When To Give The Bride The Numbers

Business By Voce Updated 18 Nov 2010 , 4:53pm by Jennzoe333

Voce Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 4:43pm
post #1 of 17

Hi CC'ers,
I am a new cake business owner and I have a question I was wondering if you all could help me out with. When do you tell the client how much their cake will cost? Do you do it right there at the contract signing or do you wait until they "sign off" on your design? It just seems like there could be so many variables going into the cake that it would be tough to give them an accurate quote without having the entire design of the cake in mind.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts, they are much appreciated!

16 replies
jason_kraft Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 4:55pm
post #2 of 17

You can certainly give the customer a price range during the tasting, saying basic cakes start at $X per serving, with more detailed cakes priced at $Y per serving or higher depending on difficulty.

KoryAK Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:09pm
post #3 of 17

I guess that depends on how you run your consultation. At mine, we go thru lots of pictures and i sketch as we go so that they have a final design in place right there. Then while they are tasting the cake I work up a price. Done deal unless changes are made later and then that can change the price of course. If you are gathering ideas at the consultation, then sketching over the next week, then getting approval - I would just inform them of the price that goes along with each sketch so they can factor that into their decision making process.

GGFan Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:18pm
post #4 of 17

KoryAK, Do you actually make them sign a contract before you give them a sketch? I read that a lot of people got burned not making them sign a contract. The bride took the pretty sketch and go somewhere else!

TexasSugar Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:20pm
post #5 of 17

I wouldn't sign a contract, until I knew the exact cost of what I wanted.

Chasey Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:21pm
post #6 of 17

Is that typical to give the bride the sketch? I personally drew my own cake and gave it to the baker so I am not familiar with it being the other way around.

IMO, I would only give her a copy of the sketch if she's put down her deposit and we have a signed contract. In the contract I would state (and have her initial that place) that any design changes going forward are subject to an additional fee.

Good luck with your new business! icon_smile.gif

kristanashley Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 7:43pm
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

I wouldn't sign a contract, until I knew the exact cost of what I wanted.




Ditto. I wouldn't even book a consultation without an idea of the baker's prices. I've noticed that a lot of people are secretive about pricing. They don't put it on their website, they wait until the consultation is over, etc. Why? From a consumer's standpoint, I would at least want an estimate before I ever sat down for a consult.

indydebi Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 8:18pm
post #8 of 17

All of my forms were computerized and formula'd, so the price is being computed as I sit there and enter the data during the consultation. At the end, I would turn the laptop around and review the forms with them, explaining what I had, what the cost was, etc. THEN I'd tell them that I'd review the info to make sure everything is correct and they'd get an emailed copy no later than the next day.

My pricing was set up so the bride could actually figure out her total cost before she even called me. Saved me dealing with looky-lou's with Twinkie budgets.

loriemoms Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 8:27pm
post #9 of 17

I post prices on my web site, as I dont want to waste my or the brides time if they cannot afford me.

And I dont draw anything, or even go deep into design until I have a contract. Too easy to bring it to someone else...

leah_s Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 8:46pm
post #10 of 17

I also post my prices on my website. Makes it easier for everyone.
I also sketch during the consultation and give the bride a real $ quote at the end.
Even if she signs a contract, I do NOT give her a sketch.

costumeczar Posted 15 Nov 2010 , 9:02pm
post #11 of 17

I don't give out sketches anymore, either.

I have a price chart that I use that I could give people a quote from if they call on the phone and describe the basics of what they want, but at the consult I go over everything with them then figure otu the exact price while they're tasting the cake. After they've tasted everything I give them the exact price.

Voce Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 4:47pm
post #12 of 17

THank you all so much for the wealth of information. My next thought is what about all those little things that go into a cake. I.e. interior support structures, cardboards etc. do you charge extra for these things or are the prices for these things factored into your $$/serving price? And if any of you that have price matrices you use wouldn't mind sharing that would definately be beneficial as I am a visual learner. LOL! And, I do have my prices posted on my website. I agree with you all that there is nothing worse than being the consumer and having to wonder how much said item will dent my wallet. What a rollercoaster starting up is, but I wouldn't get off for the world icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 5:16pm
post #14 of 17

When you go out to eat, do they charge you for the plate and silver wear you use? Nope it is factored into the cost of the meal.

From a customer's point of view, wouldn't you rather know about what price something is from the beginning rather than having everything you add on add to the cost?

There are some things that do add to the costs, like fondant, a ton of gumpaste flowers or craved cakes. And there are people that price per design, but my thoughts are to make it as simple as you can for the customer and not have alot if up charges for everything they order.

Would you want to go order a baked potato somewhere and be told the potato will be $2 and if you want butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, or bacon bits it will be another .50 for each item. Or would you rather be told up from that a potato with all the fixings will be $4.50.

I feel the same way about a cake. I want to know up front how much it will cost me. I do understand that some things may affect the cost, but I'd really like to know ahead of time. If I go into a consult thinking $2 a serving because I was told that is the base price and after we discuss design and details and the price just keeps going up, chances are that in the end it may actaully be out of my price range and we sat there and wasted each others time.

cakesbycathy Posted 16 Nov 2010 , 5:18pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Voce

THank you all so much for the wealth of information. My next thought is what about all those little things that go into a cake. I.e. interior support structures, cardboards etc. do you charge extra for these things or are the prices for these things factored into your $$/serving price? And if any of you that have price matrices you use wouldn't mind sharing that would definately be beneficial as I am a visual learner. LOL! And, I do have my prices posted on my website. I agree with you all that there is nothing worse than being the consumer and having to wonder how much said item will dent my wallet. What a rollercoaster starting up is, but I wouldn't get off for the world icon_smile.gif




All of those things are factored into my price per serving. As a customer I would be fairly irked to get a price on the cake and then hear "oh it's also this much for xx and this much for xx and this much for xx so NOW your total is..."

I have one price for buttercream and one price for fondant and I don't charge extra for particular designs unless it's something that will be extremely time consuming or alot of flower/fondant details.

Before I even sit down with the bride I find out how many people they are inviting and what their budget is. Then I can give them a price for the cake (plus delivery and set up) and if I'm in their budget we set up a tasting. If not then I am not wasting my time on someone that can't afford me anyway.

indydebi Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 2:34am
post #16 of 17

It will be no surprise to hear that I totally agree about not nickel and diming a bride to death. You just set yourself up for this kind of situation:

http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/lowest%20price

and brides REALLY hate that!

Please note .... some items justify an add'l charge, but basics like cardboards and boxes and dowels, etal., should be figured in.

Jennzoe333 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 4:53pm
post #17 of 17

When people come for tastings with me, they already have a really good idea of a price range. A tasting for me is really just a way for my clients to choose flavors, sign a contract and pay a deposit and finalize the design plan. I've usually already sold the cake for the most part by the time I get to a consultation. I don't have time for a lot of consultations unless I'm fairly certain they are going to book the cake order. Therefore, I give my pricing right up front.

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