Do You Have A 'i Won't Turn My Oven On For Less Than' Amount

Business By rharris524 Updated 7 Sep 2009 , 5:36pm by 1234me

rharris524 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 3:38am
post #1 of 38

I'm pretty new to being in business so things are a little slow adn I hate to turn away business but I've been good about sticking to my guns about pricing (I'm proud of myself about that...but that's another story). I had a lady inquire about a red velvet cake for six (told her that 12 was my minimum)on Thursday evening for Friday. So I told her my price (sans a rush fee since I didn't want to turn down business) and she gawked and left. I felt like gawking at dealing with this rush cake for under $30...I'm actually glad that she walked away so I didn't have to deal with that added mission on top of my other orders. At this point, I'd have taken the order if she'd have placed it but at some point, I'd like to be at a place where I can have a minimum for my efforts. So, to all of your more experienced cakers, what is your minimum?

37 replies
CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 3:42am
post #2 of 38

I'm just starting out, too, and right now, I don't have a "minimum" perse, but I do make sure I charge for my time as well as the ingredients (and electricity, etc.).

Your time, and talent, are what they're paying for, not the cake ingredients. If that woman wanted a small cake within 24 hrs., she should have tried the grocery store bakery section. They have lots of 'ready to go' fancy cakes available - probably for about the same price as you would have charged for the Red Velvet one.

StaceyCakes75 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 3:56am
post #3 of 38

This topic has been discussed before. And yes I would say most people have a minimum. Mine is 40.00 and that is extremely low compared to others here on CC.

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:09am
post #4 of 38

Are you sayiing your minimum is 12 servings or $12? Mine is a $100 for a regular cake and I don't care if it's for 6 people or 30 people (and I say 30 cause that is the cheapest cake I have with the most srvings). You need to have a minimum, cause people know cakes are sold by the serving and I'm not doing a cake "just for 6".

rharris524 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:16am
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Are you sayiing your minimum is 12 servings or $12? Mine is a $100 for a regular cake and I don't care if it's for 6 people or 30 people (and I say 30 cause that is the cheapest cake I have with the most srvings). You need to have a minimum, cause people know cakes are sold by the serving and I'm not doing a cake "just for 6".




No, 12 servings (6 in round)...

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:29am
post #6 of 38

Okay, it would still be...a $100.

Mensch Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 7:19am
post #7 of 38

$100 minimum. I won't even do a 6" round for that price. Most folks don't realize just how small a 6" cake really is.

Mike1394 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 10:04am
post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

Most folks don't realize just how small a 6" cake really is.




That and a couple of scoops of ice cream is called dessert. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

Mensch Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:44am
post #9 of 38

Hahaha Mike! That was funny!

peg818 Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:58am
post #10 of 38

I dont do anything smaller then an 8in round unless its for the top of a wedding cake, and my minimum is $50.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 12:40pm
post #11 of 38

Yes. Today it's $100,000.

icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 1:43pm
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Yes. Today it's $100,000.

icon_biggrin.gif




icon_twisted.gif Mine depends on mood also...

HeatherWantsCake Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 2:25pm
post #13 of 38

I've really been struggling with pricing and I know I'm still undercharging but have at least managed to say I won't turn on the oven for less than $25.

(Day-job recently asked if I'd like to take over providing the desserts for the board meetings, thinking they'd save money and I'd get a bit of business. They figured I could provide two choices of dessert to feed 13 people for under $20. Um. No.)

Even though my original theory was that any money I made above and beyond my costs was kind of a bonus, I've got to draw a line somewhere.

sweet_teeth Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 2:43pm
post #14 of 38

100$, but sometimes it's higher. I'm a horrible person (I'll admit it) and say I'm book or out of town when i'm not. Lately I'm just not in the mood to cake. I had a WAY busy 2 months w/ back to back cakes in May and June and since then I haven't wanted to even think about turning on that oven for cake batter.

So i'd say, yeah, $100,000 right now. lol

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 2:46pm
post #15 of 38

I wouldn't do a 6" either, but people like to say, "But I only need 8 servings". Sure, it's about a 6' & it'll be a $100. By the time I'm done buying what I need, forget about time, I can't see charging $25 for anything. I would have spent more then that on ingredients and hard ware.

Mensch Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 2:47pm
post #16 of 38

I don't think it's horrible to say you're booked. I do it.

As a customer, I'd rather hear that my cake maker was fully booked than hear her say she didn't want to do my cake.

indydebi Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 2:56pm
post #17 of 38

I will make a 6" cake (1) for my brides' free anniversary tier (2) as the top tier on a wedding cake. Period.

Smallest sheet is 11x15 = $50 (no delivery)
Smallest round is 8" = $60 (no delivery)

Bear in mind that I have a 5-rack commercial oven, so it literally costs me a small fortune just to turn my oven on. LIterally.

And silly as this sounds, even tho' I have a comm'l dishwasher that can wash my mixer bowl/beater in just 55 seconds, I HATE dirtying up my mixer for one lousy cake. Hate that!

cakesondemand Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 8:49pm
post #18 of 38

$50 9x13 is my starting price and bake on Wed if the orders arnt in by then out of luck I have a commercial convection oven and wont put just one cake in it. By the way I had someone come in the other day asked for a cake to serve 4 where in the world would you get a 4" cake not from me LOL! My smallest is 8" round $56 2 layers of filling buttercream only. Only time I do 6" is for a wedding cake or top cutting cake for cupcake display.

indydebi Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 8:56pm
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesondemand

$50 9x13 is my starting price and bake on Wed if the orders arnt in by then out of luck I have a commercial convection oven and wont put just one cake in it. By the way I had someone come in the other day asked for a cake to serve 4 where in the world would you get a 4" cake not from me LOL! My smallest is 8" round $56 2 layers of filling buttercream only. Only time I do 6" is for a wedding cake or top cutting cake for cupcake display.




two packs of Twinkies, coming up! icon_lol.gif

cakesweetiecake Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:05pm
post #20 of 38

I am not in business, but I have often thought about this. If I were to go into business, I'd definitely want to have a minimum! I'm in the process of looking into renting a kitchen and this very subject has been on my mind lately. It's probably not something I thought about much while it was a hobby. Hell, I was just happy to bake. However, when thinking about the possible rental rate, it will definitely have to be worth my while!

littlecake Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:46pm
post #21 of 38

i've been thinking of cutting out 1/4 sheets completely....i do sell at least 15 a week....i'm starting to think the peeps that need the tiny cakes should really just go to the grocery store.

i used to sell cupcakes and single layer 8 inch rounds...but i cut them out a few years ago...no profit margin.

i'm so sick of the i'm only serving 6 people customers.....i've had people call and try to order 3 cupcakes.

indydebi Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:53pm
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

.....i've had people call and try to order 3 cupcakes.


I like the ones who, when you tell them "one dozen minimum" proceed to tell you, "Ok, I'd like 2 chocolate, 3 strawberry, 1 vanilla ......" dunce.gif

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:54pm
post #23 of 38

I won't turn mine on for less than about $35.00 which is the cheapest cake price I have on my website but I never just have one cake order so it isn't a problem.I have wavered back and forth about raising it to $50.00 but I still want to be able to offer at least 3 options under $50.00 since most of my business is kids cakes and some Mom's just don't want to spend over $50.00 for a cake.As a Mom I can undersatnd...But most of the time by the time I send photos and ideas they order a more expensive cake anyway!!

Win Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 10:01pm
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesondemand

...By the way I had someone come in the other day asked for a cake to serve 4 where in the world would you get a 4" cake not from me LOL!




I love this bakery... keep it bookmarked because I think she works to accommodate a variety of requests. Note, though, that even her personal cakes are a minimum of four to an order...

http://www.oksugar.com/view_image.asp?image_id=21&bk=category_id%3D5%26pr%3D5&cn=Special+Occasion+Cakes

Edited to add: And, of course I realize she bakes a larger cake and divides it into personals... but still, what a great way for a person to satisfy their sweet tooth!

zdebssweetsj Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 10:12pm
post #25 of 38

Stick to your guns if they want Walmart prices go to Walmart your doing a custom order. My min. for a single tier buttercream, is $40.00. Min for brides cake is $400. Good Luck it took me a long time to believe in myself, if you don't put a value on your time, you'll be over run with bargain hunters.

SweetArt Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:14pm
post #26 of 38

For me it's $100. Just in the last month I've had 2 different people try to order cakes with just 2 servings. I had a 3rd try to order "just a small cake you can do real quick". I was over booked already and told her no, and she proceeded to argue with me. Once I started explaining to her:

1. Planing the cake design, figuring out how much ingredients, and go shopping.
2. Make batter, prep pans, bake, mix filling and icing, and make colors or fondant items.
3. Level, cool cake, and prep the boards and box.
4. Fill and ice the cake.
5. Now the decorating begins.
6. Cleaning up.

There is no "quick" cake in there. Subtract the cost of ingredients and utilities.... I'm not going to work for that cheap!

BTW, she hung up on me before I even got to #3.

tracycakes Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:23pm
post #27 of 38

I've been legal for a total of 7 days and I don't have a limit yet as I'm not turning down any business. I don't really like to do sheet cakes, especially small ones but if it gets my name out there, I still consider that marketing. I recently did a sheet cake as a 1st BD cake for a coworkers son (the stars and crown in my pix). Her SIL LOVED the cake and she placed as order the very next week for a baby shower cake. Yesterday, I got another call from someone that was at that party, loved the cake and has asked me to do a cake for her son's BD in a couple of weeks.

My business is only parttime right now, but the faster my business grows the sooner I can quit my despised day job. thumbs_up.gif

My goal is high end cakes eventually and then the limit will probably be at least $100. I've already had people tell me that they can't afford me but that's OK. thumbs_up.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:32pm
post #28 of 38

How fricken rude!

HeatherWantsCake Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:36pm
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

I've been legal for a total of 7 days and I don't have a limit yet as I'm not turning down any business. I don't really like to do sheet cakes, especially small ones but if it gets my name out there, I still consider that marketing. thumbs_up.gif




That was my initial thought, too. Then I got thinking - suppose I do a cake for someone and charge less than I "should", just to get the job. Then someone at the party loves the cake and asks the hostess where she got it, and how much she paid. Then they call and want to order the same thing and I'm stuck, yanno?

indydebi Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 11:38pm
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetArt

I had a 3rd try to order "just a small cake you can do real quick".



I told a bride yesterday, "I'm sorry.... you're not allowed to use the word 'simple' when describing your wedding cake." icon_lol.gif Then I explained how what may look simple to her, most of the time is more work for me. She laughed and asked "So how can I describe it?" I told her "Simplistic looking" was acceptable! icon_lol.gif

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