I've read many of the posts on how to charge for wedding type cakes. I understand the price per serving concept. However, my husband and I are making a lot of crazy custom cakes - sculpted items, intricate detailing - think Ace of Cakes (at a lower level of course). Any advice on how to charge for that? Do we simply estimate the hours involved in the detail work and add in the supply cost from there?
I would love to hear from anybody who can offer us a direction to go in!
I would like to know this myself. It is very difficult for me to estimate my time and talent. I've been going on a per slice cost with a base of $50 if I have to carve. Somehow that does not seem quite right.
I have a higher per serving charge for carved cakes. I don't normally charge above and beyond for the decorations unless they're really crazy!! For carved buttercream cakes I charge $3.00/serv. for carved fondant cakes $3.50/serv. I let them know some designs require fondant too.
My tiered cakes start at $2.00/serv. for bc and $2.50/serv. for fondant so that gives you an idea of my price range. Untiered cakes are $1.00/serv.
If you were working for someone else and wanted to be paid for your time working, how much would you want them to pay you to make those kinds of cakes? That's your hourly wage, multiply that times how long it takes you to shop for the ingredients, bake the cake, decorate it and clean up. Now add the cost of ingredients, utilities, advertising, licensing, boards, boxes and anything else that you pay to run the business. That's the base price that you should be charging. Want to make a "profit?" That's the amount that you add to the total.
I'm sure that someone else can add to this, and that I've forgotten something...
Edited to add: I have a $150 minimum for carved cakes, and that's only about 25 servings worth of cake. I don't do a per-serving charge for those kinds of cakes, since the ingredients are the least of my worries when I start in on one of those. I just did a sewing machine cake that took 5 1/2 hours, so the time involved is the big thing for me.
A lot of people start at $5/slice and up on carved cakes. And they charge for all of the cake (including the stuff that gets carved off). Why should you lose money on that?