How do you charge for detail work such as brush embroidery or hand painting? Do you list it out as 'extra design work' or is it just built into a higher price per serving? I usually charge separately for figures and RKT pieces, but I'm not sure if a hourly up charge add on is the way to go or if the extra time involved with doing an all over brush embroidered floral pattern should just be reflected in the cake price.
How do you break down elements (or not) for the invoice?
I charge a per serving fee for buttercream cakes. If you want fondant then that adds to the per serving price. For detail work, I estimate the number of hours and charge $25/hour as an "art fee". To me, it makes for a much more consistent pricing scale.
My base price per serving includes 3 hours (on average - obviously the number of servings change the number of hours I would allot for a cake) of icing and decorating. Some people use less than that, and there is no discount for that. Most people get around 3 hours of decorating (which is why this number is in place, it's not arbitrary) Then if their design is more intricate, I think about how long it would take me, and I think it's just experience to really know how long it would take, I add $25 -$50 per hour (over 3) depending on what I'm doing additionally and how much additional product is involved.
For example, brush embroidery takes more time, but it's just RI (priced at $1.85 per batch) and time; but fondant ruffles take time and take close to if not more than the amount of fondant with the addition of gumpaste that is already covering the cake.
I don't break down their pricing. I design the cake and then I say, okay, I'm going to do some math for a moment and give you a price quote for your cake. And then I look at it, go about my math, and then say, okay, based on the design we have for you here, this is your total price (cake, decoration, taxes, delivery setup). If they have not exceeded the base price, I tell them that. If they have, I say, there is some additional cost for the intricacy of your design, but it's so beautiful and will match your event...
I will NOT break down cost per decoration section for people, I did when it first started, so I was like, okay, I've added $45 for your gumpaste roses. And she would be like, well, can I have half the roses so it would be $22.50? Well, that's not really the way it works, you pay a base for me to set up and make roses, it's not exactly half the time to make half the roses.... uuugh, so no more of that. Just this is the price. Nobody really asks anymore anyway.