For All You Wording Gurues

Decorating By love2makecakes Updated 20 Jan 2010 , 11:39pm by greengyrl26

love2makecakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:34pm
post #1 of 17

So I realize that people have budgets, I understand that. But, I have been getting so many inquiries lately for small cakes with sheet cakes for weddings. One, I only make 12x18 sheets so when a bride wants a cake that will serve 50 and the rest in sheet cakes that sucks! It is so much more work baking all those cakes they are such a pain in the A** to make a bunch that I just dont want to do it! I try as hard as I can to discourage the bride from not doing them I even told one bride that I just plain do not to that. However, I really do not want to loss all the business. I have 3 emails waiting on answers right now with this exact request.

What do you all say when brides want this? Do you have some great lines to get them not to go this route? Maybe I should just add a pita fee to all the orders?

16 replies
momg9 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:40pm
post #2 of 17

Have a minimum serving for the wedding cake before you will do sheet cakes. Also, don't give them a huge discount on sheet cakes.

TexasSugar Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:59pm
post #3 of 17

If your sheet cake is exactly like the wedding cake, as in two layers with fillings then I wouldn't discount it, or if I did it would be very small amount since you the only thing less you have to do is really decorate and stack it. Alot of people are told in magazines that 'kitchen cakes' are loads cheaper so that is what they are thinking. You have to educate them that that is not the case.

Having a min serving before you do sheets is a good idea as well.

emrldsky Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 4:00pm
post #4 of 17

We did that at our wedding. I've added that to the, "If I had only known..." category since I started hobby baking. icon_wink.gif

One thing that would have discouraged me from doing that: charge the same per serving price. Why get sheet cakes when I can get a bigger, prettier cake for the same price? *shrug*

love2makecakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 4:08pm
post #5 of 17

My sheet cakes are only 2" of cake with no filling. All my other cakes are 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling. That is why my sheet cakes are cheaper. When I do have brides that are thinking of doing this, I do try to explain how half the guest would be getting this beautiful torted piece of cake with 3 layers of filling and the other half would be getting a 2x2" square piece of cake with a bit of frosting on the top, then I say I would hate to be the person at the table that got the sheet cake. Most brides understand that. I charge $.25 more for tierd cakes/serving so i tell the bride we can do torted kitchen cakes too at a lower per/serving price so every guest gets the same cake and that works a lot of time.

What happens though when the bride is like well the main cake is only going to serve the head table and and maybe the reserved tables then everyone else is going to get sheet cakes.

sweetcakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 4:18pm
post #6 of 17

Would you be delivering this small of a wedding cake (2 tiers) plus the sheet cakes?. Perhaps you could not offer delivery on this set up, and have it as pick up only. Letting them know that your professional service is not needed for set up and that is why the sheet cake option is a little cheaper, not much mind you. You can also have a minimum number of servings required in the tiered cake before the addition of sheet cakes can be considered. And another thing i have noted is when i attended a wedding that i did the wedding cake and one sheet cake for was, and this surprised me, the sheet cake was plated and layed out beside the wedding cake as it was being served, the slice looked exactly the same, i made it that way. but guests did not want a piece that came from the sheet cake, they waited inline for the slice to be cut from the wedding cake. I will tell that story to all brides that want that option from now on. It almost a ritual that people want a slice of the real cake.

indydebi Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 6:19pm
post #7 of 17

Have your brides read my blog on this topic, where I run the numbers: http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/sheet%20cakes

Charge the same for the sheet cakes as you do for the wedding cake. Explain, "What that means to you is that you can have a grand, ornate wedding cake that is THE centerpiece of your reception, for the same, or sometimes cheaper, price than some dinky cake with some secret sheet cakes stashed in the kitchen."

Please pay attention to the positive and negative adjectives used in that sentence. icon_twisted.gif

Do the math ahead of time. Let's assume wedding cakes are $3/serving and sheet cakes are $2/serving. They order wedding cake for 100 and one sheet cake for 50. Total cost: $400. A full wedding cake only would be only $450. "Do you really want to sacrifice the look of your cake for a lousy fifty bucks?"

Then teach them my 60% Rule. If they invited 200 people, they can order cake for only 125 (times $3/serving = $375). THere ... I just saved them $75 and they get a GRAND wedding cake. Remind them that the difference of 25 people means 3 fewer tables to rent and 3 fewer t.cloths to rent. THe t.cloths, at $12 each, saves her $36. Plus the $75 I saved them = $111 total savings.

I just put $61 in their pocket AND they get a whole wedding cake.

Not a dinky cake with secret sheet cakes that she hides in the kichen because she's ashamed for her guests to see them. icon_rolleyes.gificon_twisted.gif

jenmat Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 6:51pm
post #8 of 17

I do sheet cakes the same layers as the wedding cake. They are cheaper, but not very much cheaper. For me, they are wonderful. Just cash in my pocket and no headache. With my average sized wedding being 300 guests, sheet cakes are pretty much a requirement, although I do have some brides that have it all in the display cake. My big sheet cake costs $195. That's $195 with no adornments, no super smooth icing. I can assemble them and ice them in 20 minutes tops. I'll take it. It also enables me to take 5 weddings in a weekend vrs 3 weddings. So, I don't have a minimum- if they want it all in sheet cakes, I just made a great profit margin and they got what they wanted. Win-win. Raise your prices, set a minimum, or don't do them. But whatever you decide, make it work FOR you, not against you.

love2makecakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 17

jentreu - I noticed on your website that the sheet cakes on your pricing page are only $37 (I am assuming then that that is just for 2" of cake with no filling). On your Wedding page you have your sheet cake for $175. Same size cake, but I am guessing your wedding sheets are 4" of cake and 1 layer of filling. My question is, what stops the bride from saying... I do not want your wedding sheet cakes for $1.62/serving, I just want your party sheet cakes for only $.92/serving?

I price my party cakes and my wedding cakes the same per serving starting price. I torte all my cakes 4 times with 3 layers of filling. Sheet cakes are the only thing I do not do 4 layers with so that is why I just have a flat fee on them. I think maybe I should just torte and fill them too and charge the same per serving as all the other cakes.

Thanks for all the great advice everyone! I think it is a good idea to have a minimum fee, but I actually have done a lot of tierd cakes for really small weddings that are under 100 servings? I would hate to turn those people away with a minimum.

jenmat Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 7:33pm
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

jentreu - I noticed on your website that the sheet cakes on your pricing page are only $37 (I am assuming then that that is just for 2" of cake with no filling). On your Wedding page you have your sheet cake for $175. Same size cake, but I am guessing your wedding sheets are 4" of cake and 1 layer of filling. My question is, what stops the bride from saying... I do not want your wedding sheet cakes for $1.62/serving, I just want your party sheet cakes for only $.92/serving?




Yep, I do have different pricing for party cakes. We could debate that till the cows come home, but my standard 1/2 sheet serves the standard 35-40ish, and my double layer 1/2 sheet for weddings is torted and filled and serves 108. Still a deal for the bride, but also a deal for me, for above mentioned reasons.

I guess nothing IS stopping them from calling me up and ordering a bunch of single layer party cakes for a wedding. They will have limited choices in flavors, icings, etc, and only a single layer of cake, and they will have to pick them up cause I don't deliver party cakes. They'd be paying $111 to get close to the servings in my big cake and be dealing with a lot more headache and get a lot less value.

I just don't have brides that roll that way.
You're right, probably adding more value (and more cost) to your sheet cakes would solve the headache. I can tell you that any bride under 200 servings will probably not order a sheet cake from me, because the financial tradeoff isn't in her best interest, like Debi said.

love2makecakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 7:39pm
post #11 of 17

That makes sense then if you do not deliver any party cakes and offer different flavors and such.

Sheet cakes are really easy to bake and ice, I just hate doing like 5 of them because I can only bake 3 at a time and they take forever to bake! I also agree with them being an easy money maker if I were to charge the same price per serving for them as for the wedding cake itself, much less fussing with icing and decorating.

greengyrl26 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 7:50pm
post #12 of 17

indydebi...I am SOOO using your blog post to steer brides away from sheet cakes. Thanks so much for sharing!

love2makecakes Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 8:22pm
post #13 of 17

I have been on CC for a while now and I truely admire indydebi! Her insight and experience into the world of cake is amazing! I would love to just cut and paste some of your stuff right onto my website! (I would never do that without permission of course) It is all so great!

indydebi - that rule of 60%.... I have always been so afraid to tell the bride to go with a lower amount of servings, so to this day, I have never had a bride order less than she was expecting. Have you ever had that rule backfire???

jammjenks Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 8:34pm
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

I do sheet cakes the same layers as the wedding cake. They are cheaper, but not very much cheaper. For me, they are wonderful. Just cash in my pocket and no headache. With my average sized wedding being 300 guests, sheet cakes are pretty much a requirement, although I do have some brides that have it all in the display cake. My big sheet cake costs $195. That's $195 with no adornments, no super smooth icing. I can assemble them and ice them in 20 minutes tops. I'll take it. It also enables me to take 5 weddings in a weekend vrs 3 weddings. So, I don't have a minimum- if they want it all in sheet cakes, I just made a great profit margin and they got what they wanted. Win-win. Raise your prices, set a minimum, or don't do them. But whatever you decide, make it work FOR you, not against you.





Me too...well, except for the 300 svg. average thing. I'm pretty jealous about that. icon_smile.gif

KHalstead Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 8:50pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi



Then teach them my 60% Rule. If they invited 200 people, they can order cake for only 125 (times $3/serving = $375). THere ... I just saved them $75 and they get a GRAND wedding cake. Remind them that the difference of 25 people means 3 fewer tables to rent and 3 fewer t.cloths to rent. THe t.cloths, at $12 each, saves her $36. Plus the $75 I saved them = $111 total savings.

I just put $61 in their pocket AND they get a whole wedding cake.

Not a dinky cake with secret sheet cakes that she hides in the kichen because she's ashamed for her guests to see them. icon_rolleyes.gificon_twisted.gif




oh debi, I gotta tell ya.........I had a consultation and they weren't sure HOW much cake to order, they said........we've invited 188 people but we're not sure how many will show......maybe 175 or so? I got my calculator and said (with debi's confidence backing me) "I'll tell you how many you'll have....i typed in 188 X .6 = 108...and said "108!" They ordered cake for 110 and they called after the wedding and said they have 3 pieces of cake leftover (some people had seconds, others didn't want cake) and they were more than happy to eat the 3 extra pieces the next day in their hotel room!!!

They also said they told EVERYONE how impressed they were that I was "so professional that I knew how many people they needed cake for" and it saved them the cost of 65 more servings!! They were on a very tight budget and would have gone with another baker to get the cost down to where they needed it had I not suggested they get cake for 110......so thanks debi!!! u rock~!

indydebi Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 10:39pm
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by crlovescakes

indydebi - that rule of 60%.... I have always been so afraid to tell the bride to go with a lower amount of servings, so to this day, I have never had a bride order less than she was expecting. Have you ever had that rule backfire???



Just remember it's 60% of the Total number INVITED .... not the number they are expecting. thumbs_up.gif

Example: Bride invites 300. Bride thinks she'll have about 250 show up. But 300 x 60% = 180. So I recommend 175 to 200. BTW, the bigger the number invited, the more accurate the Rule.

There are exceptions. There will be a higher turnout if:
- Bride or groom is active military
- Bride or groom is VERY involved in their church
- Bride or groom belongs to an ethinic group (like Asian or African American)

Add 5-7% for each category.

I tell brides, "You give me a black Baptist marine and we'll have a reception that is wall to wall!" icon_lol.gif

KHalstead, a great story and thanks for sharing! I've had people tell me that I'm leaving money on the table when I suggest fewer servings, but your story is a great illustration on how the order you booked would have been lost had you not guided the bride to this cost savings.

And the PR you're going to get from this is more valuable than anything I can think of!! thumbs_up.gif

greengyrl26 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 11:39pm
post #17 of 17

Also, if its a destination wedding...the percentage will be even lower. I got married on the beach in FL. All of our friends & family are active/frequent travelers, so we thought they'd all make it their vacation & come down. We sent 100 invites (roughly 200 people) and had 46 attendees...which was pretty much perfect!

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