Family "friend" (Rant)

Decorating By heysugar504 Updated 29 Jan 2011 , 1:20am by cownsj

heysugar504 Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 6:20pm
post #1 of 11

So a friend of the family called me a few days ago. He owns a catering business in town and is looking for someone to supply cakes and cupcakes. He said the person who was his previous supplier priced herself out of the job.

So he tells me he has this big job where he needs 300 mini devil's food cakes, covered in vanilla icing and chocolate ganache and asks how much I would charge. I tell him $14 for a dozen. He is shocked! "$14?? That's how much I sell them for!" Then I explain to him that I charge $30 for a basic cake, so technically I'm charging him less than the per serving cost. I'm pretty sure I priced myself out of that job too. LOL!

For me it seems that what it boils down to is he wants me to make them for what he could make them for, then he sells them and collects the profit. This leaves me with what? Some "friend."

Has this ever happened to anyone else? How would you respond?

Sorry for the rant. icon_redface.gif

10 replies
jenmat Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 6:36pm
post #2 of 11

Yes, this has happened to me with a woman who wanted me to make all sorts of high end desserts in a coffee shop she was opening. I gave her my prices, she was shocked, and she went elsewhere. No skin off my back. I'm not going to be a slave so that she can make a profit.
What do you tell him?
"I completely understand. Custom made product is always going to be more expensive. My recommendation to you would be to find a supplier that can ship them in frozen, as they have the equipment and staff to make your product at a much lower overhead than I can. Good Luck!"
In the end, friend or not, this is business and he's just trying to make money, just like you are. I wouldn't be too offended at it, unless he insulted your product specifically.
And $14/dozen is NOT too high a price for mini cakes!

cownsj Posted 27 Jan 2011 , 11:13pm
post #3 of 11

If you aren't able to get supplies at wholesale prices, maybe you can work a deal where he can get ALL your supplies for you at wholesale, you'll make a little more on your other cakes, and you can reduce the price to him... One hand washes the other, so to speak

Bethkay Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 12:24pm
post #4 of 11

I had a similar scenario about a year ago. A coffee shop in the mall near me had been providing baked goods that came in frozen from an out-of-town vendor. They wanted to provide something "local" and contacted me.

I was happy to provide them with some samples and prices. The two women I met with--both of them far too young and inexperienced to be making any decisions in my opinion--spent the entire tasting session comparing my homemade items to the frozen, commercially produced products they had been using. In several cases, they told me they preferred what they were already selling.

What it boiled down to was that they wanted me to reproduce locally the same product they were shipping in from out of town so that they could say it was local. And they wanted the same price point they were accustomed to.

I was pretty irritated that I had spent so much time preparing samples for them and more than happy to walk away from that "opportunity"!

Chiara Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 1:36pm
post #5 of 11

Unfortunately, people only value their labour costs. They always think that others charge too high a price for their work but they would do the same if the shoe was on the other foot.
It is always easy to do that. That is the sad "ME" issue that people are having.
Don't worry about it and sadly this will not be the only time this will happen.

heysugar504 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 2:19pm
post #6 of 11

Thanks for the tips, guys. I, unfortunately, don't have access to buy at wholesale prices, but I am looking into doing that. Right now I'm at the mercy of Walmart and how they choose to price their items.

I forgot to mention that the person who "priced herself out of the job" was charging $11 per dozen. At least that's what he told me. Hopefully a better opportunity will come along. I'm perfectly content to wait until then. icon_smile.gif

cownsj Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 3:40pm
post #7 of 11

They may still come back, they could have made up the price, or decide they are willing to go higher. My husband was asked to make sheet cakes, just plain supermarket designed sheet cakes for a local banquet hall. They were willing to go up to $5 higher than the supermarket. Out of curiosity, we went to check those prices. Of course it was never a consideration. Next time they met, the offer went up $10, the next time another $10, and then another $10. My husband still didn't accept it because he simply did not want to being those kinds of cakes. He was flattered the guy likes his flavors and decorating skills better. And he liked that he wanted him to be his "first" guy for baking his cakes because he had 2 bakeries he also used, and promised he'd only use them on occasions when my husband was too busy.

If you talk to your people, they may very well be willing to buy what you need at wholesale, all of your supplies for them and others, and save you lots of money. And then maybe you can get to a price (you will be making it up on other cakes that are now costing you less), and still come out ok. It might be worth investigating further.

cakesmart Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 4:57pm
post #8 of 11

A cafe owner approached me for a standing weekly order for:
10" Red Velvet, 8" Chocolate, Lemon Pound, 9x13 pan of Brownies...all for $40 icon_eek.gif I could not believe it! Needless to say, I didn't take that offer.

cownsj Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 5:26pm
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesmart

A cafe owner approached me for a standing weekly order for:
10" Red Velvet, 8" Chocolate, Lemon Pound, 9x13 pan of Brownies...all for $40 icon_eek.gif I could not believe it! Needless to say, I didn't take that offer.




I'm sure he must have realized that was enough to cover the cost of your ingredients..... uh hem... And just look at the exposure he was offering to you, even if no one knew you baked them. Boy, what a guy/girl.

heysugar504 Posted 28 Jan 2011 , 11:38pm
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesmart

A cafe owner approached me for a standing weekly order for:
10" Red Velvet, 8" Chocolate, Lemon Pound, 9x13 pan of Brownies...all for $40 icon_eek.gif I could not believe it! Needless to say, I didn't take that offer.



I'm sure he must have realized that was enough to cover the cost of your ingredients..... uh hem... And just look at the exposure he was offering to you, even if no one knew you baked them. Boy, what a guy/girl.




Exactly! That's what he kept telling me. "Keep in mind you would be my exclusive baker. You'll get a lot of exposure." The nerve of some people.

cownsj Posted 29 Jan 2011 , 1:20am
post #11 of 11

Oh Dear God, and I was being sarcastic. People really do have nerve with what they will say to get over, and yet feel perfectly justified in earning a living for themselves.

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