Is It Wrong To Charge For.......

Decorating By Dreme Updated 11 Jan 2010 , 7:10am by Ruth0209

Dreme Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 4:42pm
post #1 of 14

Extra services associated with a wedding order? Im currently working on making a final cake contract as we speak and need a little help with the service charges. I just read another thread about it (didnt want to post my question there), and was concerned about my pricing.

My fees are:

-$25 Tasting (No tasting, consultations are free)
- $50 Non-refundable deposit that doubles as the stand/equipment rental. Refundable only if you rent and return the equipment in good shape on time. (Not sure if im doing this right. Printed out four other cake companies contracts for comparison. All of them doubled up the deposit with the rental fee)
- $45 Delivery and Setup fee within the city. $.50 cent per mile to and from outside of the city. For me the delivery of a wedding cake is standard. I dont trust customers to deliver and assemble thier own cake. Had too many bad experiences being blamed even if it is in the policy. Makes me look bad. Dont want to deal with it. If I spent several hours with a cake you are not going to mess it up. Will consider lowering the price though for cakes with minimal setup.
- $25 cake cutting fee - If I have to stay and cut it

For my area- $3 BC Servings and $4 Fondant servings. What I charge.

What and how should I go charging these fees?

13 replies
indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 4:55pm
post #2 of 14

The only problem I see is your cake cutting fee. If you "stay and cut it", that means you are delivering and setting up the cake about an hour prior to the start of the reception. THen you have to hang around until they finally get around to cutting and serving the cake ... after dinner, after the toasts, after the first dance, blah blah blah.

YOu're going to sit around for anywhere from 3 to 6 hours and only get paid $25???? icon_eek.gif

It's a $25 to $50 PER HOUR rate with a MINIMUM of four hours for your time.

It also covers lost opportunity time. THe lost opportunity you had to make a birthday cake that could have brought in another $100 or $200. The lost opportunity to take your kids to the movies or to Putt Putt Golf. Even just the simple lost opportunity to crash on your couch and watch a good Lifetime movie about a wife murdering her no-good husband! icon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gif There's value in all of that.

Yes, they ARE going to pay you to sit in the kitchen and read a book. They are paying for your TOTAL time, not just the time you are holding a knife in your hand. If someone works at McDonalds', they are getting paid for their entire time there ... NOT just the time they are handing a customer a bag of fries.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:04pm
post #3 of 14

I think that your cake cutting fee is a little low. The reason is that you usually set up a cake before the reception. so then you have to stay around and wait until it's time to cut it or if you leave and come back, what about your gas and your time. I think that I heard that from someone one this site.

costumeczar Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:14pm
post #4 of 14

I'm thinking the same thing about the cake cutting fee. Around here the caterer will usually cut the cake, so you don't have to do that. If you do, you need to charge per hour (and not minimum wage, either.)

Dreme Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:14pm
post #5 of 14

Yes....yes I could be watching a Lifetime movie. lol. I think im going to charge the $25 per hour with the minimum of four hours.

Do you think its fair that I wont let a customer pick up thier wedding order and that they have to pay for it? Im willing to charge less for orders that have little to no setup.

How does the deposit and stand rental work? Im I doing it right?

indydebi Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:22pm
post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by Dreme

Do you think its fair that I wont let a customer pick up thier wedding order and that they have to pay for it? Im willing to charge less for orders that have little to no setup.

A relative of mine was in a bakery and heard them tell a wedding cake customer, 'We really prefer that you let us deliver it. If you carry the cake out that door, trip on the sidewalk and drop the whole thing, all we will do is stand here and laugh."

So if they do the delivery, you need to have a "we are not liable" form for them to sign so they KNOW there is no fixing, no replacement, no nothing.

I saw one bakery who had a clause that they WOULD come out to try to fix a cake that was picked up by the customer. But it was $100 an hour, 2 hour minimum, paid by credit card BEFORE they left their shop.

cakeandpartygirl Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 5:24pm
post #7 of 14

Yes, to me it should be standard practice to deliver and set up a cake. Most people don't know what they are doing and I wouldn't trust too many people to take something that I have slaved hours over to mess it up. To me set up is set up no matter how les sof time it take, they are paying you for your expertise.

cakesbycathy Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 9:35pm
post #8 of 14

My non-refundable deposit holds the date.
I charge a seperate fee for equipment.

cylstrial Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 9:35pm
post #9 of 14

I think your non-refundable fee is a little low. If a bride cancels a month before the wedding and you can't find another bride - you're out lots of money. All you will have is $50. Just my thoughts.

HarleyDee Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:14pm
post #10 of 14

I also have a separate charge for deposit (to hold the date) and equipment rental charge. My equipment rental charge covers the amount it would take me to replace whatever they're renting should they break it.

Dreme Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 10:34pm
post #11 of 14

I have it where they make a down payment on thier order when they sign the contract. Cancellation Policy: 90 Days before the event will receive 100% refund. 30-89 Days will receive 50% refund. 30 Days or less will recieve no refund. Determining if I should make the final payment due 14 days or at the 30 day mark beofre the event.

When you charge for the rental do you charge the actual value of the equipment? That way you already have thier money if something happens to the item. Or is it a percentage? Wasn't sure about that when looking at other contracts. Seems easier to make them pay upfront rather than charging them later.

JustToEatCake Posted 8 Jan 2010 , 3:39am
post #12 of 14

From a consumer standpoint because I am no professional, if you aren't going to offer pick up then I'd much rather hear as a customer "price of cake is X amt which includes delivery". Because really you aren't giving them an option you just include it in the price. Perhaps you could say "The 50.00 non refundable deposit pays for the delivery fee".

kakeladi Posted 10 Jan 2010 , 10:28pm
post #13 of 14

JustToEatCake said:
I'd much rather hear as a customer "price of cake is X amt which includes delivery". Because really you aren't giving them an option you just include it in the price.......

Yes, that's the way I did it when I had my shop. We (usually) don't want customer pickikng up tiered cakes so fix your price w/as few extras as possible.

Ruth0209 Posted 11 Jan 2010 , 7:10am
post #14 of 14

I charge 25% of the total order which is non-refundable to reserve the date. If they cancel, any money they've paid is also non-refundable. The equipment rental is separate. I don't charge for delivery in about a 15 mile radius. I charge a $50 cutting fee (most of the caterers around here charge $75). I may rethink that cutting fee if I have to sit around and kill time at too many weddings unless they give me access to the bar!

I used to refund all but $50 if they cancelled, but then I figured if they cancel two weeks before the wedding I can't rebook that date, so I'm out the price of a cake and I'm left holding 50 stinking bucks for it.

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