I have an order for a lactose free cake and I not sure how much to charge for it. Anyone have any ideas? She wants a 10 in. with frosting and a simple design.
Lactose-free ingredients should be about the same price as traditional ingredients, but do you have a lactose-free recipe that you know works? If not, you should allot enough time for R&D. If the ingredients turn out to be more expensive or for some reason there is additional labor involved (in terms of manufacturing, not R&D) then adjust the price accordingly.
In general, we only charge back R&D time in exceptional cases, where we don't anticipate adding the requested item to our regular menu. If you accept this order and come up with a good recipe you might as well offer lactose-free as an option going forward.
For reference, we have three price tiers: the lowest tier is for traditional cakes, dairy-free, and/or egg-free cakes (all the same price because ingredient and labor costs are similar); next highest is gluten-free (GF flours are more expensive); and soy-free is the most expensive (mostly because soy-free frosting is a pain to work with).