How Much Deposit Do You Require?

Business By dchockeyguy Updated 27 May 2010 , 3:33am by cylstrial

dchockeyguy Posted 24 May 2010 , 8:06pm
post #1 of 15

After reading various threads here recently, I'm curious as to how much of a deposit people require for a cake. Do you require them for ALL cakes, no matter how small?

Thanks!

14 replies
leily Posted 24 May 2010 , 8:21pm
post #2 of 15

I require a minimum of 50% when they place the order. And the remainder when the cake is delivered or picked up.

This summer though I will be changing my policy to..
- 50% when they place the order, or the full amount under $75
- The balance of the cake due 1-2 weeks prior (still debating on this for this area) for all remaining cakes.
- If the order is for less than two weeks away 100% at time of order or nothing gets done on the cake.

Oh and it will be standard for all cakes and orders (i also do cookies and other sweets)

catlharper Posted 24 May 2010 , 8:28pm
post #3 of 15

Depends on the cake and the time frame. If it's a wedding cake I require more than a month's notice and 50%. If it's a month's notice then the cake must be paid in full at time of ordering as all of my wedding cakes are paid in full 30 days out. For party cakes I need at least 2 weeks notice with 50% down at time of booking and full payment 7 days in advance. Either way I get full payment before I even turn my oven on.

KHalstead Posted 24 May 2010 , 8:37pm
post #4 of 15

I only require deposits on cakes totally over $100 and I require 30% down, w/ full payment being made 3 weeks before for weddings, and 1 week before for other celebration cakes.

QueenOfSweets Posted 24 May 2010 , 8:41pm
post #5 of 15

I require a 50% deposit on all wedding and occasion cakes, with the balance due 3 weeks prior to the event. If the order is placed less than 3 weeks in advance, the full amount is due to book. I also offer cake truffles, cookies and dessert cakes and I require payment in full in order to book those.

I'm with catlharper - I get full payment before I turn my oven on.

indydebi Posted 24 May 2010 , 9:29pm
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

I require a minimum of 50% when they place the order. And the remainder when the cake is delivered or picked up.

This summer though I will be changing my policy to..
- 50% when they place the order, or the full amount under $75
- The balance of the cake due 1-2 weeks prior (still debating on this for this area) for all remaining cakes.
- If the order is for less than two weeks away 100% at time of order or nothing gets done on the cake.

Oh and it will be standard for all cakes and orders (i also do cookies and other sweets)



This was pretty much how I did it. The 50% puts them on my calendar. The final payment is what turns my oven on.

FlourChick Posted 25 May 2010 , 3:06am
post #7 of 15

I have a question about requiring a certain percent for deposit. I used to do that, but the problem I ran into was that the couples almost never knew what their final guest count was, whether they wanted a round or square cake, what flavor they wanted or how the cake should be decorated at the time that they decided to go with us and wanted to reserve the date. Since I didn't know what their total was going to be it got too complicated trying to guesstimate the final cost so I switched to a flat rate to hold the date. Then later we finalize the details.

Do you all get all the finalized details before holding a date for someone? Am I creating a problem for myself by leaving it open ended? I've never had a problem (yet) but is one headed my way?

indydebi Posted 25 May 2010 , 3:40am
post #8 of 15

flourchick, some of the things in your list were a non-issue for me as far as pricing ..... I didn't charge more for square than I did with round; didn't charge extra for decorating the cake; I didnt' charge extra for certain flavors so none of that' affected the price. All I needed was the headcount.

On that, when I'd have a bride who wasn't sure if she needed 150 or 200 servings, I'd tell her:

"We're going to go ahead and quote for 200 and you can always reduce it later. It's always much more fun to get a SMALLER invoice than it is to try to come up with the extra money when you have to increase it. If you find you only need 150, all we have to do is omit the 12" round and we're fine."

But if they are going to book things for a wedding, they need to have SOME idea of how many people they are expecting. I mean they can 't book the venue that only hold 75 people if they are expecting 300 and they won't book the big ballroom if they are only expecting 75.

By quoting for a larger qty, you collect a larger (non-refundable) deposit and sometimes they just don't bother to reduce the size of the cake.

FlourChick Posted 25 May 2010 , 3:57am
post #9 of 15

Thanks indydebi. Some of the things I listed also don't affect my price either, but without them I can't fill out the contract, which is why I'm wondering if I'm setting myself up for potential problems. I take a miniscule flat rate deposit to hold the date for them and then when we finalize the details we're able to fill out the contract. Is this asking for a disaster?

I want to do my pricing the way you do yours. I think it makes the most sense, is easiest for me to calculate a total cost and because there's no secret formula that only I'm privy to I can have other employees feel empowered to give someone a total and not feel they need to ask me first. (Hmmm, this may need to be a separate thread since I've stolen this from the OP.)

indydebi Posted 25 May 2010 , 4:54am
post #10 of 15

Any missing info, I just entered "TBD by June 12, 2009". This tells the bride what I need and WHEN I need it.

dchockeyguy Posted 25 May 2010 , 2:08pm
post #11 of 15

Debi, you raise a point that I hadn't asked yet, which somewhat caused me to ask this question: I had a bride this week reduce her headcount for a second time. The first time wasn't a big deal, because it was several weeks ago and still about a month before the wedding. She reduced it again yesterday, and the wedding is on Sunday!

Is there a certain cut-off date that you didn't allow people to make chages? Or do you charge them if they do? Sorry if this seems like a simplistic question.

cakesbycathy Posted 25 May 2010 , 2:20pm
post #12 of 15

I require a 50% non-refundable deposit. For weddings 30 days before the reception is the final date for everything - remainder of balance and any changes she wants to make, be it flavors, design or headcount.
At that point I do not allow for a smaller head count. I will make a smaller cake if they want, but I am not changing the price.

Now if a bride suddenly needs to increase the headcount and it's after the 30 day mark I add on a kitchen cake and they need to bring me the money in cash.

indydebi Posted 25 May 2010 , 7:21pm
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by dchockeyguy

Debi, you raise a point that I hadn't asked yet, which somewhat caused me to ask this question: I had a bride this week reduce her headcount for a second time. The first time wasn't a big deal, because it was several weeks ago and still about a month before the wedding. She reduced it again yesterday, and the wedding is on Sunday!

Is there a certain cut-off date that you didn't allow people to make chages? Or do you charge them if they do? Sorry if this seems like a simplistic question.


Final payment was due 2 weeks prior to the event. In the contract, all payments are non-refundable. So she can decrease it all she wants after that point, but the price remains the same since I'm not refunding anything.

I'm not a savings account where she can deposit money for me to hold it "just in case" and she can withdraw whatever she doesnt need. That's what Chase Bank does for a living ... not me.

CristyInMiami Posted 25 May 2010 , 7:38pm
post #14 of 15

I have never understood why some bakers don't take a deposit if under a certain amount. The way I see it, even if its a $25 order, if they never pick it up it my loss. So I'd rather have the security that they have at least given $12 and its most likely that they won't forget or not care with those $12 pending.

I have had people leave orders before abnd it sucked. Now I require a 50% deposit or the order is void.

No deposit=No order.

cylstrial Posted 27 May 2010 , 3:33am
post #15 of 15

I'm not a savings account where she can deposit money for me to hold it "just in case" and she can withdraw whatever she doesnt need. That's what Chase Bank does for a living ... not me.[/quote]

Debi - the way you say things is priceless! I love this!! icon_biggrin.gif

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