Should I Charge Set-Up Fee?

Decorating By chamorrita Updated 5 Jan 2010 , 4:12am by chamorrita

chamorrita Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 6:14am
post #1 of 17

I am working on my first wedding cake and I am not sure if I should charge a setup fee besides delivery fee. Please advise.


16 replies
cylstrial Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 1:07pm
post #2 of 17

If you want to charge a set up fee, I think it should be built into the price of the cake.

Just my thoughts - hope this helps.

KHalstead Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 1:29pm
post #3 of 17

I really think it's personal preference. I have a set up fee only because I had spent like 4 hrs. one time arranging ribbons and such on a cupcake stand and really felt jipped (sp?) in the end because of that.

Basically, anyone requiring stacking/ borders/ flower arranging etc. for their cakes or cupcakes is charged a flat fee of $25, If they want me to stack their cake ahead of time (3 tiers or less), I can do that and they can waive the fee (but they have to sign that I'm not responsible for any damages occuring during transport)...I use SPS and don't worry about travelling with them fully assembled, but I prefer to stack on site anyhow........but I give the brides the option.

I have had a couple brides that simply ordered single, unstacked cakes to be put on stands at varying heights and they don't get charged that fee.

I explain to the brides why the fee is in place (it also covers the arranging of up to 25 stems of flowers) and that it's NOT figured into the price because I don't feel everyone should pay it (like those without tiered cakes)

All in all, I think it comes down to what you're comfortable with and what you think about it. My area can't withstand more than a couple dollars per slice for wedding cakes (no matter how ornate) so I do like the extra bit of money it gives me for my time (especially since I don't charge extra for piping designs and such on the cakes)

kakeladi Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 1:32pm
post #4 of 17

That is one of the reasons most of us charge a (slightly) higher price per serving for *any* tiered cake (be it for a shower, b'day, wedding or any other event!). They are paying for our knowledge of HOW to set up the cake.

How would you feel if someone charged, besides the original price: a delivery fee & set up fee? If you wanted to buy a large screen tv or entertainment package that was say $2,500, then found out you had to pay $500 for it to be delivered, *and* another $300 for them to set it up? Can you see yourself trying to do that yourself? I would be passing on buying that for sure!

dinascakes Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 17

kakeladi, actually that is a bad example of the big screen TV, because most places DO charge a delivery fee AND an installation or set-up fee so that it can be done properly. Places like Sears and Bestbuy (Geek Squad) charge for these things that way if anything goes wrong and they installed it, they are responsible for it and have to replace it. If you choose to install it yourself, then the store is no longer resopnsible for damages. My BIL paid $500 to have a TV installed properly in his home. I think its expensive, but if he would have done it himself, and it would have fallen and broken, the store would not have covered damages.

I think if the cake is a large scale, multi-tiered cake, then delivery and set-up charges are appropriate. If the cake is small scale and doesn't need professional set-up, and the customer can take it themselves, then no set-up fee should be charged. It all depends on the needs of the customer and the size of the cake.

KHalstead Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 2:11pm
post #6 of 17

yes and most of my supplies are purchase online and I too have to pay shipping and handling which is no different than delivery and set up to me.

My area charges 1.25/serv. for tiered bc cakes...I charge 2.25/serv for the same cake so if I upped my cost to 2.50/serv. to account for the set up and delivery it would seem so much higher than the going rate and would be hard to get customers. As it is only the people with larger budgets come to me anyhow (larger budgets for around here that is, mostly factory workers and min. wage people here)

JenniferMI Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 2:13pm
post #7 of 17

I would build it into the price as well.

Jen icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 2:17pm
post #8 of 17

In my ever so never personal and humble opinion, I would feel like it was very wrong to charge my bride a set-up fee. Someone buys a wedding cake, they expect the final product to be a wedding cake .... that doesn't mean 4 tiers of cake sitting on a table with a note that says, "here's your cake ... set it up yourself." I think it should be part of the price of the cake. I've never had a cake set up that takes more than 15 minutes, so I just can't see the problem.

*IF* you know in advance that the bride is asking for a special set up that will take a long time, then it's not unreasonable to charge extra for the extra work. Case in point is my large glass-block-and-mirror dessert stand. Hauling all of that glass is heavy work and it takes quite a bit of set up time, which costs me about an hour's labor for 2 people. There is a Lost Opportunity cost to that set up because I'm limited on how many other deliveries I can do that day, when I have to budget time for this stand. But I know that in advance and the bride knows that in advance and she understands WHY there is an add'l fee. But to just nickel and dime a bride just because it's a wedding cake? That feeds into the advice we hear and hate: "Don't tell them it's a wedding cake or the price gets jacked up!" icon_surprised.gif

I would hate going to a fine restaurant and getting a bill that lists the food and then separate lines billing me for "Waiter bringing food to table"; "Food being set up on plates for guests", etc.

It's part of the product.

Just in my ever so never humble opinion. icon_rolleyes.gif

Loucinda Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:26pm
post #9 of 17

Here in Ohio, if you charge a set up fee, you have to pay taxes on that. I have it figured into the price of my cakes so I avoid the extra tax. (and that goes for delivery fees too) Food is non taxable, so that keeps things a little easier here for me.

deb12g Posted 10 Dec 2009 , 3:55pm
post #10 of 17

I agree with Indy.........setup should come with the cake. I don't charge extra for setup & delivery.

chamorrita Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 6:06am
post #11 of 17

Thank you all for your sharing your opinions thumbs_up.gif
Hearing you comments has made me feel confident in making the decision weither to charge the setup fee or not. In this case, If the bride decides she only wants the cake dropped off at the venue then I will not charge her the setup fee. But if she decides she wants candles and/or rose petals then I will charge setup fee for the cost of the candles and roses. I think that sounds about fair. icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!

indydebi Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 11:59am
post #12 of 17
Originally Posted by chamorrita

.... then I will charge setup fee for the cost of the candles and roses. I think that sounds about fair. icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!

Those kinds of things I consider the responsibility of the bride. I don't buy flowers, real or silk, or candles or other table decor. I am not a reception decoration service .... I am your cake lady.

Loucinda Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 1:33pm
post #13 of 17

I am with Indy there too - I do not decorate the table. I only set up the cake, the table is their responsibility.

cas17 Posted 11 Dec 2009 , 2:23pm
post #14 of 17

no charge for me to set up the cake, just for delivery if venue is beyond a certain distance from me. congratulations & good luck with your first wedding cake icon_smile.gif

chamorrita Posted 13 Dec 2009 , 2:01am
post #15 of 17

Thank you!

chamorrita Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 4:07am
post #16 of 17

The cake turned out great! The only thing that stressed me out was that the colors of the roses changed on me as they dried. icon_cry.gif Had to come up with a quick solution and they turned out just the perfect color! Boy, was i sweating it! icon_eek.gif

Love to hear your opinions. Thanks again!

chamorrita Posted 5 Jan 2010 , 4:12am
post #17 of 17

Here it is....

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