Help With New Order Possibility

Business By karateka Updated 15 Sep 2009 , 2:57pm by karateka

karateka Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:18pm
post #1 of 16

Hi. I have a request for a trailer cake.

http://trans.landoll.com/litpdf/435_410_traveling_axle.pdf

I was orginally thinking 1/12 or 1/18 scale, which would make this thing at minimum 3 feet long! And, as far as I can tell from the info on the website, only about 6in wide or so (for 1/18 scale).

I'm waffling on how to charge for this....they are specifying LOTS of detail, so clearly they want every bit of it replicated to the nines. I was thinking if my measurements are correct, I'll need 1.5-2 12x18 cakes to get the length and height. Plus a custom stand since I still haven't a clue how to do the overhangie part that hooks to the truck that tows the thing. (any ideas there???)

My first thought was pound cake, and that much cake would run me ~$75 in cost just for the cake, not including fondant and icing and buttloads of time. Does $300 sound too high? I really want this order because a guy from a local large touristy hotel is missing his pastry chef that weekend and he's hunting someone to fill in for her on this project. It could mean a lot more business for me, since this is a 400 guest retirement party.

BUT...I don't want to underprice it, since I also have a 200 serving wedding cake due the very next day.

All input appreciated!

15 replies
catlharper Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:29pm
post #2 of 16

$300 sounds about right for a standard cake that big but I would charge a bit more for all the detail and special stand. By my math it would be about 108 servings and at $300 you are giving yourself less than $3 per serving...that's too low for something so detailed. I'd go to $4 per serving to cover the detail and stand and honestly, in my area of CA that's still low.

Good luck!

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:37pm
post #3 of 16

Man oh man...number one I hate truck cakes LOL.... but anyway for that much detail lately I'm charging $10/serving! That cake is gonna take you twice as long as your wedding cake is going to take you.

I have a truck cake I just did, I had to copy a child's toy...and cake plus delivery was $300 and it was 30 servings. If you sculpt cake, its artwork, and you should be charged very well for your time, since its not just flour and sugar.

Good luck!

karateka Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:44pm
post #4 of 16

You are correct on the serving count....my math brain must be faulty today...

I'm not sure that all 108 servings will be used in carving this thing. It will be a big wedge about 3 feet long and only 6in wide....very thin at the end...only about 4 in tall at the big end. I know, very odd shape.

But the custom stand will cost some, and all that time! $500? $600?

Duff would charge $1000, I know...but I'm not Duff!

G_Cakes Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 5:00pm
post #5 of 16

I agree with everyone $300.00 is way to low.

If your going on a per serving basis, because of all the detail work I would say $10 + per serving.

Don't forget to factor in your time and make sure you get paid for you talent.

AS for the overhang I would use RKT covered with fondant to make that.

This cake looks to be time consuming and with a wedding cake due the next day you are going to have to plan your time very well.

Hope this helps icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 5:19pm
post #6 of 16

Duff would probably charge about $3000 for that cake, don't kid yourself. The $1000 is his minimum.

I have a semi truck in my fridge right now, and I charged $150 for very little detail on it. I should have charged more, based on how long it took to do the base for it, but it was the first time I'd done one, so now I'll know for the future what's involved.

If they want a tremendous amount of detail I'd charge $1000. The number of servings of cake isn't the deciding factor of the cost in a cake like this, it's the time that it will take to get it right if they're looking for a lot of detail. Whether you have 25 or 100 servings the amount of materials isn't going to go up THAT much cost-wise, and you're going to spend a similar amount of time on the details whether it's small or large. Replicating that truck would be really time-consuming, so do NOT charge what you were thinking of charging, or you'll be kicking yourself REALLY HARD at 3 in the morning the night before it's due!

-K8memphis Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 5:26pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka



My first thought was pound cake, and that much cake would run me ~$75 in cost just for the cake, not including fondant and icing and buttloads of time. Does $300 sound too high? I really want this order because a guy from a local large touristy hotel is missing his pastry chef that weekend and he's hunting someone to fill in for her on this project. It could mean a lot more business for me, since this is a 400 guest retirement party.

BUT...I don't want to underprice it, since I also have a 200 serving wedding cake due the very next day.

All input appreciated!




Am I understanding that the trailer sculptured cake is to serve 400 people? And you're proposing to do it for less than a dollar a serving? I'm not getting this. I'm sure I've misunderstood something.

A bare bones minimum of $2000 for 400 people is only five bucks a serving.

More like $4,000 for tons of detail no?

Did I get this all confused or something?

karateka Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 7:07pm
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka



My first thought was pound cake, and that much cake would run me ~$75 in cost just for the cake, not including fondant and icing and buttloads of time. Does $300 sound too high? I really want this order because a guy from a local large touristy hotel is missing his pastry chef that weekend and he's hunting someone to fill in for her on this project. It could mean a lot more business for me, since this is a 400 guest retirement party.

BUT...I don't want to underprice it, since I also have a 200 serving wedding cake due the very next day.

All input appreciated!







Am I understanding that the trailer sculptured cake is to serve 400 people? And you're proposing to do it for less than a dollar a serving? I'm not getting this. I'm sure I've misunderstood something.

A bare bones minimum of $2000 for 400 people is only five bucks a serving.

More like $4,000 for tons of detail no?

Did I get this all confused or something?





No, I'm sorry...the event is for 400 people, but he's having sheet cakes for all those people. This sculptured thing is for the head table. He said servings aren't an issue, but it needs to be big enough to be able to do some detail... so I'm thinking just in how much cake I"m going to have to use, it will be around 40-50 servings. But they'll be cut all wonky, considering the shape of the thing. Per the picture in the link, I'm just doing the trailer....not the equipment on it, or the truck pulling it. Trailer only.

karateka Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 9:47pm
post #9 of 16

Well....

I took a swim off the deep end. I considered the 2 cakes I have do do between now and then. I considered my work schedule and the time it was going to take me to do.

Then I called him and quoted $1000. He has to ask the trucking company, since they are paying for it. He said he'd tell me by Monday at the latest.

If they actually book this I'm going to have a coronary.

I wonder if I can fit anything else in between now and when I leave for OK? icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 9:54pm
post #10 of 16

Yay!!!

O for a thousand bucks to sing our great cake buddy's price!!!!*

Way cool!! Let us know how it goeth:

a) game on & going shopping
b) whew the coast is clear, dodged the bullet

*sung to the tune of "O for a thousand tongues to sing" icon_biggrin.gif

(I did some math and I figured one out at 29 inches long and 5 inches wide.--whatever that's worth)

indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:14pm
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I'm not sure that all 108 servings will be used in carving this thing. It will be a big wedge about 3 feet long and only 6in wide....very thin at the end...only about 4 in tall at the big end. I know, very odd shape.




When doing a cake like this, I don't figure how many servings they are actually getting. If I have to bake cake for 108, then that's what my base price starts at, before I start adding in the detail work. Whatever you carve away is considered the expense of "scrap factor" (learned this when I did pricing for a manufacturing company). You still have the expense of making cake for 108, whether they end up with it or not. It's a legit expense that you need to charge for.

I was happy to see the price you quoted, though! Good for you!

karateka Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:39pm
post #12 of 16

Thanks for the math, K8....I'm glad because it's really close to the estimates I was doing in my head, so I know I'm not just way out there...

Thanks IndyDebi....My DH said he was proud of me, too. But I haven't heard back yet. I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll deny the expense and find someone about who will do it for $300. Although I'm not sure who it would be at this late date.

laceycakes Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:47pm
post #13 of 16

"Duff would charge $1000, I know...but I'm not Duff!"

Your name doesn't have to Duff in order to charge $1000 for a cake that is totally unique. Don't underestimate yourself and your abilities!!

indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 8:49pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll deny the expense and find someone about who will do it for $300.




Then let your "competition" do it for $300. If they price their cakes like that, you won't have to worry about them being your competition for very long. thumbs_up.gif

karateka Posted 13 Sep 2009 , 9:18pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

I have a sneaking suspicion that they'll deny the expense and find someone about who will do it for $300.



Then let your "competition" do it for $300. If they price their cakes like that, you won't have to worry about them being your competition for very long. thumbs_up.gif




True! icon_smile.gif

karateka Posted 15 Sep 2009 , 2:57pm
post #16 of 16

Well....either they found someone cheaper or decided not to do it at all. I didn't get the booking.

Shocker. Oh, well......I guess that makes my life easier between now and the OK show. Plus I now have a cold and feel crappy. So I guess I can use the nap time.

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