Anyone Ever Complain About Serving Sizes??

Decorating By AmandaKate Updated 17 Dec 2009 , 6:45pm by AmandaKate

AmandaKate Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 8:44pm
post #1 of 18

I am just starting out and have no business yet......however I can foresee this coming up down the road when I start charging.....

Has anyone ever argued with you over the cake serving sizes? I know that when I first entered the bakers side of the cake world I was shocked that a 9" round cake is supposed to feed 32 people....so I assume anyone I would make a cake for would have a similar point of view.

Has anyone ever had the situation arise where someone argued/complained about the calculated serving sizes???

How did you handle it???

And did you use Wilton Charts to determine your serving sizes??

I hope some fun stories will come out of this......I love reading them ever so much!!! Thanks in advance for any responses!!!! icon_rolleyes.gif

17 replies
indydebi Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 8:57pm
post #2 of 18

I use the Wilton Wedding chart for everything. When I tell them an 8" cake serves 24, I also tell them how that serving size is determined. I have a styrofoam cake on hand where I show them, with an ink pen, how to cut the cake to achieve those servings.

Here's a link on how to cut a cake to get those servings. Feel free to print it & hand it to your customers or to refer them to the link: http://www.cateritsimple.com/id10.html

All we are doing is basing our pricing on a pre-determined serving size. ALL foods have a predetermined servings size. (Read an "nutritional info" label on any food product in the grocery store. A small can of Campbell's Tomato Soup, for example, says it serves 2.5 people. I say they're fulla crap, but they've predetermined what the serving size is.

Our customers are welcome to cut the cake in half and serve it to 2 people if they want, but the price of the cake is based on 24 industry-standard servings.

The standard answer is, "If you plan to cut them bigger, you might consider getting a bigger cake." There is no arguing. The price of the cake is based on the industry standard serving size.

KFC sells a bucket of 12 pcs of chicken and they say it serves 6 people. In my house, a 12-pc will serve 3 people. But I'm not going to get it cheaper just because I'm serving fewer people. If my family eats like Jethro BOdine, then I need to plan accordingly and order more chicken. KFC isn't going to throw in a few extra pieces for free because we have "healthy appetites"! icon_rolleyes.gif

dawncr Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 8:58pm
post #3 of 18

Lots of discussion on this if you search forums. Here's a particularly good thread.

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-646680-serving.html+size

In short:
Base your price per serving on the Wilton chart. It's standard.

Your customer can cut however many pieces they want out of the cake, but that won't change your price. If they want more cake, then they need to order more cake.

KHalstead Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 9:00pm
post #4 of 18

I have some styrofoam "cake slices" that are the exact size that a 1"x2"x4" slice of cake would be and also a 1-1/2"x2"x4" for party servings. I show them these and then tell them, you can get X amount of THESE from THIS cake, if they want to cut bigger slices then they order more cake. No complaints!

By the way I've been doing this for 2 yrs. now and my last order was order #456 (if you figure that out for 2 yrs. that's roughly 1 cake every 2 days..so I do a LOT of cakes)
and I've only had ONE...yes ONE person say that slice wasn't big enough...they also said, we're HUGE cake eaters and we KNOW it! So she ordered more cake, no biggie and no complaints!

I use the wilton chart and round it down to the nearest 5 slices...so it says a 8" round serves 24, I say it serves 20, a 9" serves 32, I say 30, and so on.

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 9:05pm
post #5 of 18

I think the PP's gave great advice! When I heard that size at first I thought "WHAT?" 1x2?? That can't be true but later I remembered I was thinking SHEET CAKE. You may remind your buyers of that because I'll bet, like me, lots of them only have experience with sheet cakes and that's what they invision. When I thought about it and it was going to be 3 or 4 inches tall it makes a BIG difference.

AmandaKate Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 9:08pm
post #6 of 18

Wow, thanks so much for the responses!!!.......the Styrofoam example cake is a good idea i'll have to remember that if *crosses fingers* I am able to achieve my dream one day and have my own shop!!!

I also like the idea of handing out printed cutting instructions.....thanks Indydebi!!

Also, Indydebi, I love love LOVE your input on the serving sizes on soup and such.....I NEVER thought about it that way!!!! You always have such good "lines" to feed to customers should they get difficult!!! icon_biggrin.gif

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 9:15pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

. If my family eats like Jethro BOdine, then I need to plan accordingly and order more chicken. KFC isn't going to throw in a few extra pieces for free because we have "healthy appetites"! icon_rolleyes.gif



Umm..Jethrine could throw down some vittles too and I think she lived in our house.. icon_biggrin.gif

juleebug Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 10:09pm
post #8 of 18

I have had a few "remarks" about the serving sizes but when I pointed out that a standard serving size of one of my cakes has "approximately" 250 calories and that by eating one of those "Jethro Bodine" size pieces, they could easily be scarfing down between 750 - 1000 calories in one sitting... well, they didn't say much else.

JustToEatCake Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 10:41pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by juleebug

I have had a few "remarks" about the serving sizes but when I pointed out that a standard serving size of one of my cakes has "approximately" 250 calories and that by eating one of those "Jethro Bodine" size pieces, they could easily be scarfing down between 750 - 1000 calories in one sitting... well, they didn't say much else.




My opinion only-
Just a suggestion but they might not say anything else because they are offended. I would be offended because I know cake is high is calories but it doesn't mean I want the baker to tell me so just so I'll accept smaller serving sizes. I think a better idea might just be to explain your pricing and what the cake size is and let it go at that. If they have want to spend the money then they can ask for more cake. I pretty much can assure you, as a consumer, that telling them the calorie content doesn't mean they still don't wish for bigger serving sizes it's their wedding. They'll have food (high calorie mostly) and booze and chocolate and candy, etc. If they don't say anything to you about it when you tell them and they still order (and I'm sure they do) it's because they want YOU to make their cakes. On the other hand I'd hate for you miss the business because maybe you hadn't thought about that. Just something to think about.....

juleebug Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 11:13pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake


My opinion only-
Just a suggestion but they might not say anything else because they are offended. I would be offended because I know cake is high is calories but it doesn't mean I want the baker to tell me so just so I'll accept smaller serving sizes. I think a better idea might just be to explain your pricing and what the cake size is and let it go at that. If they have want to spend the money then they can ask for more cake. I pretty much can assure you, as a consumer, that telling them the calorie content doesn't mean they still don't wish for bigger serving sizes it's their wedding. They'll have food (high calorie mostly) and booze and chocolate and candy, etc. If they don't say anything to you about it when you tell them and they still order (and I'm sure they do) it's because they want YOU to make their cakes. On the other hand I'd hate for you miss the business because maybe you hadn't thought about that. Just something to think about.....




I guess I should have stated that better. First, I live in a VERY small town and most of my "clients" are also very good friends. Also, I would never be so rude as to give unsolicited advice on calorie intake to anyone. (One look at me and you'd know why my giving diet advice would not be taken seriously.) icon_biggrin.gif
My statement regarding the calorie content was in response to the question of WHY standard servings are so small and not in a "you don't really need the extra calories, now do ya?" kind of way. Goodness knows I myself am guilty of serving 1000 calorie slices at my own b-day parties. And I can suck down more cake than anybody! icon_biggrin.gif
I've actually only had the question asked regarding birthday/celebration cakes. I think most people expect "smaller" servings at weddings but when they think of birthday cake they picture the big wedge of cake we see so often in ads/movies/etc.

kakeladi Posted 16 Dec 2009 , 11:51pm
post #11 of 18

I can only remember one person asking about sizes being smal in some 30 yrs of doing cakesl. Actually they came in and pointed out a 12x4" round, saying we want a cake that size.
Knowing that many people ask for a 'full' (or 1/2) sheet cake when they only need to serve say 10-20 people I asked how many people....the answer was something like 8 so I pointed out that they only needed an 8x4 or 10x2.......well they *insisted* on the 12" because 'they love cake' icon_smile.gif No haggling on price.....just the sizeicon_smile.gif

QueenJessica Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 1:33am
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Quote:


KFC sells a bucket of 12 pcs of chicken and they say it serves 6 people. In my house, a 12-pc will serve 3 people. But I'm not going to get it cheaper just because I'm serving fewer people. If my family eats like Jethro BOdine, then I need to plan accordingly and order more chicken. KFC isn't going to throw in a few extra pieces for free because we have "healthy appetites"! icon_rolleyes.gif





You are awesome!

Cakepro Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 1:37am
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

I have some styrofoam "cake slices" that are the exact size that a 1"x2"x4" slice of cake would be and also a 1-1/2"x2"x4" for party servings. I show them these and then tell them, you can get X amount of THESE from THIS cake, if they want to cut bigger slices then they order more cake. No complaints!




What a fantastic idea! thumbs_up.gif

rushing Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:50am
post #14 of 18

You could always use wood too, like CCer MikeRowesHunny did:


http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=88648

Beckup Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 6:10am
post #15 of 18

I know when I worked as a decorator at one of those retail "giants", people would ask me how many servings a 1/4, 1/2, or full sheet would serve. We are told to say 1/4 sheet serves 24-2"x2" servings, 1/2 sheet 48 and full sheet 96. I would always add my own 2 cents worth and tell them, but you know we Americans never eat the suggested serving sizes so a 1/4 sheet you'll probably get 15 to 20 servings.

staceycake Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 7:06am
post #16 of 18

rushing....Thanks for posting the link to that photo. Very helpful!!

KHalstead Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 2:03pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rushing

You could always use wood too, like CCer MikeRowesHunny did:


http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=88648




I had the idea for a while, but when I saw this photo it made me get my butt in gear LOL Only problem was, i didn't have a saw or anyone to cut wood for me...so i had to think of an alternative and I've always got styrofoam around and it's easy to cut!

I've also made one that is 2"x2"x2" for the sheet cake people, visuals always help.
When i do consultations i bring cake dummies too so people can see how big or small their cake will be in the end, it's resulted in people ordering a LOT more cake to get a BIGGER end result which = more $ for me!

AmandaKate Posted 17 Dec 2009 , 6:45pm
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

Quote:
Originally Posted by rushing

You could always use wood too, like CCer MikeRowesHunny did:


http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=88648



in the end, it's resulted in people ordering a LOT more cake to get a BIGGER end result which = more $ for me!





And that's what really counts!!!! thumbs_up.gif

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