Hello. I have decorated lots of cakes and I just recently started trying to start my own business. Just got my first wedding cake job from pictures I had up of other cakes I've done. I have some questions. I apologize I don't know which category these go in. Before I meet with the bride can I get some help??? I would so appreciate any at all!
1. AM I correct in charging the average $1.50 a slice buttercream and $3.50/slice for fondant covered? I am not as experienced as others but I always knock myself out making sure everything is PERFECT....lots of hours.
2. What should I ask her exactly? Wedding colors, specific flowers, flavor of cake and icing type...anything else?
3. Is it reasonable to ask for a day or 2 to give her a final price after I meet with her or will she expect it at our initial meeting?
4. Do we provide the tools to cut the cake (decorative) or does the bride?
5. Anything else you can think of that I should cover in my initial meeting with her and her fiance? I am so nervous I can't stand it. I love doing cakes but my nerves are shot. haha I want everything to taste and look spectacular. This is what will send more customers my way.
Thank you so much to anyone who has time to respond with any help at all. Any tips, etc anything would be greatly appreciated. Wedding size she said would be 90 people. Should I make the cake big enough to feed a little more? ANd the wedding is the middle of this June. THANK YOU!!!!!
The first thing I would recommend is to Google some wedding cake contracts, that will answer a lot of your questions and you will figure out what to ask. The more information you can get from a bride, the better you will be able to provide her with what she wants.
Then I would Google the question you asked, you will get a bunch of Cake Central threads pop up with answers from some very smart and experienced people. As far as price, it is really regional and is very different based on where you are. I think it also depends on your experience level.
The only way you can figure out what to charge is if you know what it costs you to make a cake. You need to price out all of your ingredients, your cake boards, dowels, piping bags if they are disposable, etc. Also the gas it takes you to get those ingredients, the electricity it takes to run the oven, water if you pay for water, etc. Then comes your time. What is your time worth?
It's not easy to figure pricing, but I can tell you that at $1.50/serving... you will never cover all of that and still make some money. I start weddings at $6/serving. I know that not everyone will be at that price point, but $1.50/serving is far too low.
You do not provide the cutting set... that is up to the bride or venue.
She is most likely going to want a quote at your meeting. This is why it is important to have everything worked out before you start up your business. You want to have a plan going into a consult. Know the information you need from your clients and get it. Come across with confidence or they aren't going to want to do business with you.
Another side thought (and probably the most important thing to find out) is think about where you live. Is it even legal to have a home cake business in your state? Not all states allow food for the public to be made in a residential kitchen, and it would stink for your bride to find out at the last minute that her venue isn't going allow your cake inside because it didn't come from a licensed vendor.
There is so much to think about before you jump into the pool...
1. What you charge is dependent on your costs, hours to make the cake, what you charge per hour, and how much profit you want to make. It also depends on what others are charging in your area. That said, $1.50 per serving sounds awfully low to me.
2. Ask her what flavor of cake, what design or designs she has been considering, (Does she have any pictures she could bring of cakes with design elements she likes?) number of guests, date of wedding, time of wedding, time of delivery, location of reception (physical address so that you know how much to charge for delivery) colors, budget...
3. I think it's fine to need a little bit of time to give her a final price. At least give her a ballpark at the tasting, and then try to get the final price to her by the next day or so.
4. Some people will rent out cake cutting tools, others just have the bride supply them. I think having the bride supply them is more common.
5. Ask them if they will be needing a groom's cake as well. You also need to have some kind of order form and contract with all of the details of the order and your policies for them to look over and sign. Do you have a payment policy in place? Do you intend to require a deposit for them to book with you? When do you require the final payment? (I wouldn't suggest receiving the payment when you deliver the cake) Do you know what you would charge for delivery?
Duplicate post, please also see: