I just received an inquiry from a client who wants to do a 3 tiered dummy cake as well as sheet cakes for 110. I have never done a dummy cake with the intent of it being used for a wedding and this is the first time i'm being asked for one. I've only done them as displays and marketing pieces. It's normally not apart of my product lineup so Id have to figure how id price them. I don't even offer sheet cakes.
I'm a little on both sides of the fence here. My first thought was if she get this from me she's basically going to pay for two wedding cakes. Your paying for my quality, time, skill, and talent, which will be the same price even if done on a dummy. (Oh why magazines did you misrepresent this information!). On the other hand I don't want to dismiss her completely. At this point she could still be a potential client. I could possibly still give her a great cake. So toying around with this idea I just need some ideas, thoughts and opinions on how this could even work.
Some things I was wondering about:
1. How do you make a profit from renting the dummy cake?
2. Are your designs simple? What about elaborate cakes?
3. Do you offer the sheet cakes with them?
4. How does your pricing compare to the real thing?
Chances are she has heard that it is cheaper to have a dummy and sheet cakes.
I would price out the dummies plus the sheet or Kitchen cakes. I've heard people use 80% of the real cake costs, since you still have to buy dummies, and decorate them like you would a cake.
I would also give her the price and serving amounts for the 3 tiers she wants.
After she sees that she isn't saving any more, she may then choose to go for the real cake instead.
My first thought was if she get this from me she's basically going to pay for two wedding cakes. Your paying for my quality, time, skill, and talent, which will be the same price even if done on a dummy.
Exactly! I think most people don't realize that the greatest cost is the decorating. They think a dummy cake will be so much less expensive. I agree with TexasSugar. Price out the cost of the dummy and sheet cakes vs a real cake. For the dummy, I would price it based on how you would a real cake and then discount the price by maybe 10%. Then the sheet cakes would be charged as your basic buttercream price per serving.
She probably doesn't realize how much she will save by just doing the real cake. Be careful though if she wants just a dummy cake from you and not the sheet cakes. There's a good chance she could get sheet cakes from the grocery store and you don't want people thinking those were baked by you. They aren't nearly as good!
I offer dummy cakes for brides who insist on having their cake on display for 5-6 hours outside in the heat and humidity of summer, with kitchen cakes to be kept inside for cutting. I do pretty much what TexasSugar suggests, but charge 75% the cost of my normal cakes.
I've only had one request for a dummy because they were having ice cream cake cupcakes and the groom still wanted to have a cake to cut. So, I made a 3tier cake with a section cut out of one of the tiers that had real cake. It was a hit.
The section I cut out was exactly the size of the Wilton Mini loaf cakes, which is what I used in the space. When I cut the styrofoam, I used royal icing to secure plastic wrap to cover the surface. This way the real cake did not come in contact with the dummy. I then layered the mini loaves, covered in BC and gently placed in the space. The BC secured the real cake in place. I then decorated as if the entire cake was real. When they cut a slice out, no one else at the reception knew the rest was not real cake. Until they realized it was not being served.
What customer's don't realize that a dummy cake still takes the same amount of time to decorate. Don't be skimpy on the price.