kerry126 Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:07am
post #1 of

I quoted a wedding cake buttercream very simple design 3 - tier at $3.00 a serving.  Customer came back and told me they had a quote for $1.45 a serving.  What??? How is that possible, I would be paying for your wedding cake if I charged that. 

 

I told her good luck.  

 

Is my price that far out of range?  I am in the DFW area in Texas.  Now, I am second guessing myself. 

 

Any one have any advise?

18 replies
jason_kraft Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:11am
post #2 of

AEither the customer is not telling the truth, or you have local competitors who are running charities instead of businesses.

For the $3/serving cake, how much is your cost, including ingredients, labor, and allocated overhead?

kerry126 Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:43am
post #3 of

Jason - Thank you for your reply.  I am fairly new at cake decorating - five years. My basic vanilla recipe and buttercream cakes roughly run me about $1.25 a serving to make.  I am still trying to figure labor and allocated overhead.  How do you know how much time you are going to spend on decorating each cake? 

 

I bake from home under the Texas Cottage Food Law and I just don't know how to figure out my allocated overhead.  Any help you have would be great. 

 

I also have an interview with a local specialized bakery for part time and seasonal help, so I can learn more.  I have complied a portfolio of my work and have my food handlers permit.  Do you have any advice for this?

kikiandkyle Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:54am
post #4 of

AThat bride is going to know why you charge more than the other baker on her wedding day when she's looking at the cake wreck she just dropped $50 on. Leave the cheap clients for the cheap bakers.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:59am
post #5 of

ACheck out the Pricing Formula and Allocated Overhead links in my signature below for more info. As for figuring out decorating time, you should already have a pretty good idea of how long you spent on each cake in your portfolio (if you don't, make each one again and time yourself). Based on this information you should be able to extrapolate conservative estimates for new designs.

Norasmom Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 3:06am
post #6 of

You didn't charge too much, $3.00/serving is reasonable for a simple design, but I wouldn't go any lower...!.  

kerry126 Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 3:09am
post #7 of

I told her get a contract and make sure you see "the baker's" work.  I would hate to be the source of anyone's wedding cake wrecks.  I would never forgive myself. 

MimiFix Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 3:49am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry126 

I would hate to be the source of anyone's wedding cake wrecks.  I would never forgive myself. 

 

This sounds a little extreme. You're running a business, someone asked for a quote, you gave an honest figure. If the bride chooses to go with a cheap baker and ends up with a cake wreck, that was her choice. It's not on you.

howsweet Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 2:46pm
post #9 of

She may have found someone to make a perfectly lovely cake for $1.45 per serving. There's no reason to automatically assume it's going to be a cake wreck.

kikiandkyle Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 5:32pm

AShe might, but chances are she didn't. Then again there are plenty of decent bakers on here who give their cakes away so who knows.

beccaskitchen Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 5:53pm

I'm from missouri and here the most expensive you will find is $3.00 per servings those of us that work from our home charge anywhere from 1.50-2.00 per serving maybe the baker or the bride is from a diffrent area and isn't used to seeing a price set higher than they are used to or maybe this baker is new and is under estimating herself or possibly building her portfolio i do know that from where i am from people who start out price themselves low untill they build a client base thats how the smaller community works. anyhow i believe if you are within the price range of local bakers and the quality of your cakes is that of the local bakers then i would deff keep my prices set. you are going to have some who wont book with you and some who will. also to gain acceptance with wedding cakes have you thought about offering a free small cake for the 1 yr anniversary? that goes over here really good. it makes them feel like there getting more than what they are paying for i hope this has helped and that i havent overstepped boundaries thanks and have a nice day!!
 

ellavanilla Posted 19 Aug 2013 , 7:14pm

i think we should encourage everyone to charge a base of $3/serving for tiered cakes. As long as fuel is over $3/gallon and butter $3/lb, it only makes sense. If your skills don't equal $3/serve then maybe it's back to the drawing board until they do.

howsweet Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 12:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by beccaskitchen 

I'm from missouri and here the most expensive you will find is $3.00 per servings those of us that work from our home charge anywhere from 1.50-2.00 per serving maybe the baker or the bride is from a diffrent area and isn't used to seeing a price set higher than they are used to or maybe this baker is new and is under estimating herself or possibly building her portfolio i do know that from where i am from people who start out price themselves low untill they build a client base thats how the smaller community works. anyhow i believe if you are within the price range of local bakers and the quality of your cakes is that of the local bakers then i would deff keep my prices set. you are going to have some who wont book with you and some who will. also to gain acceptance with wedding cakes have you thought about offering a free small cake for the 1 yr anniversary? that goes over here really good. it makes them feel like there getting more than what they are paying for i hope this has helped and that i havent overstepped boundaries thanks and have a nice day!!
 

How can anyone make a living selling custom cake for $1.50 per serving? Do they work a lot faster in those areas? Less friction in the air or something? Are ingredients a fourth of the price? I'd love to know how that works.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 12:29am
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

How can anyone make a living selling custom cake for $1.50 per serving? Do they work a lot faster in those areas? Less friction in the air or something? Are ingredients a fourth of the price? I'd love to know how that works.

I just looked at the price list form the restaurant supply I buy a lot of my ingredients from, so they are cheaper than grocery stores.

For a 3 tier cake for 100 people, using a super basic marshmallow fondant, shortening frosting, straight cake mixes with oil/eggs/water, not milk or any other add-ins, cake boards, supports and a half price drum form michaels, (lol), it would cost me $66.

That leaves $84 to cover any extra decorations, electric, insurance, licensing, gas, water, advertising, work phone, website, etc etc etc, never mind an hourly wage.

 

I have a friend who lives in rural West Virginia, and every time I visit her I am amazed by how low the cost of living is compared to where I am from, but even there, there's no way $1.50 would make her any money.

 

I'm not trying to sound like a bully to anyone who charges that, but you are coming away with about $20 a cake, if a cake only took an hour start to finish, that would be fine. If you want to sell, and make a viable busniess for yourself, you have to sit down and work all those factors through.

tracycakes Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 2:16am

AThere is someone locally advertising $1.00 per slice but when it collapsed, the planner called me begging for a dummy cake for the reception and when discovered it was underbaked, they bought sheet cakes from the grocery store. She used bamboo skewers for support. Just because someone advertises for a cheap amount doesn't mean they can actually make it

You did not charge too little.

Annabakescakes Posted 20 Aug 2013 , 4:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 

How can anyone make a living selling custom cake for $1.50 per serving? Do they work a lot faster in those areas? Less friction in the air or something? Are ingredients a fourth of the price? I'd love to know how that works.

I just looked at the price list form the restaurant supply I buy a lot of my ingredients from, so they are cheaper than grocery stores.

For a 3 tier cake for 100 people, using a super basic marshmallow fondant, shortening frosting, straight cake mixes with oil/eggs/water, not milk or any other add-ins, cake boards, supports and a half price drum form michaels, (lol), it would cost me $66.

That leaves $84 to cover any extra decorations, electric, insurance, licensing, gas, water, advertising, work phone, website, etc etc etc, never mind an hourly wage.

 

I have a friend who lives in rural West Virginia, and every time I visit her I am amazed by how low the cost of living is compared to where I am from, but even there, there's no way $1.50 would make her any money.

 

I'm not trying to sound like a bully to anyone who charges that, but you are coming away with about $20 a cake, if a cake only took an hour start to finish, that would be fine. If you want to sell, and make a viable busniess for yourself, you have to sit down and work all those factors through.

LOL at less friction in the air!

 

Man, $20 is a lot of money, why you dissing it? lol I know a lot of these people have no idea what it is actually costing them to make these cakes because they mix supplies with regular grocery shopping, and don't keep anything separate, so they feel like they are making money when they get the $144 check. Of course, there are also people who buy the stuff with foodstamps, so they are actually making quite a bit of money, minus the card board and tin foil. And I'm not hating, 15% of the population is on them, you know it is being done.

beccaskitchen Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:03am

I'm not 100% sure  but from what i do know the prices of ingredients are a little lower. i hate to say this i love Missouri but this is a low income state so that being said i think that's probably why
 

beccaskitchen Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:09am

I'm so sorry if i sounded like everyone here charges 1.50 serving i just meant that is the low end they do go up its just diff here and i will say yes i charge more because what i do is more expensive fillings and such and no i do not pay with food stamps and yes i keep my spending separate from my regular grocery this isn't my first business i was just simply saying instead of hating the person charging less consider that there may be other reasons that the person is not that the person is just cheap or bad at what they do. i apologize if i have confused or upset anyone.
 

morganchampagne Posted 21 Aug 2013 , 3:26am

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

i think we should encourage everyone to charge a base of $3/serving for tiered cakes. As long as fuel is over $3/gallon and butter $3/lb, it only makes sense. If your skills don't equal $3/serve then maybe it's back to the drawing board until they do.

Agreed.

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