How Do You Price For Profit When Materials Aren't Stocked?

Business By Dreme Updated 23 Feb 2010 , 3:07pm by cakesweetiecake

Dreme Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 2:03pm
post #1 of 11

When you have a cake that has a lot of materials on it, how do you price the cake so that you make a profit? Say you got a cake that feeds 74 (6,8,10). I charge $4 per fondant serving, so the base price is $296. The design consist of diamond bands around the bases, Swarovski crystals, and ostrich plumes. I have to buy all of those materials. Do I charge the bride more for all of this stuff? Do I rent out certain materials? I know my price per serving goes up in the end. I just want to know what happens when you dont have the materials stocked. Am I just gonna make the base price (plus delivery, stand rental, deposits, etc) as the profit?

(oh, and yes I charge to arrange these items per the design of the cake)

How do you guys do it?

10 replies
Mensch Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 5:38pm
post #2 of 11

I would definitely slap a biga$$ extra charge on the cake for all those tchotchkes.

costumeczar Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 6:00pm
post #3 of 11

Absolutely figure out how much all that stuff will cost, including the shipping and shopping time if you have to order it. If the bride wants it, the cost should get passed on to her unless you're getting it back. She's essentially buying it, so why wouldn't she be charged for it? It would be the same thing if you were making gumpaste flowers. You'd charge her for the time and materials it took to make them, so definitely charge her for anything extra like that if you have to buy it.

cake-angel Posted 21 Feb 2010 , 11:02pm
post #4 of 11

I know a few bakers who have a clause saying non edible decorations must be supplied to the baker by the bride by a certain date or they won't be able to include those elements on the cake. It avoided arguments over the bakers interpretation of teal and the brides.

indydebi Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 12:17am
post #5 of 11

"If it costs me money, then it costs YOU money" is how I explain it to the brides.

And having the bride provide all non-edibles like what is mentioned above is a great idea. I would do that frequently. The bride who wanted the big wide ribbon with a diamond-like broach in the middle. THere wasn't even a discussion about who was going to get those broaches. I just said, "That will look great. I'll need you to drop those broaches off to me at least 2 weeks prior to the wedding."

jillmakescakes Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 12:23am
post #6 of 11

Big shocker-- I'm with Debi on this one.

I always have the brides provide me with ribbons and broaches.

Interesting Story:
I did a cake with the bride using mom's antique snowflake pendant on the cake (her something old). Well, nobody told the venue cutting the cake that the snowflake was an antique. MOB said she found it just sitting on a bussing cart halfway through the evening. I had explained to the bridesmaid (as per the brides instructions) that the box for the topper and pendant would be under the cake table, but nobody mentioned it to the venue.

Lesson: Clarify whose responsible for heirlooms once the cake is cut!

KHalstead Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 2:17pm
post #7 of 11

In this situation I generally tell them the exact truth. The base price of your cake is this and depending on how much I have to pay for these other items you will incur an extra charge and I will do some research and get back to you with an exact cost for everything!!

BTB has to understand that you don't just have stuff like that laying around!!

cakesdivine Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:09pm
post #8 of 11

This is precisely why I don't start with a base price and "add on" I have a true price matrix that takes into consideration all those "extras".

Broken down as such...

4 different levels of decor/architecture (Basic-Level 3)
3 different icing choices (buttercream, poured Fondant, rolled fondant) BC being the least expensive and rolled fondant being the most expensive.
4 different serving ranges - up to 100 servings is the most expensive per serving rate, over 200 is the least expensive per serving rate. Price breaks are at 101, 151, and 201.

If you are interested I can PM it to you...takes all the guess work out of all those extras.

SweetArt Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 11

I also have the bride/customer provide all non edible items. It saves me so many hassles.

1. I don't have to run all over town looking for these off the wall items. (I hate shopping!)
2. She gets exactly what she wants, and if the store is out of that item, she has to deal with it and I don't get blamed.
3. It makes the cake seam cheaper. I sell her a cake for $400. She wants $40 in rhinestones, $50 in feathers, and a $25 broach, she just sees my bill of $400, not a cake bill of $515. (They don't seem to add it all up on their own for some reason.)
4. Story: Bride gives me a sample to match the ribbon on the cake. (She wanted real not fondant.) I buy the ribbon. It matches perfectly. I was happy with it and coordinated all the piping on that cake to also match. The day after the wedding I got a call from the MOB that I used the wrong color green. It was supposed to be sage green not pastel green. So I asked her to come over to talk about it. I pulled her paper work along with the sample she provided and a swatch of the ribbon I had used on the cake. When she arrived I showed it to her and she said, "Oh, I gave you the wrong sample." !!! From then on, I had them get their own items!

indydebi Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:50pm
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by SweetArt

2. She gets exactly what she wants, and if the store is out of that item, she has to deal with it and I don't get blamed.

That's the big one to me. If SHE can't find it, then it's a minor problem and she'll solve it by using something else. But if YOU can't find it, then you're no-account who is just going to RUIN her wedding!

And I hate shopping, too. I honest to God cannot remember the last time I was in a mall. (Wait, I take that back.....on Black Friday, we scoot into the Target at the end of the mall. Just into Target, not the mall, though. So that doesn't count.)

cakesweetiecake Posted 23 Feb 2010 , 3:07pm
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by SweetArt

I also have the bride/customer provide all non edible items. It saves me so many hassles.

Great solution! icon_biggrin.gif

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