I did a cake recently (the Ms. Pacman in my pics) where I quoted the customer for all fondant, BC with fondant decorations, and all BC (I used FBCT). I even included pics of the difference in looks on cakes, but alas they went with all BC. I'm sure for cost. It came out nice, but I think it would have been even better with the ghosts and pacman in fondant.
In fact I almost went ahead and did it since I had left over fondant, but DH said "If they didn't pay for it, they don't get it. If you do it for them, you have to do it for everyone."
Now I think FBCT transfers are fairly easy and you can do quite a lot with them, but there is something about the fondant decorations that look a little better.
Now I have another cake for a baby shower where I will have to do FBCT again except instead of an easy circle with lips, it's a baby shower cake with a train, car, plane, and boat. Again client went with all BC. I do have an upcharge for these kind of custom designs in BC. My prices are reasonable for my area.
So how do you talk clients into going with fondant? I try to tell them my fondant is not the nasty Wilton everyone seems to remember and even show examples of how it can increase the look of the cake, but I just can't seem to sell it.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I would just eliminate that option. I offer fondant or buttercream icing cakes, but never specify what I am doing the decorations in as I may choose to do one over the other for various reasons.
So are your BC prices higher to account for using fondant decorations, and if you don't then it's just more profit?
Thanks for replying btw.
funny, it seems like I only have fondant requests and want some buttercream orders For my pricing I have either fondant or buttercream and then within those options I have 3 levels of pricing (i.e., easy, medium, hard!) and likewise, I would choose the medium for the decorations that I know will work best - I don't let the client make that decision.
I would have done the pacman cake in buttercream with fondant decorations -it would have been considered a level 2 buttercream (detailed) I wouldn't give an option to do it with buttercream transfers, etc..I also make my own fondant, so my cost for it is very low, so this helps when I'm making that choice...hope this made sense.
For me, I think it is faster/easier for me to do fondant decorations than BC (most of the time), plus I can do them in bulk and/or in advance. I also don't think I use that much fondant for most decorations, so I guess I don't see much of a price difference either. A 10lb bucket of fondx is less than $25 plus S&H, and I doubt I use more than a 1/4 lb per cake. It's what works for me, but I would split the difference and make it easier for you.
sugarandstuff- I like that idea of levels. I would agree that pacman would be a level 2, but how much detail before it is a level 3? If you have an example to give me an idea I would appreciate it. I can see the levels for fondant easier than I can the BC.
pinkpiggie78 - so other than what the base layer, BC or fondant, the client doesn't know/choose what the rest will be? I just want to make sure the customer gets what they want and so I keep them involved in all the choices. I guess I just need to do what I know would be best.
Thanks ladies. Just when I think I have pricing figured out something else comes up and throws a wrench in it.
Kris- cute cake! But think of buying a car... you choose the exterior color, interior color, motor size, door style, etc.... but you do not choose the hubcaps. Some choices are better left with the cake artist. Who said the customer "got" to choose the material in the decorations?
In our desire to please, we may just give too many choices...
If you think the stuff should be fondant, and your pricing doesn't account for either add an "upcharge fee" (like for sugar flowers) or "step up" a level in the price structure.
This is art, and any structured fee for art is bound to fluctuate a bit.
Like sugarstuff, I too add to my "base price" for difficulty or time consumption, but again only offer a choice in cake covering. With my clients, they seem to fall into one of two categories, they sent me a pic and want me to replicate it (most of the time it is a fondant cake that they want done in buttercream) or they have a theme and we go with an idea or I have creative license. I definately understand the need to please and keep folks involved, but as long is the design is done as discussed (and to the best of your ability of course), then it shouldn't matter what material they are done in.
That being said, I do have a cake coming up that the customer asked what material I would be doing the bed frame in (its a toy story "bed" cake with plastic characters) and I told her I wasn't sure if I was going to use chocolate or gumpaste. She didn't care but was curious. I always like to leave things flexible.... because you never know when something may not turn out the way you think it is.
I agree with pinkpiggie78.
i have customers who request bc icing, but certain decorations I'll do them in fondant because they are quicker for me to do than in bc.
Sometimes customers will ask what the deocrations will be made of,most times they don't care
99% of my cakes are butter cream. If I think an accent looks better in fondant, they do not get the choice. I don' thave levels, but have a list, for example of what fondant polka dots on a 6"/8"/10", etc would cost. The bigger the cake...the more the dots cost. I use this process for all fondant accents. My list is always growing as someone will come up with something I do not have on it. I try to be very consistant with my pricing.
I have 3 basic prices, buttercream, buttercream with fondant accents and fondant. Buttercream with fondant accents costs more than straight buttercream but less that all fondant.
If a customer brings me a cake picture of an all fondant cake but wants buttercream, I do buttercream if I can or I just tell them that the decorations have to be fondant.
If there are questions about fondant taste, I give them a taste of my fondant. I use Fondarific and they always like the taste. I usually don't have a problem using fondant if the base can be buttercream.