kger Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 4:18pm

I just recently got roped into making a 4th tier (6-8-10-12) because it was fewer servings than a 3 tier.(6-10-14). This was using Earlene's chart and the goal was to get as close to 100 as possible. So, the 4 tier per her chart is 98 servings. While I'm happy to not have to deal with a 14", there's still 4 cakes to make versus 3.

Apart from adding in materials as a surcharge (board, box, supports), do you guys add anything to account for multiple tiers? Should that 4th tier be factored in, even though it's fewer servings than the 3 tier?

20 replies
carmijok Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 5:02pm

According to this chart:
http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.cgi?pan=Round%2C+6%22&;pan=Round%2C+10%22&pan=Round%2C+14%22&option=2&option=Select+Cakulator&chart=wiltonWedding2Inch&chart=Select+Chart&.defaults=Reset&.cgifields=pan

Your 4 tier will have more servings not less.

But even if it does have less you should factor in all your costs and time because even though it's smaller you are still making an additional cake which equals batter, supports, boards and time plus decor. It's going to be a taller cake and stacking issues need to factor in as well. So whatever you are charging, say it's $4 a serving, you should up it to at least $5 per serving. IMO

carolinagirlcakes Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 5:32pm

Yeah the 4-tier cake will serve roughly 130 people based on 1"x2" serving size. The 3-tier will serve roughly 128 people.

If you are looking for 100 # of servings try this... 6", 9" 12" rounds.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 5:34pm

Not having to deal with a 14" round probably compensates for the additional tier so I wouldn't increase the per serving price, but Earlene's chart has generous serving sizes so make sure to charge appropriately, $5/serving would be a good starting point.

KoryAK Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 6:21pm

By the Wilton chart, a 6-10-14 serves 130 and a 6-8-10-12 serves 134.... everyone has a different idea of what they like to go by but for future reference, you are leaving money on the table by going with Earlene's chart.

I agree with the PP about the 6-9-12, that's right at 100 servings and a very proportional look.

Now to answer your actual question, for me I don't charge per tier. It's per serving based on design and that's it. 100 serving 6 tier and 100 serving 2 tier are the same price.

kger Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 7:10pm

Hmm. I have always used Earlene's. So I should really switch to the Wilton chart? I've seen IndyDebi's pic of her Wilton portions, but have still stuck with Earlene's. Well, too late now because this girl has a contract for a 4 tier, but I have another tasting this weekend. Guess I will use the Wilton "Cakulator". Does anyone use Earlene's?

CWR41 Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 9:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

Hmm. I have always used Earlene's. So I should really switch to the Wilton chart? I've seen IndyDebi's pic of her Wilton portions, but have still stuck with Earlene's. Well, too late now because this girl has a contract for a 4 tier, but I have another tasting this weekend. Guess I will use the Wilton "Cakulator". Does anyone use Earlene's?




You're giving away free cake servings when you use Earlene's chart. Wilton's chart is the industry standard of 8 cu. in. servings=1"x2"x4" for layer cakes or 2"x2"x2" for sheet cakes, which is also how the venue will slice.

Wilton doesn't have a "Cakulator"... that's Metria's.

carolinagirlcakes Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 9:10pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

Hmm. I have always used Earlene's. So I should really switch to the Wilton chart? I've seen IndyDebi's pic of her Wilton portions, but have still stuck with Earlene's. Well, too late now because this girl has a contract for a 4 tier, but I have another tasting this weekend. Guess I will use the Wilton "Cakulator". Does anyone use Earlene's?



You're giving away free cake servings when you use Earlene's chart. Wilton's chart is the industry standard of 8 cu. in. servings=1"x2"x4" for layer cakes or 2"x2"x2" for sheet cakes, which is also how the venue will slice.

Wilton doesn't have a "Cakulator"... that's Metria's.




I think she was referring to the link that was provided in a previous comment. If you click on it it takes you to a "cake + calculator = cakulator" site. You can choose Wilton servings (party or wedding), cake pan sizes and it will calculate your servings for you. So helpful icon_smile.gif

kger Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 9:19pm

See, I knew I wasn't off my rocker:
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-54654.html

I read these things ages ago, and that's when I made my Earlene's decision.

In any event, I still need to figure out if I will be adding a charge per tier, because regardless of whose chart I use, I could get 130 out of a 3 tier or a 4 tier.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 9:22pm

There's absolutely nothing wrong with using Earlene's chart. You are only giving away free cake if you set the per-serving price the same as Wilton's chart...since Earlene's servings are bigger you should charge more, and of course let the customer and venue know this.

TexasSugar Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 10:10pm

To put what Jason is saying in to number terms.

Earlene's Chart says a 8in serves 15, right? Wilton says it serves 24.

If you charge $3 per serving, then you are charging $45.
If I charge $3 per serving using Wilton's chart it is $72.

So we are making the same cake, with the same price per serving, and I am making $27 more on it.

sillywabbitz Posted 16 Feb 2012 , 10:32pm

I am always afraid of the price per serving issue so the last few cakes I made were for people I knew well and I asked them how many servings they had left over. These were non-professional cake people and I wanted to know how "true" wilton was and actually so far it's been dead on.

However, all cakes serve based on how they are cut. For wedding cakes, Wilton wedding is the standard and a good venue knows how to cut a cake but the average joe does not. So I started telling people an 8 inch cake serves between 20 and 24 people depending on how you cut the cake. I actually find the Wilton Party serving size to be the closest to how people(not pros) actually cut a cake. So I always list the Wilton party to Wilton wedding specs. You do have to price the cake accordingly if you're using a larger portion size than a competitor and "advertise" ie communicate that to your customers.

CWR41 Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 12:28am
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

To put what Jason is saying in to number terms.

Earlene's Chart says a 8in serves 15, right? Wilton says it serves 24.

If you charge $3 per serving, then you are charging $45.
If I charge $3 per serving using Wilton's chart it is $72.

So we are making the same cake, with the same price per serving, and I am making $27 more on it.




No, that's giving away free cake... selling for $45 when it was worth $72.
What Jason is saying, "since Earlene's servings are bigger you should charge more" [per serving]...
Wilton 24 x $3. = $72
Earlene 15 x $4.80 = $72

ajwonka Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 1:33am
Quote:
Quote:

From KoryAK: Now to answer your actual question, for me I don't charge per tier. It's per serving based on design and that's it. 100 serving 6 tier and 100 serving 2 tier are the same price.




For me, a 6-tier and 2-tier wouldn't be the same price. A 6-tier would need significantly more labor from me: centering all of those tiers, torting each to exactly 4" for SPS, more pans to wash, more cake boards to cut, etc. There'd definitely be an upcharge for 6 tiers vs 2!

kger Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 2:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwonka


For me, a 6-tier and 2-tier wouldn't be the same price. A 6-tier would need significantly more labor from me: centering all of those tiers, torting each to exactly 4" for SPS, more pans to wash, more cake boards to cut, etc. There'd definitely be an upcharge for 6 tiers vs 2!




Yes, this is my point. So I guess there's not an industry standard or consensus for this? Another tier is a minimum of 3 hours of my time to bake, cover, decorate, and stack.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 3:11am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajwonka

For me, a 6-tier and 2-tier wouldn't be the same price. A 6-tier would need significantly more labor from me: centering all of those tiers, torting each to exactly 4" for SPS, more pans to wash, more cake boards to cut, etc. There'd definitely be an upcharge for 6 tiers vs 2!



Realistically, the smallest feasible 6 tier cake would be 4/6/8/10/12/14 at 167 servings, and the smallest 2 tier cake that would feed that many would be something like a 17/14 (which would still look pretty weird). The 2 tier would involve less stacking labor but more decorating labor and would probably be a wash.

You can reduce the number of pans by baking a few half sheets and cutting out the smaller rounds.

kger Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 4:12am

How many servings in a 4"?

KoryAK Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 4:14am

6 for 8 cu in.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 4:16am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kger

How many servings in a 4"?


I was using Earlene's chart, so for slices with a surface area of 3 sq in you're looking at about 4 servings (2 * 2 * pi / 3).

fl_cake_lover Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 6:08am

I got so tired of feeling anxious about servings that I finally combined Earlene's and Wilton's charts together and let the clients pick what size they want. For example, on my website it states that a 6" feeds 8 (Earlene's #) to 12 (Wilton's #) and an 8" feeds 15-24. Under my stacked cakes I tell clients a 6+8 cake feeds anywhere from 23-36. For my stacked cakes I then used the Wilton servings to calculate a price, so a 6+8 stacked cake is $3.25 x 36= $117. I did add a note to clients as to why there was a range in the sizes. The smaller # of servings is for when grandma might be cutting huge slices for everyone and the larger numbers are for catered parties where a professional knows how to cut cakes of all shapes and sizes.

If clients tell me they are having a small party with 10 people, I let them choose if they want to go bigger or smaller. 99% of the time they order the bigger cake. I no longer worry if there will be enough cake or way too much because now the decision is in the clients' hands.

Baker_Rose Posted 17 Feb 2012 , 6:50pm

Yea, my prices are based on the cake size, not the servings. I ask how it will be cut and say that the cake with serve X to X depending on how it is cut. I also have the wilton cutting guide to print out for them.

I have found that people usually seem to over order about 20 servings with a wedding cake as a "buffer".

I tell them how it is, I have one set price for each size cake---base cakes cost X and more labor intensive cakes cost X and that is that. It's up to them to cut the cake.

Trying to figure out the servings and figure a charge per serving was making me nuts, so now I have one standard and that is how I do it.

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