kvand Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 5:06am
post #1 of

I run a licensed cake business.  Some of my competition charge more for tiered cakes than single tier cakes.  Others charge the same cost per serving regardless of the cakes configuration. from what I understand everyone charges more for exceptional decorations etc.  My question is, what do you do.  more for tiered? same for 50 servings doesn't matter if its tiered or not?

 

How about 3D? how much more (in general) do you charge per serving?  Do you have a minimum charge for anything carved?  I always have a hard time quoting 3D cakes. 

 

suggestions? inputs?  I want to hear it all!

105 replies
amethystjcm Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 6:41am
post #2 of

I think the simplest way is:

 

cake price quote = (raw materials and supplies) + (overhead fraction) + (estimated hours * $___/hour)

 

As a decorator, how much do you value your time? ($20/hour)?

 

You can also break down the hours and charge less/more for baking, torting, filling/icing, versus designing and decorating.

leah_s Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 7:08am
post #3 of

APricing has been pretty thoroughly discussed on here. Were there too many threads when you did a search?

kvand Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 7:21am
post #4 of

I have done the work of costing it out, factoring overhead and hourly wage etc, etc.... that wasn't my question.  I was just curious what all of you do as far as tiered and not tiered goes.  I can understand the argument to or not to charge more for tiered.  Personally, I can ice a single tier in about 10 minutes but if I am adding the time it takes to stack it and the additional cost of the materials to do so I think a tiered cake should cost more per serving than a single.  I was just interested to hear what all of your ideas on this was. (an other local decorator that I am friendly with feels a cake is a cake and a tiered cake to feed 50 should cost the same as a single tier to feed 50).  It's a friendly debate between us.  I end up doing many more single tiers than she does probably because I charge less for them.

 

I know pricing has been discussed to death but I didn't see a recent conversation about the tiered or not tiered pricing difference if any... maybe I used the wrong search terms but everything I saw was years old or was just people looking for the easy way to find their prices.  I don't necessarily want numbers... just yes's and no's. :)

 

Also, I realize that pricing is relative to your area so this is just purely out of curiosity of who thinks a 50 serving tiered cake should cost more than a 50 serving single tier cake.

kaylawaylalayla Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 7:31am
post #5 of

I don't personally have experience in the matter, but I agree with you. after all you have to bake a whole other cake, and if it's two tiers, it's possibly two different fillings, and your support structure. andlike you mentions icing and assembling time.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 11:15am
post #6 of

cake is a cake...and she is a decorator???? Cake is more then cake. Cake alone is a science that can take years to perfect. Decorating is an art, one that can take a lifetime to perfect.

esbcreations Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 12:11pm
post #7 of

AI charge more for tier cakes ..takes more time and more materials...

amethystjcm Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 5:38pm
post #8 of

Well, that's why in my first response, the price for the entire cake is calculated according to the total number of hours you think it will take to execute the design. This takes into account the fact that sculpted and tiered cakes take more effort, time, and skill (and different supplies and structural support) than sheet or single tier cakes. Just divide the total and you get the per slice price.

 

This way, you end up with a standard pricing system and don't have to justify an arbitrary "change" in pricing between tiered and non-tiered cakes. 

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 5:43pm
post #9 of

AIt depends on your process. If you mostly do tiered cakes and you have a process down where the labor involved in a multi-tiered cake is equivalent to a single tier cake with the same number of servings, then the price should be comparable.

carmijok Posted 14 Jun 2013 , 6:03pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

It depends on your process. If you mostly do tiered cakes and you have a process down where the labor involved in a multi-tiered cake is equivalent to a single tier cake with the same number of servings, then the price should be comparable.

 

Even if the labor is the same you still have to consider the cost of structure in a tiered cake be it using dowels, or SPS.   Unless one is over charging for a single tier to accommodate the added costs in a tiered cake so it will appear they are the same, then someone is losing money.

BatterUpCake Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 12:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by amethystjcm 

I think the simplest way is:

 

cake price quote = (raw materials and supplies) + (overhead fraction) + (estimated hours * $___/hour)

 

As a decorator, how much do you value your time? ($20/hour)?

 

You can also break down the hours and charge less/more for baking, torting, filling/icing, versus designing and decorating.

 

I could not use this because I am new at this and sloooooow..lol. If I charged even $10 an hour for my time my prices would be outrageous. Luckily I enjoy doing it and consider myself blessed that someone is willing to pay me for what I would love to do. I used to just make them for fun and give them away. I will get quicker with practice...I do enjoy reading all of these posts with different ideas. I am tryingto come up with a pricing page for my website...but am still doing research. I shopped around yesterday for a graduation cake I did and the prices were all over the page. But I found all but 1 charged more than I do and the bakery with an actual storefront charged double. Since many of these were probably unlicensed bakers I figure my price should be somewhere in the middle.

Stitches Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 1:34pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

. If I charged even $10 an hour for my time my prices would be outrageous. Luckily I enjoy doing it and consider myself blessed that someone is willing to pay me for what I would love to do.

Urg............I was ready to respond to your question but then when I read this, my opinion changed. Have you never seen threads about under charging on this site? If not, do a search and please start reading up on the topic.

BatterUpCake Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 1:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

Urg............I was ready to respond to your question but then when I read this, my opinion changed. Have you never seen threads about under charging on this site? If not, do a search and please start reading up on the topic.

I am not undercharging...As I said I am midway between the unlicensed home baker and the top tier local bakery. I am just saying that I am slower and if I charged $10/hr it would cost $100 for a $50 cake. No one knows how long it takes me to bake and decorate their cake. I think for my experience level my prices are totally appropriate. I have read up on that topic but charging by the hour would price me out of the market. Charging per serving is better for me and does not undercut anyone.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 2:25pm

AVery good point. I try to make the same one.

Mechanics have a standardized "hourly" for labor. Although it make take a beginner longer to (insert kewl car maintenance term here) or take half the time for an expert, they typically charge the same fixed time.

Skill level must be considered. It's not fair to charge someone 6 hours if the average would only be 3.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 3:28pm

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

As I said I am midway between the unlicensed home baker and the top tier local bakery.

The true market value is typically reflected in the price of legal businesses only, that's the price you should aim for. If you are including illegal businesses in your pricing analysis you are contributing to the devaluing of the local market.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 3:50pm

AIn a perfect world, there would be fair market value to consider. The market wouldn't be oversaturated, there would only be a few decorators in each area, all licensed and priced high because our art should be. They'd all network and be friends, and no one would undercut. Society would return to the time when you either paid a LOT for your outrageously awesome custom cake, you made it yourself, or you went to Walmart. We would command and dictate what fair market value was, based on what WE wanted. PERIOD. I'll stop dreaming now.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jun 2013 , 3:51pm

AYes, that was nearly incoherent rambling, but it's very early, so cut me some slack, k?:-D

Stitches Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 3:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


The true market value is typically reflected in the price of legal businesses only, that's the price you should aim for. If you are including illegal businesses in your pricing analysis you are contributing to the devaluing of the local market.

 If your not ready to charge for your actual time because you're slow/new that's o.k., but that's the difference between being an amateur and being a professional.

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 3:52am

A

Original message sent by Stitches

 If your not ready to charge for your actual time because you're slow/new that's o.k., but that's the difference between being an amateur and being a professional.

The difference between an amateur and a professional is that a professional is paid for their work while an amateur is not.

BatterUpCake Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 2:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

 If your not ready to charge for your actual time because you're slow/new that's o.k., but that's the difference between being an amateur and being a professional.

I find there are a few people on here who are snobs and like to insult people. Everyone has to start somewhere. If someone uses the per serving formula how does that make them any less of a professional that someone who uses any other method of pricing? Does that mean if you are super fast you should charge less?

Stitches Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 3:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

I find there are a few people on here who are snobs and like to insult people. Everyone has to start somewhere. If someone uses the per serving formula how does that make them any less of a professional that someone who uses any other method of pricing? Does that mean if you are super fast you should charge less?

I've tried to help you on this and your website thread and it's unbelievable to me that your calling me a snob. In your head you don't think you need any help, you think you've got everything figured out and you brag about your thick skin from being in the military. So why do you keep asking and missing such basic stuff? Why ask for help if you aren't going to take any of it in?  

BatterUpCake Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 3:07pm

AThis is not my thread. This was not my question. I made a comment on the OP's thread. i did not ask for help here.I did not ask how to price my cakes. I have taken everybody's advice and made the changes on my website so I don't see how you say I think I got it all figured out I just thought that was a very demeaning. I also don't see how making a comment about my military service is bragging?

carmijok Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 4:00pm

Soooo, does anyone on here charge the same as say...Ron Ben Israel?   I doubt it.   Skill level should play a great deal in pricing.  I mean...you could spend 24 hours on a cake that will end up on Cakewrecks.  Would it be worth $240 just because you spent the time but couldn't back it up with skill?
 

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 4:20pm

AThere are really two metrics at work here: quality and efficiency. If you can't execute a product at a higher quality level than cakewrecks, you probably should get some more practice before you start selling cakes in the first place. Above that minimum threshold, there are different levels of quality that will command different prices because they target different markets.

The efficiency metric takes care of itself in terms of pricing. Assuming you set a price based on the market you are targeting (which is often dependent on the quality level of your products), you will pay yourself a relatively low hourly wage if you aren't very efficient. As you improve and get faster, your hourly wage will automatically increase without changing your price.

BatterUpCake Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 5:39pm

Exactly what I have been trying to get across. As for the market maybe I am not a premium wedding confectionaire...but there is a large market for the types of cakes I do. Who else is going to make a unicorn eating rainbows and having butterflies fly from his rear end? Yes, that is an actual order that I have for next Saturday. It may be ridiculous but it will make my customer very happy and it will be delicious.

manddi Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 5:49pm

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

Exactly what I have been trying to get across. As for the market maybe I am not a premium wedding confectionaire...but there is a large market for the types of cakes I do. Who else is going to make a unicorn eating rainbows and having butterflies fly from his rear end? Yes, that is an actual order that I have for next Saturday. It may be ridiculous but it will make my customer very happy and it will be delicious.

I can't seem to decide if that's awesome or weird ;)

I'm gonna go with both!

BatterUpCake Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 5:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by manddi 


I can't seem to decide if that's awesome or weird icon_wink.gif

I'm gonna go with both!

LOL..definitely both. The story is that the woman's husband is so "perfect" that all of her friends say he is a mythical unicorn or that he eats rainbows and poops butterflies. I will post pics.

Norasmom Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 6:07pm

There's no way I could charge for my hourly time.  Call me an amateur, call me a non-professional, call me foolish...call me whatever...but it takes me FAR longer than many to make and perfect a cake.  Perhaps with time I will get faster and more efficient.  That being said, I love doing it and I'm still paid well for each cake, so there's no undercutting.  

HannahsMomi Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 7:12pm

I had no idea that how we all charge for cakes is such a contentious issue! icon_smile.gif  I think each of us just has to use what works best for us at the time.  What works for me now in pricing my cakes may not work for me later.  As I get faster, I will factor in the number of hours it takes me to make a cake.  But for now, I don't think it is fair for me to do so.  And I don't think that makes me less of a professional.  I am very good at what I do, just not as fast as some others may be.  So to sum up my opinion...do what is best for you.  There is no set answer that works for everyone.

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jun 2013 , 7:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

It depends on your process. If you mostly do tiered cakes and you have a process down where the labor involved in a multi-tiered cake is equivalent to a single tier cake with the same number of servings, then the price should be comparable.

Also, when you ice a single tier to a two tier cake, no matter how fast you do it, you will still have another tier to ice. The labor cannot possibly be the same, unless you make your single tiers really well, and your two tiers are craptastic. Also, the cost of the support, whether is be the cost of SPS that you just pop in, or the time it takes to bake your cake and fill it and ice it perfectly level so you can just pop them in, or even taking a hack saw to them, if you haven't baked it and iced it to fit the supports. Or with bubble tea straws, measuring and cutting them all level, or with dowels, the wood ones have to be sawn through, and the plastic ones are hard as hell to cut, unless you have a special knife that is razor sharp. Plus, if you freeze your icing firm before you stack it, then there is more time involved. Plus, you have not 1, but 2 cakes to decorates, and most of the time, the decorations are not the same, so you can't just assembly line them.  

 

I charge fifty cents less per serving for single tier cakes. If I have a huge single tier cake, say a 16", I charge even less, up to $1 less per serving, since it hardly takes any time at all, compared to a 3 tier that serves the same.

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