Need Some Advice!!!!asap!!

Decorating By shar7599 Updated 19 May 2011 , 9:28pm by jason_kraft

shar7599 Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:28pm
post #1 of 10

okay, so I'm new to the cake baking world, but have found I have a talent for it. Unfortunately so has my family LOL I made my little girl's birthday cake and now my cousin in law wants me to make her daughter's graduation cake. I had told her $70 for a fondant covered 1/2 sheet with a grad cap on top. Along with ribbon and whatever else to make it cute.

Turns out she is expecting about 100 people, which means she needs a bigger cake. I am thinking putting 2 11x15 cakes together. But what do I charge? I called Kroger and I can buy edible photos from them for $6.99. I am thinking the 3D cap with either 1 or 2 pics. I make the fondant and everything myself. It took me 13 hours start to finish for my daughter's 3 tier (with a minnie hat) cake. I don't think this one will take that long, but things come up ya know. I feel soooooooo guilty charging family at all, but being a full time student, with no job (well, not a paying one, I'm doing a 40hr a week internship) I can't afford not to. What would you do? Would you just charge for materials and make it for free? Or would you charge? I just don't know what to do. I could use some extra money, and I don't want everyone to start hitting me up for free cakes! Help!

9 replies
2yummy Posted 19 May 2011 , 5:55pm
post #2 of 10

I think it is ok to charge a nominal fee for your family, not to much. You'll be suprised to at how much the cost is when it's all said and done. When I first started I didn't want to charge to much because I was new to cake decorating. And tell her if anyone asks how much she paid for the cake she needs to say $100 or something like that, icon_smile.gif Hope that helps.

cricket0616 Posted 19 May 2011 , 6:01pm
post #3 of 10

This can be a touchy subject if a license is required in your state. If so, you are not suppose to charge them anything. I am lucky in my state that you do not need a license for family or friends as long as you don't advertise. That being said... beware of working with family. If you don't charge them, you can continue to have request like this one that is rather large and they don't have a clue the cost or time involved in it. One of my request was a 3 tier sweet 16 cake that took me 14 hours and cost over $150.00 dollars. My family did not have a clue as I gave it to them as a gift. The request kept coming in. When I finally shared with them the cost and hours involved, I finally had some relief. At least now when they ask, it is something simple.

My mistake was not charging in the first place. If I had it to do all over again, I would give them a list of supplies and and have them buy what I needed. In addition, I would have told them how long it took me to make it.

shar7599 Posted 19 May 2011 , 6:31pm
post #4 of 10

Thank you so much!! I had no idea about the state thing. When I was getting all the requests at my daughters party, I told them how long it took and the fact that I was quoted over $400 for the one I wanted for her, which is why I decided to make it myself. My husband doesn't think I should make it for free (and it's his family LOL) because he sees how hard I work!! He says to tell her $100 for this one, which will only be about $20-30 for my actually making it after supplies are bought. I feel like you ladies said, that I don't want to start out not charging and then get stuck in that. Thanks for the advice!

Brevity Posted 19 May 2011 , 6:53pm
post #5 of 10

One thing to keep in mind when comparing to other shop prices - customers are paying those high prices for a certain skill level. Please know that I mean no offense, but, I think if I were very new to it, I wouldn't charge much more than the cost of supplies.

jason_kraft Posted 19 May 2011 , 7:03pm
post #6 of 10

Another reason to look at your state's licensing requirements is to make sure you are covered from a liability perspective. By charging for the cake you are engaging in a commercial transaction and selling food that will be served to 100 people.

Most food service businesses have liability insurance that will protect them if a guest gets sick and decides to sue you, if you don't have that coverage you would have to pay the legal fees and any judgments or settlements out of your own pocket. Granted, it's not very likely, but as the guest list increases so does your risk.

shar7599 Posted 19 May 2011 , 7:17pm
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brevity

One thing to keep in mind when comparing to other shop prices - customers are paying those high prices for a certain skill level. Please know that I mean no offense, but, I think if I were very new to it, I wouldn't charge much more than the cost of supplies.




No offense taken. I understand that completely. I am not wanting to charge even close to what a bakery would because I can't do what a bakery can do!

shar7599 Posted 19 May 2011 , 7:26pm
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Another reason to look at your state's licensing requirements is to make sure you are covered from a liability perspective. By charging for the cake you are engaging in a commercial transaction and selling food that will be served to 100 people.

Most food service businesses have liability insurance that will protect them if a guest gets sick and decides to sue you, if you don't have that coverage you would have to pay the legal fees and any judgments or settlements out of your own pocket. Granted, it's not very likely, but as the guest list increases so does your risk.




I really didn't think about any of that. I'm not trying to start a business though. all of this started because I wanted to make my girl's cake and wanted to see if I could pull it off. I am not going to people to offer/sell cakes. This is just family/friends asking me to do it for them. So if I even make $5 profit, I have to worry about all of that? Crazy! LOL Thanks for pointing that out.

wildflowercakes Posted 19 May 2011 , 7:54pm
post #9 of 10

Family can be irritating, some want something for nothing. I finally got to where I figured what I had tied up in the cake and doubled that amount. This covered some of my time, the wear and tear on my stove, mixer, dish washer ect.. I had an aunt that wanted a wedding cake for her daughter thought I was charging her too much after all she was family. I told her I'd make a deal with her (she cleaned houses) I would make her cake for her and she would spend the same amount of time cleaning my house. She was responsible for everything she would need to clean with, vacuum, brooms, mops, cleaning supplies and other what nots. I would pay for the cleaning supplies she used. She threw a fit and said she couldn't do that she had other customers she was committed to. I said touche'. Don't feel bad about charging if they don't get it from you they will probably buy it somewhere else where it would cost them more.

jason_kraft Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:28pm
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by shar7599

So if I even make $5 profit, I have to worry about all of that?



It's not about how much profit you make...if you act like a business (i.e. selling someone a product or service in exchange for cash), you are engaging in a commercial transaction, even if you end up losing money. Normally accepting money for baking for family and close friends is not a huge deal (since family and friends would likely work something out instead of suing), but when there is a large event involved there's a good bet at least some of the guests will be neither a family member nor a close friend.

If you gave the cake as a gift with no strings attached, it would not be a commercial transaction and it would be much harder to pin liability on you in case something happens.

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