Please Be Honest It wont hurt my feelings...i just need to know help please
I would love any help or opinions...I am getting there, but slowly. I am sharing a kitchen/small bakery (it has a small storefront with a sweet lady who has a shop where she has made special candies pralines, chocolates, and gourmet treats for 20 years... She uses her stove, but not her oven so I think it should work out well. It lets me have a legal kitchen and I can help her out too./plus sharing utility + expenses makes it easier.
Anyways... Now I am starting to get orders and everyone seems to think that I cost too much. I am trying to charge the correct thing. I know you should look at the other bakers in your area. NO ONE has any prices online, and it has been hard to get pricing from people.
While I have been trying to get health dept. inspection, city/county licenses, food handlers permit I have had my website up. The lady at the health dept. told me that I could take orders that were far enough in the future that I would be completely legal. I asked her because someone was turning me in all the time. I started telling people who called that I was in the works of being legal and the could only take future orders. Still got turned in?>oh well Made me feel scared to go into local bakeries. But below is the pricing I got trying to figure out how much to charge in my area.
The main (most high end bakery)(I ll call them Bakery A does custom cakes. These are the prices that I have gotten.
[b]Bakery A[/b]:For a sheet cake (Party Size 60 ppl) with Fondant Icing would run around $56.00 for sheet cake, then $50.00 for icing, around $60.00 for delivery.
For example a square cake (7 square and 11 square) to look like presents stack with Fondant Icing would be $165.00 for Cake and Icing then if you wanted to add a bow it would be another $30.00 plus around $60.00 for delivery.
Another quote from them was a 8" and 6" two tiered cake (needed to be for 30 people) that was covered in plain white fondant icing with no other decorations was $200 dollars.
A one tier cake (they won't do two tier cakes) for 30 people covered in plain white fondant icing is $50 dollars.
2 other smaller (maybe legal home bakers) quoted the photo that I attached as $100 dollars. So I did it for $100 but after, I felt that it was too little.
I made my price chart...(the latest version from JamieAnn's (ccr's) pricing list. I tweaked it to try to fit my area. (All my cakes are fondant iced)
Up to 100 Servings (Base Price)
Basic: $3.00 per serving,
LV1: 4.00 per serving,
LV2: 5.00 per serving
Basic= Simple fondant icing with border and message.
LV1= Decorated cakes to include flowers, bows, tiered or stacked cakes.
LV2= High Detail, Carved, sculpted, or custom design.
$20 Delivery and set up charge up to Mobile. Up to ten miles.
Now my first 2 orders this week for cake...Client 1 her budget $150 cake to feed 70 people
"her vision is to have a cake that is 2-tiered with the cake resembling round hat boxes with the top tier (box) being slightly opened and beautiful daisies white and yellow will be peek-a-booing out of the box. Or the cake can just be one big square or round hat box with the lid tilted off centered so that the daisies inside will peek-a-boo out of the box. (She also may want a bouquet of Gerber's as the top tier I attached in my drawings.)
Client 2 wants an under the sea cake with fish and sharks for a childs birthday for 50-60 ppl But told me she could only spend 100
Do you guys have any suggestions? Help with pricing and making the cake fit into their budgets? Or tips pointers with my pricing?
idea for client 1 cake
I don't think that your pricing is off for your area. (My mother lived in Mobile for a long time, so I'm slightly familar with the economy there.) Don't lower your prices for people who come to you and say "I have to serve 70 people and I'm willing to pay you $100." That doesn't work at the grocery store bakery so why should it work with you?
If someone wants something unrealistic in terms of budget vs. design (like the daisy box you're describing) you'll need to tell them that what they're looking for is going to cost XX amount, then suggest different options that will fit their budget if they say that's too much. Eliminatae the open lid, for example, if that lowers the price. You could still put some daisies on it, maybe not as many, that kind of thing.
It's hard starting a business and setting oyur pricing, but you already saw what happened when you didin't charge enough for something, so don't lower the prices just to get the work. It won't benefit you in the long run, because that customer will expect lower prices every time they return. They'll also tell their friends that you're cheap, so you'll get lots of people expecting low pricing for complicated cakes. If someone complains that your prices are too high and you can't come to a compromise on a design that they can afford, just tell them that you're sorry you couldn't help them this time, and that you'll be glad to help them in the future if they ever need a cake. If you're advertising in the right places you'll get business, it just takes time to build a word-of-mouth customer base.
I wouldn't get in the habit of changing my prices...you know what your time is worth...Tell the customer, "Well I can't do the cake exactly like you want it and stay in your budget, but we could do this...and then offer an alternative. You get in the habit of lowering your prices to suit the client, and you'll go broke. They are just trying to get it as cheap as they can, but you are trying to run a business. If you think that those prices per serving will fly in your area that is great, but if they are to high it won't take to long to figure it out...you won't have any customers.
I decided a long time ago that iF I am ever fortunate enough to be able to have my own business, I won't compromise on my prices!!
I have NEVER wanted to offer cakes that people can buy at their local grocery stores, and I want clients that appreciate the artistry, time, effort, blood, sweat and tears that go into a fabulous cake!!
DONT sell yourself short!! People will quickly come to realize that won't be getting a common 'grocery store cake' from you... and you're worth every penny!!
Goodluck!! ~~ cindy