What Size Pans And More...need Advice Please?

Decorating By Nickilyn Updated 25 Jan 2010 , 2:39pm by leah_s

Nickilyn Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 8:31pm
post #1 of 9

This morning I get a call from my Aunt about her friend/coworker's wedding. She asked me to send my cake pics to her coworker via email and a few minutes later, I get a response from her coworker asking if I can make her wedding cake. I need the practice and she will be paying for all the supplies and ingredients so I have agreed to do the cake. When I inquired as to how many servings and she said that she invited 160-175 guests but said to make enough for only 70-80 guests...okay so cake for only half the guests... icon_confused.gif

She then asked my opinion of what I thought regarding servings and cost. I have not responded back to her yet but I would like to give her options of both a 3-tier for the max she invited of 175 and the minimum of 80.

What size pans would you suggest for both? In addition, if she chooses to go with the 3-tier for 80, should I offer a sheet cake to make up the additional servings just in case?

Please, please lots of responses and advice are welcome and needed...thx in advance!

8 replies
Nickilyn Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:18am
post #3 of 9

Thanks TexasSugar icon_smile.gif

Does anyone have suggestions about what to offer her regarding the servings issue? Again this is really just a practice cake for me but I really would like to get a business up and running and therefore would like to treat this as such up to the point of actually making a profit.

On a side note, does anyone find it frustrating/annoying how family and friends pester you about opening a business? They just make blanket statements...I have researched what it will take and since I live in Louisiana it will not be easy unless someone is givng away a building or offering a commercial kitchen for use icon_rolleyes.gif

Sorry for the vent but any help regarding my immediate issue (wedding) will be greatly appreciated. icon_biggrin.gif

Nickilyn Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:22am
post #4 of 9

WHO DAT TALKIN BOUT BEATIN THOSE SAINTS! WE'RE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

icon_biggrin.gif Sorry, I just couldn't resist icon_biggrin.gif

prterrell Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:37am
post #5 of 9

Well, she's underestimating the number of guests by quite a bit. The general rule of thumb (I'm fairly certain I learned this from Indydebi) is 60% of the guests will RSVP 'with pleasure', looks to me like they got it backwards and are assuming 60% will RSVP 'regrets'...or, maybe they have a lot of out of state guests?

OR, maybe yours won't be the only cake. They could be getting a groom's cake of equal size. If that's the case, they'll have plenty.

That being said, quote her and supply her with what she asked for. If they run out of cake, that's their problem, not yours.

You didn't mention whether it was round or square or what...and whether they will be serving the top tier or not. So, here's the basics:

Round tiers, 7-9-11 will serve about 90, counting top tier
Round tiers, 8-10-12 will serve about 90, not counting top tier
Round tiers, 4-8-12 will serve about 80, not couting top tier
Round tiers, 6-9-12 will serve about 85, not counting top tier

Square tiers, 4-7-10, will serve about 80 counting top tier
Square tiers, 6-8-10 will serve about 80, not counting top tier

Remember to charge her for what she's getting, even if it's over the actual amount she stated. You can't always get it down to the exact number of servings. (This is why I determined the volume of each cake and charge by the cubic inch of cake.)

HTH!

Oh, and maybe my standard reply for the "when are you going to open a restaurant?" "you should own a bakery!" comments will be of some use:
As soon as someone gives me the money to start one. Are you interested in investing? I need about $100,000. thumbs_up.gif

Mensch Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 8:41am
post #6 of 9

I posted this in another thread. There are most likely things I have forgotten/repressed, so you other bakery/storefront owners chime in.

These are just overhead costs, not even counting any baking ingredients.

monthly costs (some of these are once a year, or even just 2-3 times a year):

rent, insurance, loan payments, electricity, telephone (land-line + cell), broadband, cleaning supplies (floor cleaner, glass cleaner, universal cleaner, paper towels, dish soap, hand soap, hand disinfectant, dish detergent/drying detergent for dishwasher, toilet paper, toilet cleaner, mop, broom, dustpan, laundry detergent), credit card machine + fees, company credit card fees, assorted bank fees, sidewalk salt, alarm system costs, accountant, garbage collection, office supplies (paper, pens, paper clips, staples, post-its, scissors, mat knife, paper rolls for cash register/credit card machine, ribbon for cake/pastry boxes, stamps, envelopes), edible image ink cartridges/sheets, packaging (cake/pastry boxes in different sizes, bread bags etc), cost for yearly HD inspection, garbage bags, advertising/marketing (business cards, brochures, website), bridal show fees, fees from city planning office for sidewalk signs, telephone catalog ad, take-away cups/lids for coffee drinks, light bulbs



basic start-up:

purchase of premises, renovating costs (plumber, electrician, carpenters etc), oven, telephones, refrigerators (3 are required); including a special 'dry' fridge for fondant cakes, freezers (2 are required), 2 hand sinks, cash register, credit card machine, double sink, commercial dishwasher, commercial espresso machine (2-group), commercial coffee mill, take-away cups/lids for coffee drinks, 20 qt standing mixer, safe, broadband, locksmith, alarm system, computer, printer, scanner, edible image software and printer, office supplies (stapler, staples, paper, pens, paper rolls for register/CC machine, ribbon for cake/pastry boxes, stamps, envelopes), food handlers license (for me and all employees), cost for HD inspection, display cases, trays to display product, SS work bench (2½ meters long, special order), trash cans, garbage bags, recycling bins, marketing materials (business cards, brochures, magazine ads, website), work chairs (pony chairs, 2), counters, shelves, AC unit, rolling rack, microwave, hot plate, sidewalk signs (plus fees from planning office), signs on building (plus fees from planning office), flags, packaging (cake/pastry boxes in different sizes, bread bags, etc), telephone catalog, all different kinds of bowls and spatulas etc, hand mixer, food processor, lighting fixtures, light bulbs, telephone catalog ad,

JanH Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 9:04am
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickilyn

She then asked my opinion of what I thought regarding servings and cost.




You're the baker/decorator not the wedding planner/caterer, so she should do some number crunching or independent research and get back to you with the number of guests that they're anticipating will show up. You shouldn't have to figure that out for her... and what if you misguess - will she want a refund for the uneaten cake?

And as for cost... Are you doing this as a freebie if she provides the ingredients (and cost of new pans, if necessary)?

If you're going to charge (the issue of legality aside), charge enough to make all the stress and long hours of baking & decorating worthwhile or else when this is over you're going to resent being taken advantage of...

As an aside, please make sure you and the customer both agree/understand what a wedding serving is. The industry norm is 1x2x4 (use the Wilton wedding servings guide):

http://www.wilton.com/cakes/making-cakes/baking-wedding-cake-2-inch-pans.cfm

HTH

Nickilyn Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 1:14pm
post #8 of 9

You didn't mention whether it was round or square or what...and whether they will be serving the top tier or not. So, here's the basics:

I asked her but she did not include that in her first response. Thanks for the info, I want to make sure I have all my bases covered when I respond to her.

Oh, and maybe my standard reply for the "when are you going to open a restaurant?" "you should own a bakery!" comments will be of some use:
As soon as someone gives me the money to start one. Are you interested in investing? I need about $100,000. thumbs_up.gif[/quote]

Lol...I think I will definitely include this in future verbal and written responses to my family and friends. At first it was flattering that they thought I was good enough to do this as profession but now I feel almost attacked. I mean I have a fulltime job and other priorities like paying off student loans and saving for a house.

leah_s Posted 25 Jan 2010 , 2:39pm
post #9 of 9

Just be sure to bring your food service license and a copy of your insurance dec page with you when you deliver the cake. Many venues are refusing to accept food from unlicensed food vendors.

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