Am I Charging Too Much?

Decorating By Lucygoosey Updated 14 Apr 2012 , 3:14pm by jason_kraft

Lucygoosey Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 12:49am
post #1 of 6

I have a request to make a 3 tier white fondant wedding cake for 75 guests.
I live in NYC and prices for ingredients and non edible materials to make any cake are pretty high. I am charging $525 including delivery to the bronx ($40 cab ride)for this cake which is 1 tier red velvet with creamcheese filling, and 2 tiers vanilla with dulce de leche filling. She wants bottom tier stenciled in damask pattern in turquiose , (1 stencil $25) middle tier with 3 turquoise fondant bands and top tier in a diamond pattern with pearls. Also 2 large white gumpaste orchids. She wants it square. I'm going by the wilton serving chart and figure 10,8,6 inch by 4or 5 inch tall tiers.So far I have spent $165 at the cake supply store. I can't buy in bulk because I don't do many cakes. I have yet to purchase the ingredients for making the actual cakes, fillings and italian buttercream. All my cakes are from scratch so ingredients are also pricey.
I guess my question is am I justified in charging $525? I always seem to underprice my cakes given all the hours I put into making a one of a kind cake.

5 replies
leah_s Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 1:27am
post #2 of 6

Well, right off the bat, you're got 100 servings, not 75. Those dimensions will give you 75 servings in *rounds*, but you get more servings out of squares.

For 100 servings, you're charging $5.25 cents per servings. Actually that sounds low for NYC.

Mexx Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 1:34am
post #3 of 6

I looked at your photos and your work is very good. I don't think you're over-charging her at all. Personally, I would have made the delivery extra rather than include it in the cost. You also have to factor in your time to get it there and get yourself back home. The equipment you have to buy (stencil, pans) are things that you'll use again so you really shouldn't work them into the price of your cake. Things to include in your pricing over and above the ingredients are the extras like the boards, support structure, pearls, ribbon, etc. You're also doing two different flavours so there's always an up-charge for that and you've got to factor in the cost of the orchids. They're time consuming so $10-$15 each isn't unreasonable. I don't know what the prices are for NYC but I think your price sounds reasonable to me. Have you already got this order? If yes, then the couple obviously think they're getting a good deal.

PS - How on earth do you deliver a tiered cake in a NYC cab?

jason_kraft Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 2:25am
post #4 of 6

How long will this order take to complete, and how much are you paying in commercial kitchen rent, license fees, etc.?

Lucygoosey Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 3:01pm
post #5 of 6

Thank you for the repsonses. You guys are awesome.
Leah_S: Your cakes are beautiful and your advice was very helpful.
It just seemed like a small cake for that price until you cleared it up for me that it was actually 100 servings.

Mexx: Thank you as well for your helpful input. You are right about the flowers.
At the cake supply store a tiny gumpaste orchid was $12.99!
As to the cab delivery, it is a friend of mine so I know he will be a careful driver and the cakes will be assembled at the location.

Jason-Kraft: I usually bake and make my frostings and fillings one day and fill and decorate the next day. So about 2 very long days, sometimes into the night depending on the design. I also make any flowers a week in advance.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Apr 2012 , 3:14pm
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucygoosey

Jason-Kraft: I usually bake and make my frostings and fillings one day and fill and decorate the next day. So about 2 very long days, sometimes into the night depending on the design. I also make any flowers a week in advance.



From a costing perspective your minimum price should give you a decent wage for your time, so if you assume 25 hours total, pay yourself $10/hour, and pay $20/hour in commercial kitchen rent (since NY requires an inspected kitchen for selling food directly to customer) you are looking at $750in labor + overhead alone. Add $165 in ingredients and you're at $915, then add 20% profit and you have $1098.

Whether or not this cake will be worth doing really depends on what you are paying for your commercial kitchen, even if you don't pay yourself a wage at all you would probably be losing money at the $525 price.

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