61999 Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 9:03pm
post #1 of

I need some advice. Here's the situation.

Event Planner brings the clients.

I conduct tastings on my dime but make them in Event Planners licensed kitchen.

I work in Event Planner's licensed kitchen. I make the wedding cakes. I pay for all the ingredients. I deliver the cakes (no charge).

All cakes are priced by the slice. Minimum is $3.50.

Planner get $1.50, I get $2.50. If there is any upccharge it is split 50/50.

Yes, I realize this is a ludicrous proposition. But my question is, if I am working in "free" space what is reasonable/customary to negotiate the commission to be?

On a side note, I will be paying yearly to use the licensed kitchen (Cottage Food Act not active in my county) and Event Planner would charge me kitchen rental when working on my own cakes for my own company which I am organizing.

Also, I am a professional pastry chef, not necessarily a cake decorator. As pastry chef I did much more and so I did not focuse on wedding cakes (which is what I would be doing now on my own). Therefore, I don't have tons of pictures because I never took them.

27 replies
QTCakes1 Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:09pm
post #2 of

I want to make sure I understand. Are you paying a commission AND paying rent. I would NOT be doing both.

61999 Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:14pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I want to make sure I understand. Are you paying a commission AND paying rent. I would NOT be doing both.




I pay rent only when working on product for MY business.
No rent when working on cake for event planner.

jason_kraft Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:20pm
post #4 of

That is a huge commission you'll be paying the event planner. You would probably be better off operating as an entirely separate business entity and just paying rent, reputable event planners don't ask for referral fees or commissions.

shanter Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:37pm
post #5 of

$1.50 + 2.50 = $4.00, not $3.50, so I'm not sure about the percentages, but the commission would be 30-40%. As Jason said, that's HUGE.

ApplegumPam Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:44pm
post #6 of

Save your money - let your work speak for itself

A GOOD Event Planner should seek out the BEST for their client - if you happen to 'fit the bill' it costs you nothing

QTCakes1 Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:50pm
post #7 of

I would only pay rent. I would NEVER give a planner a commission off cake customers she brought me, ever. Like mentioned above, a planner's job is to find the best vendor to her customerd. Not to mention she gets paid by her customer!

QTCakes1 Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 10:50pm
post #8 of

I would only pay rent. I would NEVER give a planner a commission off cake customers she brought me, ever. Like mentioned above, a planner's job is to find the best vendor to her customerd. Not to mention she gets paid by her customer!

61999 Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 2:23am
post #9 of

I went back to their website. They advertise themselves as a full catering company, but also supply a whole lot of other stuff - maybe that's where I thought they were an event planning company.

Anyhow, how do cake designers charge if working under a caterer? Do they normally pay for their own ingredients and deliver the cake as well?

ApplegumPam Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 2:29am

I don't understand what you mean by 'working under a caterer'

If the caterer just commissions (hires) you to make the cake then you just quote as normal and make the cake and deliver it AND handle ALL communication with the client - ie paid independently than the caterer and into YOUR account

If you are working for the caterer in another capacity and then they ask you to make the cake - then I guess you are already working for wages and this is just another aspect of your job - you would need to set in place some sort of agreed 'work' guidelines - eg IF you think your cake work should be paid more than your current job - IF you are employed by the caterer then all your expenses should be met by them and you only get wages

61999 Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 2:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumPam

I don't understand what you mean by 'working under a caterer'




From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.

LKing12 Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 2:57am

Wow, You are being taken advantage of-big time. There is no way that I am going to give any one a percentage of my money! NO WAY! They evidently are not a full service catering company if they do not provide wedding cakes.
If you can only produce cakes by using thier kitchen, then they saw you coming.
I have worked with caterers, they send the customer to me and I send them customers. There has never been any money exchanged-fees whatever.
You should try to re-negotiate and rent only. When you figure out your profit, the caterer is going to be the winner in this deal.

ApplegumPam Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 3:02am

I am in Australia so not familiar with the form you have quoted.

It sounds like a 'statement of income'

I don't think I would work under this system - unless it is going to give you work that you wouldn't/couldn't normally get on your own. WHY should a caterer get such a large chunk just for referring work to you ... but guess what? - somebody will be rushing to jump your spot - no matter how bad the situation sounds - some people are prepared to work for peanuts (and most don't even know they are doing it )

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:27am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.




They are attempting to hire you as a subcontractor. There are several threads about subcontracted services... this one might be helpful:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638033&highlight=subcontracted

BTW, when I made wedding cakes for caterers they were never paid a fee or commission. Everything was done by me, I was referred by them.

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:29am

Duplicate post.

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:30am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.




They are attempting to hire you as a subcontractor. There are several threads about subcontracted services... this one might be helpful:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638033&highlight=subcontracted

BTW, when I made wedding cakes for caterers they were never paid a fee or commission. Everything was done by me, I was referred by them.

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:31am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.




They are attempting to hire you as a subcontractor. There are several threads about subcontracted services... this one might be helpful:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638033&highlight=subcontracted

BTW, when I made wedding cakes for caterers they were never paid a fee or commission. Everything was done by me, I was referred by them.

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:32am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.




They are attempting to hire you as a subcontractor. There are several threads about subcontracted services... this one might be helpful:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638033&highlight=subcontracted

BTW, when I made wedding cakes for caterers they were never paid a fee or commission. Everything was done by me, I was referred by them.

Unlimited Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:34am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.

I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.




They are attempting to hire you as a subcontractor. There are several threads about subcontracted services... this one might be helpful:
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=638033&highlight=subcontracted

BTW, when I made wedding cakes for caterers they were never paid a fee or commission. Everything was done by me, I was referred by them.

Bluehue Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 7:46am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumPam

I don't understand what you mean by 'working under a caterer'



From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.
Oh walk away.... you are being ripped off.
Here in Australia...
Event planner contacts a Caker...
Event planner asks how much would an ABC cake cost.
Caker gives total cost - including delivery.
Event planner goes back to customer and gives the ABC price + HER mark up.
You pay your own tax as the your income goes through your books

Now if you are using the Event Planners Kitchen - farenough - you would have to pay for gads/ekectric/water - that is all.
And this should be a completly different transaction besides the cake.

I only did one cake for an Event Planner - never again.
It was because another Caker fell ill and couldn't make the wedding cake.
Too much stuffing around - dealing through the Event Planner and not the customer.... not worth the emails back and forth ..and the phone calls from the Event Planner wondering how i was going. Pftttt, never again.

Bluehue


I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.


Bluehue Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 7:47am
Quote:
Originally Posted by 61999

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumPam

I don't understand what you mean by 'working under a caterer'



From what this person was proposing they would not be paying me wages, I would get about 60% of whatever the wedding cake cost but I also have to pay for the ingredients, deliver it plus the gas and mileage. Ludicrous, I know.
Oh walk away.... you are being ripped off.
Here in Australia...
Event planner contacts a Caker...
Event planner asks how much would an ABC cake cost.
Caker gives total cost - including delivery.
Event planner goes back to customer and gives the ABC price + HER mark up.
You pay your own tax as the your income goes through your books

Now if you are using the Event Planners Kitchen - farenough - you would have to pay for gads/ekectric/water - that is all.
And this should be a completly different transaction besides the cake.

I only did one cake for an Event Planner - never again.
It was because another Caker fell ill and couldn't make the wedding cake.
Too much stuffing around - dealing through the Event Planner and not the customer.... not worth the emails back and forth ..and the phone calls from the Event Planner wondering how i was going. Pftttt, never again.

Bluehue


I was just wondering what people normally negotiate when doing wedding cakes for a caterer if they are not a "full time employee". At the end of the year a 1099 form would be issued to me for monies received.


vgcea Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 9:52am

OP your posts are a little confusing but from what I grasp, you're being taken advantage of.

You pay the cost, labor, and delivery while all she does is recommend you (which she should be doing anyway since she's a planner and the client is paying her already for such services).

Have you tried looking around for rental rates for other kitchens? Calculate the cost of using her kitchen (your current arrangement including the hefty chunk of your cake money you're giving her) and compare it to renting on your own. It might be cheaper overall to cut this person off, if not you both need to renegotiate new and fair terms.

How many cake decorators does she have working under these conditions? I bet not many. It doesn't seem right.

vgcea Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 9:59am

OP your posts are a little confusing but from what I grasp, you're being taken advantage of.

You pay the cost, labor, and delivery while all she does is recommend you (which she should be doing anyway since she's a planner and the client is paying her already for such services).

Have you tried looking around for rental rates for other kitchens? Calculate the cost of using her kitchen (your current arrangement including the hefty chunk of your cake money you're giving her) and compare it to renting on your own. It might be cheaper overall to cut this person off, if not you both need to renegotiate new and fair terms.

How many cake decorators does she have working under these conditions? I bet not many. It doesn't seem right.

vgcea Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 10:00am

OP your posts are a little confusing but from what I grasp, you're being taken advantage of.

You pay the cost, labor, and delivery while all she does is recommend you (which she should be doing anyway since she's a planner and the client is paying her already for such services).

Have you tried looking around for rental rates for other kitchens? Calculate the cost of using her kitchen (your current arrangement including the hefty chunk of your cake money you're giving her) and compare it to renting on your own. It might be cheaper overall to cut this person off, if not you both need to renegotiate new and fair terms.

How many cake decorators does she have working under these conditions? I bet not many. It doesn't seem right.

vgcea Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 10:03am

OP your posts are a little confusing but from what I grasp, you're being taken advantage of.

You pay the cost, labor, and delivery while all she does is recommend you (which she should be doing anyway since she's a planner and the client is paying her already for such services).

Have you tried looking around for rental rates for other kitchens? Calculate the cost of using her kitchen (your current arrangement including the hefty chunk of your cake money you're giving her) and compare it to renting on your own. It might be cheaper overall to cut this person off, if not you both need to renegotiate new and fair terms.

How many cake decorators does she have working under these conditions? I bet not many. It doesn't seem right.

costumeczar Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 12:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

That is a huge commission you'll be paying the event planner. You would probably be better off operating as an entirely separate business entity and just paying rent, reputable event planners don't ask for referral fees or commissions.




I agree with this. Keep it separate and pay rent only.

QTCakes1 Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:36pm

I don't understand the confusion. If you pay rent to make your cakes, why would you also pay them a comission on top of the rent, just because they bring you a customer. I actually work for a caterer. I get customers from them all the time. I pay them nothing. The one time the did book a wedding cake, Itold them what my pay would be for them to have me make the cake for them. They opted not to do that again, but have me contract my own clients.

jason_kraft Posted 22 Aug 2012 , 5:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I don't understand the confusion. If you pay rent to make your cakes, why would you also pay them a comission on top of the rent, just because they bring you a customer.



The situation outlined in the OP is that the baker would pay rent (no commission) when making cakes for their own clients, but would not pay rent (just a super-high commission) when making cakes for the event planner.

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