I am seriously thinking about putting a page on my website that informs the public just how much their favorite TV show Bakers charge.
I am so tired of people coming into my shop and saying their kids or themselves are fans of Duff and Cake Boss and want a birthday cake
all decorated fancy. But they want it for just 20 people and don't want to pay the minimum $3 a slice. They just want something small...
I offer a sheet cake for $60.00 This is my minimum. They say they don't want a cake that big, but when I say we can decorate a smaller one for the $3 a slice...oh no.
It's not their fault, they do not understand. They think they can get the "fancy" cakes on a smaller scale and it will be cheap. Maybe if they see a page with these guys minimum they won't think mine is so bad .
urghhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Sorry just ranting!
Oh how I feel your pain!! Honestly people do not understand how much work goes into a cake like that. I either get an elabourate cake request for 'just 10 people' and 'I want to only spend 50 dollars' but they pick out and send me a pic of a 5 tier cake or I get a cake that is almost impossible to make without making a wooden base (like they do on cake boss)
I went back and forth with a customer by email about 50 times last weekend who wanted a cake withing 48 hours of this skinny symbol that would be hard to cut out of cake it was so thin...she even wanted it covered with fondant and his name written on it. I tried to suggest a cake with raised symbol on it of what she wanted or a copycake image of what she wanted and when I told her it would be 40 bucks she said 'oh, I really had my heart set on what I want so my sister is going to try and make it'...so much time wasted...from now on, they get one or two emails, if they do not want to phone me or book by then they are just playing!
Dont worry, you are not alone!
Just smile and inform them that Charm City Cakes has a minimum $1000 order policy, and you'd be happy to create a Duff-style cake for a Duff-style price.
I agree about being frustrated. We get numerous requests every week from people wanting elaborate designs for 8-10 people and they want it tomorrow for $30 - $50. I'll have my magic cake oven get right on that.
There is another cake business in my area that is charging $1100 for sculpted cakes like you see on TV. They explain to the client how much work goes into construction. If they want it, then they have to be willing to fork over some big bucks. Otherwise, it isn't worth the long hours and headaches. I'm thinking about giving out the same quote...lol.
When indydebi came to our cake club she brought some info sheets with pricing from Cake Boss, Ace of Cakes, and Toba Garrett....I have it copied and in my binder for cake tastings!
oooh do share loucinda!
Yes please share! I need that info badly!!
I knew about Duff's min. price, but didn't know Buddy's so I looked it up---they charge $100 just for the consultation! $100!!
Here's the link to their FAQ - has that and their pricing:http://carlosbakery.com/About/FAQ.php
I did like this statement: "A good rule of thumb is to look at cakes that are featured in any magazines or publications; they are usually priced in the $12.00 to $18.00 range per person. The more elaborate, intricate, and time consuming the cake is, the greater price range you will be looking at."
I still wonder what sized cake you get for the $1000 min. at Charm City Cakes...
Oh! I too would love this if you'd be willing to share!
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I have to ask indy first...it is her paperwork. As soon as she checks in, I'll post back.
I heard Duff just upped his minimum to $1500. Man, with his $20 dollar fondant at Michaels, he must be rakin' it in.
I am getting the same kind of customers. They keep going to Pink Cake Box, (I love Anne Heap's work) and asking me to replicate her cakes for them for cheap. They are hoping for $50-$100 for her baby shower or celebration cake and I am thinking to myself, they've got to be crazy!! It is defintely frustrating!
I've been getting a lot of lowballers recently too. Must be something in the water.
Indy said it is fine to share it with you, I can't post it here, if you want a copy, pm me with your email and I will send it to you. (it is scanned, so the quality isn't perfect)
I can remember when a gal over on the Wilton forum won a small 2 tier cake in a raffle from Charm City, and she shared the whole experience with all of us on the forum. I think at that time, his minimum was $500. And that cake was just a like a 10" and 7" So if at that time his minimum was $500, that small two tiered cake was at least $500.00. And I remember looking at it and it wasn't anything any of us couldn't do.
Charm City also requires a NON REFUNDABLE 50% DEPOSIT!
I've been getting quite a few emails saying "Nothing too big...."
I raised my minimum (nothing like Duff's) to $200 and I throw that out right upfront and it helps to weed out some people. If they don't even catch their breath at $200 then I know we can probably work something out.
I've been overworked this past summer and I've decided to be unashamed at charging borderline "too high" prices (I think they are still comparable to my local area, for what I offer) for the average "Joe" and I'm ready to scale back and just get paid well for what I DO accept, as far as orders, instead of feeling run down and overworked.
I hear you Kitagrl! I am doing the same!
I was watching an episode of that new show Fabulous Cakes, and I was SO happy to see that they were actually telling the pricing of each cake -- there was a huge alligator for $2500 and a huge terra cotta urn with sugar flowers/vegetables for $4000. Wish more shows would do that!!
Here are links to the prices of some of the best-known cakers:
http://www.weddingcakes.com/faq-a2.html (Ron Ben Israel)
I saw the Cake Girls on a morning show today-I am sure it was on a little bit ago in the States-debuting that they were on Season 3 of Amazing Wedding Cakes. They were showing some of the cakes they have on this season. The host asked how much a bobble head one would cost and they unabashedly said "a cake like that costs around $4000". They went on to explain how it was more than the cake, it was the custom stands and inner structuring of the cake. They also talked about the hours it takes to create a cake like that. I was like "hallelujah, finally someone who makes beautiful cakes seen on tv has told the public that they can be $4000 or more"! Put the biggest smile on my face!
I was at a charity event recently where Duff Goldman appeared and auctioned off a Charm City cake, to be customized for the winner, as the highlight of the evening. Chef Duff would contribute the cake, and the money would go entirely to the charity. Before he started the auction, he told the crowd that the winner of the cake would have to wait 18 months before ordering the cake since they were booked solid until that time. There was very spirited bidding and the winning bid was $15,000. Duff then did the coolest thing -- he turned to the second to the last bidder and said that if that person would match the $15,000 bid, Charm City would contribute a second cake at that price. The bidder said yes, so the charity collected $30,000 courtesy of Duff Goldman. Duff said that both bidders got a good deal. So, there's an idea of the prices he gets. (He also supplied dessert slices of cake for the event and the cake was delicious.) It was great to see him share his success so generously.
That was what I liked about Fabulous Cakes, they actually said how much they charged! I haven't seen it come back on in a while though I had a woman tell me that 25 or an 8" round was farrr too much and I should reconsider my pricing if I want to continue making cakes....sheesh
Where are you in Westchester?
Cutthecake -- I'm in Hartsdale. Where are you? The charity event I described, though, was in Baltimore.
I have heard that Duff charges $10,000. an hour for events. (which is why it is usually Mary Alice and Geoff that go to a lot of them)
Did you ever go to Riviera Bakehouse in Ardsley? The owners wrote the Whimsical Bakehouse cookbooks. We went the other day and bought their signature birthday cake--it was delicious!
People can be so frustrating. I've come to realize the words "small" "simple" or "plain" refer to "CHEAP"!!!!! People really expect a two tier very ornate cake in a gourmet flavor for like $50!!!!! People really are nuts..they have no clue what goes into making one of these cakes. When people say they want a small cake and how much will it be for a 10 serving cake...I always reply it is the intricacy of design more than the size that factor into the price. Now I love making cakes but I'm not going spend 10 or more hours making one for $50!!!! These people have to realize YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!!!!
cutthecake -- Sure, Riviera is a great local business. I didn't know the connection to the cookbooks -- I'll look for them. THanks.