Hi everyone. I am having a heck of a time deciding what to price my fondant accents at for each order. Do you charge per weight of fondant used or do you have a basic guideline you use? This in addition to the struggle I already face for pricing my cakes per serving is driving me nuts. HELP! Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.
If the accents are proportional to the size of the cake (for example, accents on the side of tiers), I would determine the cost for the requested number of servings -- based ingredient cost + labor + overhead + profit -- and divide it up into a per-serving price.
For example, if the accents for a 100 serving cake will take 5 hours to complete, the fondant used costs $20, my wage is $15/hour, and commercial kitchen rent is $15/hour, the additional cost would be $20 + ($30 * 5) = $170. Add a ~20% profit margin and you get a price of $200, so that would be an additional $2/serving.
If the accent is something like a topper that is not dependent on the size of the cake, I will just add a flat amount to the cake price.
I guess that is where I get confused. I never know how long it will take me to make an accent (and honestly, it's never very long to justify charging so much but others in my area do) and I have no clue how much the part of fondant I use to accent the cake costs.
It might be helpful to do some test runs on a dummy cake with different types of accents with varying levels of complexity. Weigh and record how much fondant you use each time, then time yourself for each trial run (including prep and cleanup).
I keep notes when I work on cakes because I'm still trying to figure out my timing on certain things.
On your next cake order note down the time you start working on the fondant pieces (including coloring time). Make a note when you're done. So if takes me 30 minutes to make all the diamonds for an 8 inch tier then I can use that to estimate my time for other things that use cutters.
I timed my "realistic" roses and they take 20-30 minutes each. It's just a fact of that style of rose for me.
I was shocked how long it took me to do the ruffle technique on a tier so I knew to up the cost of that style of cake.