Home Bakery Owners - What Is Your Limit For Cakes Per Week?

Business By kissylips Updated 25 Mar 2010 , 10:55pm by cakemom42

kissylips Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 3:57am
post #1 of 18

Hi everyone

I'm attempting to come up with some numbers for a possible business plan. I work very slowly, but am wondering how many cakes an experienced decorator working alone can handle per week. How many cakes are ordered to consider yourself "booked up" for a particular week?

Thanks for any input on this subject! icon_biggrin.gif

17 replies
ccr03 Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 5:37am
post #2 of 18

It all depends on the size of the cakes. I've done 3 cakes with 150 servings and other times 2 with 400 servings. I kinda gauge it more by the size and detail of the cake.

cfao Posted 19 Mar 2010 , 12:27pm
post #3 of 18

I'm comfortable with 6-8, can do 10 if the receptions fall just right as far as time lines. I did 13 once in one weekend - never again. Most Saturday evening weddings are turn-over weddings, so if you have to wait for the first wedding to leave before you can set up, that limits that time period and the number of cakes you can deliver. Friday evening and Sunday weddings usually don't have another event booked before them, so you have a lot of time for delivery and Saturday morning weddings let you have basically all morning to deliver. Outside weddings add another interesting factor, if it's hot out the delivery has to be done as close to the reception start time as possible.

The longer you are in business, the quicker you will become and the more cake orders you can take. At first you will have a hard time saying the word NO to an order, but once you learn your limits, that magic little word will become easier to say.

Good Luck in your cake venture!

sweetlayers Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 12:52am
post #4 of 18

I'm only part time, but depending on the size or how far in advance the order is scheduled, I have done up to 6 in a week.

jenmat Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 2:46am
post #5 of 18

are you talking wedding? Or celebrations too.
Some people go by how much money they will take in that week- for example, $2000/wk would be the max workload. Then you'll know when you hit your max.
I have done 4 weddings- really crazy ones last year. This year I have one weekend with 5, and about 6 weekends with 4. Most of the weddings I do are fairly high-detail, at least for this summer they will be.
Last weekend I had 12 celebration cakes, one of them a 3D, and some other specialty cakes. But no weddings until April, so once that hits, I'll back off on celebration cakes- I won't have the room!
I'm amazed anyone could do 13 weddings in one weekend! It takes me an hour to get anywhere around here, so I would have to beam them over!

1234me Posted 20 Mar 2010 , 9:41am
post #6 of 18

I mainly do celebration/party cakes ranging from a 8 inch round with buttercream to some that are three tiered and feed 100. Rarely do wedding cakes. I usually take between 6-10 per weekend.

4brod Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 4:18am
post #7 of 18

I don't do more than 4 cakes- no matter what! Cakes orders must be at least $150 for me to bother taking it. I always say that I rather take less and do more impressive work, than taking a bunch and not do my best work. It also has to do that I am also very slow too!! icon_biggrin.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 8:18pm
post #8 of 18

Depends on the kinds of cake.
Weddings - 2 -5 per weekend, depending on the size.
Single tier party cakes - up to 12
Or a combination of wedding and party.

It really depends on how much detail is going into the cakes and if I also have cookie orders (although those I can usually do earlier in the week)

I once had an order for a 3 tier wedding cake, 2 tier groom's cake and 21!! centerpiece cakes (each 4" and 6") for one wedding. That was the only order I took for that weekend.

Lita829 Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 8:31pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Depends on the kinds of cake.
Weddings - 2 -5 per weekend, depending on the size.
Single tier party cakes - up to 12
Or a combination of wedding and party.

It really depends on how much detail is going into the cakes and if I also have cookie orders (although those I can usually do earlier in the week)

I once had an order for a 3 tier wedding cake, 2 tier groom's cake and 21!! centerpiece cakes (each 4" and 6") for one wedding. That was the only order I took for that weekend.




WOW icon_eek.gif

leah_s Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 8:58pm
post #10 of 18

I'm a one person op, and I measure in servings. No matter how many actual cakes, I can knock out 1000 servings in a weekend. Then I look at delivery times. My delivery radius is pretty small.

tarheelgirl Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 9:19pm
post #11 of 18

I'm a one person show too! I try to limit 2 weddings per weekend. It does depend on the serving amount. If they are smaller I can go up to 3 weddings which I did a couple months ago and it was super crazy! I have made up to 10-12 party cakes in one week. Recently went up on pricing and minimum order amounts so it cuts the smaller stuff out and leaves openings for larger all occasion and wedding cakes. I'm pretty fast and well organized. It really depends on how many you feel comfortable doing and fast you can whip them out! icon_biggrin.gif

dguerrant Posted 21 Mar 2010 , 9:40pm
post #12 of 18

"I don't do more than 4 cakes- no matter what! Cakes orders must be at least $150 for me to bother taking it. I always say that I rather take less and do more impressive work, than taking a bunch and not do my best work."

i agree in that i would rather do fewer bette, more detailed cakes that more simple, celebration cakes. i am a teacher, mom of three, and dyslexia therapist and have to limit my work. I don't have a set amount, i all depends on the difficulty and size. i would rather do 2 or three wedding cakes than 10 b-day or anniversary ones, they are faster and easier for me. again, just depends on my other oblgations as well.

my '57 chevy cake was the primary cake the week i did it, because of the time (12-14 hours), i did do a few simpler cakes earllier in the week though.

cfao Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 1:17pm
post #13 of 18

I only count wedding cakes, I take in party cakes to fill a weekend if openings permit. The weekend with 13 weddings was delivered over a 3 day period, Fri-Sat-Sun, but I will never do that again. When I got back on Sunday after the last one was delivered, I made a drink, went out to the back deck and told the family not to speak to me until this glass is empty. I then promised them & myself that I would never ever take that many orders ever again.

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 1:22pm
post #14 of 18

I do 5-6 a weekend depemding on the style and size..sometimes more...sometimes less.

KHalstead Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 1:30pm
post #15 of 18

I'm a one woman operation w/ 3 kids to boot and I've learned that my limit right now is about 500 servings of cake! Generally that's anywhere from 5-15 separate cakes, but I hate baking and that's about all of it I can handle right now lol

Graduation season or "full sheet cake season" as I like to call it (worst time of year), I will go up to 1,000 servings in a weekend. Since that is only about 10 full sheets (the trouble with that is finding room to store them all, not to mention making trip after trip to deliver in my mini van)

CookieMeister Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 9:41pm
post #16 of 18

I dunno about cakes since I don't do a lot of them, but for the part-time home baker, I discovered this week that I top out at 22 dozen cookies. I'm exhausted.

And I have my first ever wedding cake due this weekend. EEEEEEK!!!!

cakerygirl Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 10:32pm
post #17 of 18

Hello, when I am booking cakes for a particular week, I take into consideration the size, amount of detail, etc. Also, depending on how quickly you work, has to be considered as well. I always say do as many cakes as you are comfortable to do. icon_smile.gif

cakemom42 Posted 25 Mar 2010 , 10:55pm
post #18 of 18

In my peak (before our move) I did 14 a weekend.. that included 2 weddings per weekend, cupcakes, cookies.. etc.. My consideration is mostly what are my teenagers up to & what do they need me for?? Time & delivery location is a big factor on the weddings due to traffic issues.
You have to know yourself, your ability to deal w/stress, & your work in order to determine what you can handle.. Being organized & having prep work done helps greatly.
Also I am a big fan of taking the smallest of orders as you never know where those orders will take your business.. mine lead me to the White House (for staffers), the Pentagon, and Capital Hill... :0)

& currently my teenagers are learning to drive so pretty soon I'll be up all night worrying anyway.. so might as well work right!! :0)

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