I will be meeting with a customer in the next couple of weeks who has asked me to do a cake that is designed with a stencil on the cake sides. The design calls for 4 different stencils that I do not have and will cost me around $80 to purchase. How would you factor in this expense to the cake cost? Would you charge the entire $$ to the customer, half the $$, or none of the $$? I'm not wanting to eat this cost but know I will end up with stencils to use for possible future orders. What to do, what to do . . .
Sorry, but no, you do not pass it on in so many words as that...As much as I would love to! I have several sets or stencils that cost $80 I will probably never use again.
You can charge a premium for a stenciled cake, because they are a pain the butt. I don't know how many serving you are doing, but you could add .50 a serving and if it is a 160 serving cake, you will be even! If it is less than that, maybe you will make your money back next time. It is the cost of business.
I would personally chard 1/4 or 1/3 the price...... that is just me though.
You can add it in however you like (any I think 30-50%) is fair, but you don't CALL it that to the customer. It's just part of the cost of having the stenciling done.
The style and design of the cake determines the cost as much as the servings. I charge more for a square cake, more for a cake with fondant accents, more for a cake that requires special ingredients...
This is really a judgment call. If you don't think you will ever use the stencils again, then absolutely charge the full price to the customer (as KoryAK said don't break this out separately), there's no reason for you to take a loss on the order. However you should also offer an alternative design that uses supplies you already have at a significantly lower price, nine times out of ten the customer will pick the alternative design.
If you think you will use the stencil all the time then you probably don't need to pass on the cost at all. Anywhere in between these two scenarios would involve charging a percentage of the cost based on the expected life span of the stencil and how often you can see yourself using it.
Thank you all for your input. I think I will hide the cost in the $/serving to make up at least some of the cost. You guys are the best!
There is the starting at price then as things are added (filling, non basic flavor, intricate design) then the price goes up. So part of making the intricate design is the purchase of the stencils then pass the full price on.
I didn't love stencils, because you are stuck with the size they are and there is no wiggle room. If you think you can reproduce the design with the cricut cake then that would be something you would use again and again. An investment. Some places have them for under $100. Just a thought.
To me if it is something that is very specific to that person and you can never use it again, then I would charge for it.
If it is something that you can reuse again in the future then I look at it as a investment in your business the same as you would cake pans or other cake tools.
I had a customer recently who wanted alot of fondant details on the sides of her cake that took molds I do not have and would never use again. I told her the cost of them and told her she would have to pay for them if she wanted me to do the cake because I was already not charging her alot. Didn't hear back from her and I am ok with that - wasn't a cake I really wanted to do anyway