Charging By Slice As Opposed To By Tier

Decorating By erin2345 Updated 31 Oct 2010 , 3:15pm by costumeczar

erin2345 Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 9:06pm
post #1 of 10

I know that most people charge by the slice. Lets say a 4 tiered 12, 10, 8, 6 serving 98 ppl (according to Earlene's chart) at $4 a slice comes in at $392 versus a 10-8-6-4 (58 servings) that would only be $232. They both take the same amount of time, but I am making $160 on the slightly smaller one.

What are your thoughts on this?

Does anyone charge by the tier?

9 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 10:15pm
post #2 of 10

I have never heard of charging by the tier..I always charge by the serving...It would be interesting to hear others opinions though....

indydebi Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:13am
post #3 of 10

First, if I had to do a 6" AND a 4", I would be charging an add'l PITA charge. icon_eek.gif I HATE screwing around with those dinky tiers!

If you use something like an SPS system for assembly, there can be an add'l fee because there is add'l equipment used.

There is a small difference in expenses for the smaller cake (approx 4 cake mixes vs 7 cake mixes, etc.) but you are right .... the time element is the same. This is why folks find that smaller items are not proportionately smaller.

Once caterer referred to it as fast-food-mentality. If 3 happy meals costs $15, then 1 happy meal costs $5. Not true in catering (or caking). There is basic overhead to be covered regardless of the size, so it is not unheard of to add an overhead fee to smaller orders.

Charging per tier or charging per slice is just semantics. For a tier that serves 20, I can charge $60 for the tier ..... or I can charge $3/slice. The money is the same.

For a smaller cake, I can charge $3/serving AND a Cake Design Fee, justifiable for add'l overhead costs.

As I had to explain to one bride who wanted to reduce (believe it or not) the amount of watermelon for cost savings: Didn't matter how small she reduced it. At some point, she was buying the whole dang watermelon, no matter how much she actually used of it!!!

caymancake Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:31am
post #4 of 10

For single tiered cakes, I have two "base" fees - one for buttercream and one for fondant. Additional charges apply for "premium" cake flavours (cakes like red velvet that cost more to make), additional embellishments etc.

For multi-tiered cakes, I charge by serving (works out to be a slightly higher fee) to factor in the additional supplies and time that multi tiered cakes.

Most places here in the Cayman Islands just charge based on the cake design and complexity of the cake, as opposed to servings. That makes the charging per serving a little more difficult, but its all about educating your client.

Hope that helps!

-K8memphis Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 12:57am
post #5 of 10

A good remedy for this is to have a price minimum.
Like a 3-tier has a minimum of $200
For a 4 tier cake it's $300 minimum-no matter how many servings,

But if someone is trying to cheap out on you they need to understand how petite that 10x8x6x4 is gonna look.

Like I said earlier Margaret Braun makes 2 inch cakes four inches tall.

It's not hard to ice little cakes, Indy.

3GCakes Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 1:25am
post #6 of 10

I think K8's right about the minimums...it is more material (cardboard, support, baking times, etc)....to make a 4-tier cake that could easily be changed to a nice 3-tier with the same servings....and uses less "incidentals" for building. Especially if you rely on what I would call a "premium" support system like SPS. SPS costs money, especially for more tiers.

Decide how much money you want to make in order to supply...say 3 stacked cakes vs. 4....the minimum...and charge it.

caymancake Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 3:06am
post #7 of 10

That's a great idea! I just finalized my pricing and don't want to change again so soon on my customers, but the next time I update my prices, I will definitely adopt the minimum strategy for tier cakes. Thanks so much for that thought K8memphis!

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

A good remedy for this is to have a price minimum.
Like a 3-tier has a minimum of $200
For a 4 tier cake it's $300 minimum-no matter how many servings,

But if someone is trying to cheap out on you they need to understand how petite that 10x8x6x4 is gonna look.

Like I said earlier Margaret Braun makes 2 inch cakes four inches tall.

It's not hard to ice little cakes, Indy.


Classycakes Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 2:10pm
post #8 of 10

I consider myself very lucky because here in my province, it is tradition to serve the wedding cake after the meal, later in the evening. Dessert is always included in the meal price so the wedding cake is rarely served as dessert. The wedding cake is served as "treat" size pieces which are roughly 1" x 1" x 2" high. The folklore attached to following this old tradition is that unmarried ladies sleep with the piece of wedding cake under their pillow and will then dream of their future love!

The bridesmaids (or the venue) will cut the pieces and put on trays and serve them to the guests, usually around 11:00 pm. Then once they have made a round of the room, they usually leave the trays on a little table and the guests can munch on the cake that is left.

All of the decorators, including myself, therefore price their cakes as a whole. So my minimum pricing starts with a standard three tier cake which is 6", 8", 10" with 4" high tiers. Brides can add to the number of tiers but each additional tier is priced as a whole rather than the pieces it would serve.

It makes it much easier for me because I don't have to mess around with trying to find the right size tiers to suit each customer's needs. thumbs_up.gif

jillyscakes Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 2:20pm
post #9 of 10

In the UK we have never charged per serving always per cake larger the cake or more tiers more it costs. I advise how many portions can be got from cake if cut correctly, then they can choose size.

costumeczar Posted 31 Oct 2010 , 3:15pm
post #10 of 10

I use kind of a hybrid of the per serving/ per tier. I figured out an average price per tier and used a per-serving to do that, then I end up with a flat fee per cake with a range of servings. That's because I saw how some reception sites were cutting the cake, and I realized that my serving charts weren't reflecting how the cake would actually be cut. http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-i-price-my-wedding-cakes.html

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