I have a bride to be that wants to taste 3 cake flavors (white, chocolate, almond), two buttercream icings (almond & vanilla), and differents fillings (raspberry, chocolate fudge, chocolate cream, cookies & cream). My question is : should I be charging for tastings??? How much would be a reasonalbe fee? TIA
I woudl say yes, charge for tastings. From what I have read on here, mostly in the business section is that most people charge between $25 and $100 depending on the type of business you are running. I would also get the money upfront as people are flakes and you don't want to be out your money for ingredients.
I think if you offer free tastings it should be what YOU want to serve and if they want to pick flavors then you charge accordingly.
I handled the tastings at the bakery I worked for and we would have free tastings using our most popular flavor (french vanilla) and two fillings. It was actually pretty cute. They made a 4" round FV cake and then split the fillings half raspberry on one side, half bavarian cream on the other. It was iced in our real butter Buttercream , they put a BC border around the base and put in on a 5" clear glass pedestal. We also included 2 chocolate cakeballs on the side so they could taste the chocolate cake and consider our cakeballs.
I would have clear glass plates, a cute pitcher of water and glasses and a cute cake cutter. We always let the Bride-to-be cut the cake (for practice, we said) and everyone got a piece of cake. That was the free tasting and I would say we signed about 85 to 90% of the brides right then.
If they wanted to try other flavors we would charge $35 for 3 more cake flavors and fillings. Those were usually Red Velvet, Carrot or Italian Cream cakes.
We no longer offer sit-down tastings (not enough time), but we do offer a to-go tasting package - it's $30 for up to 2 flavors of cake (6" rounds cut up into bite-size circles) and up to 2 frosting or filling flavors packaged separately in small deli containers. Additional flavors of cake, frosting, and/or filling are $10 each.
When you look at the opportunity cost of making so many different flavors for a tasting versus the time you could be spending on making more profitable cakes it just doesn't add up. The exception would be if you have a lot of idle time and need the business, then you would have more time to create an experience like carmijok mentioned.
We also do To-Go tastings. I charge $25. It includes 4 flavors (I cut a 6" in quarters and freeze them for future tastings), and three fillings. If they order, and the total is over $100, I'll apply the $25 to their deposit.
I charge $35. They get to pick 2 flavours and I make them into cupcakes. If they book they get $35 towards their order.