant, you can bet I dont' get it for the same price as the small! And let's not forget my now-famous KFC example.

maddiseeyore Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 12:27pm
post #20 of 26

That makes complete sense indydebi! So a person should just charge wedding cake servings and they can cut in any way they please. I guess just explaining that the price is based per serving (wedding cake servings) and if they want party size they need to order twice as much! But if you don't give a price/serving as you were saying, and just give a price/cake, it would make it much simpler!
Are other CC'ers out there willing to share what their average price/wedding servings are? You guys are the most talented and REAL people I've 'met' and I feel like I could get honest feedback from all of you. I'm kind of wondering what the average cost here on CC is. In my area, I've seen everything from 2.00 - 15.00!! It seems to me there is quite a variety for not a lot of difference in cake!

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 12:50pm
post #21 of 26

Just remember, it's all semantics. Even tho' I tell them the price of the cake, I've already done the math and figured the servings-times-per-serving-price=cost-of-cake. I just don't stand there and do the math in front of them .... I've already done it ahead of time. thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:25pm
post #22 of 26

I just charge per wedding slice for every cake. I explain that if they are big cake eaters they may want to order a little extra, but the cake is charged per wedding slice. I just tell them the cake is designed to serve X amount at the standard slice size which is 1x2x4".

I used to break it down by wedding and party slice, but like Debi said... my party slice was MORE per slice than my wedding slice... the cake was the same price... so I just got rid of that since it was confusing.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:41pm
post #23 of 26

maddiseeyore - you hit the price range right on the head! $2-$15 is right where you'll see a lot of prices. Do your homework locally. Ask at weddings where the cake is from, then call the bakery later for a quote. Make careful notes of the details ; filling, tiers, construction, fondant work, ornateness?, taste.

Once you get some info for your area, the price ranges there you'll have a better feel for what your work can get. The biggest mistake I see here on CC is for new people to under-price their work. That said, your work needs to be professional. If it is up to par, sell it for a good price - don't apologize.


OK - edited to look at your pictures - You should be charging full price for your work. The pictures are excellent.

ShayShay Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 1:56pm
post #24 of 26

Okay, sorry to step away from the original question, but I have looked at the wilton chart you provided indydebi and there is not a 11 x 15 pan listed. How many people does an 11 x 15 sheet cake feed?

indydebi Posted 9 Jul 2009 , 8:15pm
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShayShay

Okay, sorry to step away from the original question, but I have looked at the wilton chart you provided indydebi and there is not a 11 x 15 pan listed. How many people does an 11 x 15 sheet cake feed?


The good news with rectangle or square cakes is you can just do the math to determine the servings.

If your pieces are the standard 2x2x2, then the 11x15 would be cut in approximately 5 columns by 7 rows (35 servings).

If you cut them 3x2x2, the the cake would be cut in approx 5 columns by 5 rows = 25 servings.

ShayShay Posted 10 Jul 2009 , 3:38pm
post #26 of 26

Okay got it! Thank you so much for your help! I also found an older post of yours that explains this. Very helpful indeed!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%