When Pricing Out A Cake By Number Of Servings.....

Business By Sugar_Art_Cakery Updated 22 Oct 2011 , 5:25am by bnbmom

Sugar_Art_Cakery Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 6:40pm
post #1 of 18

OK....I might not be thinking this out clearly, so I could use some CC members insight.

Since I've been in business, I've always priced out my cakes by the amount of servings ($4.50 per serving for fondant cakes and $3.50 per serving for BC cakes). In addition, my cake pricing has been based on wedding cake serving size (1"x 2").

So, for instance, I know a 10" round will give me 38 wedding sized servings. So this fondant covered cake would cost a client $171.

Now here's where I get fuzzy. My gf asked me the other day, "What if a client wanted that same cake but wanted to serve party cake sized servings (1.5"x 2" - which would only amount to 28 servings)." She wanted to know if I would charge them for the 28 servings or for the 38 servings since it's the same exact size cake.

Do I charge them $126 for a cake with party sized servings or $171 for wedding sized servings?? It's the same exact cake...and they could get that cake for $45 cheaper if they just say they want party sized portions.

Am I missing something here??

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

17 replies
JamAndButtercream Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 6:49pm
post #2 of 18

Hi,
Maybe you should think about pricing your cakes differently? Because like your gf said what one person sees as a serving of cake, another person could see the serving as too big or too small.
I've seen birthday cakes in my local supermarket, and their small cakes say they serve like 14 people, and I always think to myself, theres NO WAY that cake would serve 14 people! What would they be like paper thin slices??? Anyway I can see the problems that could arise with pricing cakes per slices.

Hope this helps! Good luck! icon_smile.gif

CWR41 Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 6:59pm
post #3 of 18

You need to decide which chart you want to use and stick with it. The Wilton wedding cake guide is the industry standard with 8 cu. in. serving sizes... if they want bigger servings--they need to order more cake.

If you decide to use the party cake chart, you need to raise your prices per serving to equal that of the standard wedding chart. It may become difficult to explain to customers why your price per serving is higher than most unless it's clear that your servings are larger than the standard size that others are quoting.

bakerliz Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 7:04pm
post #4 of 18

Your prices are based on your serving sizes, whatever that may be. If you are using the Wilton wedding servings, than that's how many your cake serves regardless of the function. If I came in with a fork and ate the whole cake right off the board (and I could if I tried, don't judge me icon_lol.gif ) you wouldn't sell it to me as 1 serving! icon_lol.gif

TexasSugar Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 7:07pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar_Art_Cakery

She wanted to know if I would charge them for the 28 servings or for the 38 servings since it's the same exact size cake.

Do I charge them $126 for a cake with party sized servings or $171 for wedding sized servings?? It's the same exact cake...and they could get that cake for $45 cheaper if they just say they want party sized portions.




The cake is $171, regardless of how they want to cut it. If they want party servings, they are getting more cake per serving, there for your price her serving should reflect that. So the party serving price would be $6.11 a slice.

A cake is a cake. A 10 in round is a 10 in round. They can cut it in 38 servings, 28 servings or slice it in half for two servings.

You just pick a chart that you are comfortable with, and that is what you use to price your cakes with. I give wedding servings for all cakes, no matter the occasion.

BizCoCos Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 7:26pm
post #6 of 18

I understand your conflict but it seems you need to raise your prices and charge certain size cakes at a set rate. After all, most charge extra for fondant and um paste flours and figurines are also extra. Once you are clear in your head about set prices, it will be a non issue. You an charge per serving for tiered wedding cakes. Write it out so that you are 100% behind your prices. Look around famous and non famous cakers on the internet who set out their prices clearly and you can see the range. In the brides magazine where there was a contest,some of them charge $16 a slice, not bad eh? good luck

DianeLM Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 8:18pm
post #7 of 18

It's interesting to see all these different solutions

I handled this dilemma by calculating the average number of servings between the Wilton party and wedding charts. All cakes, whether they're for a 'party' or a 'wedding' are calculated from this average chart.

It doesn't make sense to me to use the wedding chart for every cake because I would have to recalculate based on the event. If it's an older kid's birthday party, I KNOW the pieces are going to be cut bigger than 1x2x4. I don't want to have to look at the wedding chart and figure out how many MORE servings I need to tack on.

In other words, if a kid's birthday cake is ordered to serve 30, the Wilton wedding chart says a 9" round cake will serve 32. But, that's if the pieces are cut very small - like for a wedding. I know it's not going to be enough cake. But, the same chart says a 10" round will serve 38. Now it sounds like too much! My "average" chart says a 10" cake will serve 33. I can easily select the 10" for this order without having to do any further calculating.

Of course, my per serving rate has been adjusted to accomodate this type of serving chart. I don't get ripped off and neither do my clients. icon_smile.gif

tracycakes Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 1:43am
post #8 of 18

I base everything on wedding cake servings. If it's a party, I suggest that they might want a slightly bigger cake, especially if they really like sweets. It's the same amount of cake whether it's 36 slices or 1 big bite, therefore, same price. The industry standard slice of cake is 8 cubit inches of cake, it's a pretty big slice of cake.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 10 Sep 2011 , 2:11am
post #9 of 18

I use my own chart which is a rounded version of the wilton wedding chart for every cake. I round to the nearest 5. So if wilton says 12... I say 10. It makes the math easier... LOL. I have never had someone come back and say they didn't have enough cake. I tell people how big a serving is and include a how-to to get the right servings. At kids parties the slices are usually smaller.. kids don't eat giant slices of cake... they just don't. A coffee serving would be more than sufficient (that's 1/2 a wedding serving). I tell people that if they have a group of big cake eaters they might want to order a little more cake than the number of people they need to serve. Most don't, and, like I said, no one has ever said "WTF we ran out of cake!!" LOL.

Bridgette1129 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 10:02pm
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianeLM

It's interesting to see all these different solutions

I handled this dilemma by calculating the average number of servings between the Wilton party and wedding charts. All cakes, whether they're for a 'party' or a 'wedding' are calculated from this average chart.

It doesn't make sense to me to use the wedding chart for every cake because I would have to recalculate based on the event. If it's an older kid's birthday party, I KNOW the pieces are going to be cut bigger than 1x2x4. I don't want to have to look at the wedding chart and figure out how many MORE servings I need to tack on.

In other words, if a kid's birthday cake is ordered to serve 30, the Wilton wedding chart says a 9" round cake will serve 32. But, that's if the pieces are cut very small - like for a wedding. I know it's not going to be enough cake. But, the same chart says a 10" round will serve 38. Now it sounds like too much! My "average" chart says a 10" cake will serve 33. I can easily select the 10" for this order without having to do any further calculating.

Of course, my per serving rate has been adjusted to accomodate this type of serving chart. I don't get ripped off and neither do my clients. icon_smile.gif




I would love the see your chart or know how much you charge per slice. I'm just curious to how you would price this.

indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 2:41pm
post #11 of 18

"Hello, KFC? I know your bucket of 8 pcs of chicken serves 4 people and it's $12. But since I will be eating 4 pieces instead of 2 (i.e. the same as cutting the pieces of cake bigger), then it will only feed 2 people, so my price will be only $6, right?"

Yeah.....THAT'LL work! dunce.gif

They can cut the dang thing in half and serve it with 2 forks if they want to, but they are paying for the entire cake, based on my pricing that I establish.

PLUS .... factor in that a party size is 50% more cake per serving, ergo the price per serving should be 50% higher. Do you pay the same for a large fry as you do a small fry at McDonald's? No .... even tho both are going to feed one person, you are getting more fries in the large size, ergo you pay more for it.

People seem to understand fast food .... but for some unknown reason, they can't do the math on a cake! icon_eek.gif

indydebi Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 2:46pm
post #12 of 18

Just to help illustrate the numbers:

12" square cake, cut in 1x2x4 is cut in 12 rows by 6 columns = 72 pieces.
1x2x4 - 8 cubic inches
72 pcs x $3.00/serving = $216

12" square cake, cut in 1.5x2x4 is cut in 8 rows by 6 columns = 48 pieces.
1.5x2x4 = 12 cubic inches = 50% more cake per serving.
$3 x 1.5 = $4.50/serving for the larger serving.
48 pcs x $4.50/serving = $216

Whadda ya know! It's all the same price! icon_wink.gif

A baker can present the 12" square to the client by saying, "This cake will serve 40 to 70 people, depending on how you cut it. The price is $216."

jhay Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:00pm
post #13 of 18

Brilliant explanation Debi! thumbs_up.gif

sberryp Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:14pm
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"Hello, KFC? I know your bucket of 8 pcs of chicken serves 4 people and it's $12. But since I will be eating 4 pieces instead of 2 (i.e. the same as cutting the pieces of cake bigger), then it will only feed 2 people, so my price will be only $6, right?"

Yeah.....THAT'LL work! dunce.gif

They can cut the dang thing in half and serve it with 2 forks if they want to, but they are paying for the entire cake, based on my pricing that I establish.

PLUS .... factor in that a party size is 50% more cake per serving, ergo the price per serving should be 50% higher. Do you pay the same for a large fry as you do a small fry at McDonald's? No .... even tho both are going to feed one person, you are getting more fries in the large size, ergo you pay more for it.

People seem to understand fast food .... but for some unknown reason, they can't do the math on a cake! icon_eek.gif





I have been missing you!!! icon_lol.gif

Bridgette1129 Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 12:44am
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

"Hello, KFC? I know your bucket of 8 pcs of chicken serves 4 people and it's $12. But since I will be eating 4 pieces instead of 2 (i.e. the same as cutting the pieces of cake bigger), then it will only feed 2 people, so my price will be only $6, right?"

Yeah.....THAT'LL work! dunce.gif

They can cut the dang thing in half and serve it with 2 forks if they want to, but they are paying for the entire cake, based on my pricing that I establish.

PLUS .... factor in that a party size is 50% more cake per serving, ergo the price per serving should be 50% higher. Do you pay the same for a large fry as you do a small fry at McDonald's? No .... even tho both are going to feed one person, you are getting more fries in the large size, ergo you pay more for it.




You are one of the best resources on these forums! Thanks so much!!

tripleD Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 12:55am
post #16 of 18

Not to change the subject but, Listen to Indydebi. She is a wise cake master.
Over the years I have asked for help/advice. Indydebi has always led me in the right direction. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 21 Oct 2011 , 2:03am
post #17 of 18

I did an average between the wilton chart and the actual marked-out-on-the-back-of-my-cake-pans chart, which would be the 1"x2" (Wilton's pieces are smaller no matter what they say. I figured out the average of those two, then do a flat price per cake. I don't care if they cut 100 pieces, 40, 10, or have a food fight with the cake, it's the same amount of cake so I charge the same for it regardless. I wrote this a couple of years ago to explain my method: http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-i-price-my-wedding-cakes.html

bnbmom Posted 22 Oct 2011 , 5:25am
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilmissbakesalot

I use my own chart which is a rounded version of the wilton wedding chart for every cake. I round to the nearest 5. So if wilton says 12... I say 10. It makes the math easier... LOL. I have never had someone come back and say they didn't have enough cake. I tell people how big a serving is and include a how-to to get the right servings. At kids parties the slices are usually smaller.. kids don't eat giant slices of cake... they just don't. A coffee serving would be more than sufficient (that's 1/2 a wedding serving). I tell people that if they have a group of big cake eaters they might want to order a little more cake than the number of people they need to serve. Most don't, and, like I said, no one has ever said "WTF we ran out of cake!!" LOL.


. Ahahaha lmfao!! "WTF we ran out of cake!!"

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