maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 2:48pm

AHi everyone, I'm a long time lurker & this is my first post. I understand pricing guidelines and how to price things. My dilemma is that most places around me have different pricing for party cakes & wedding cakes. I always looked it at as cake is cake. When I do weddings everyone's fine w/pricing but when it comes to party cakes it seems that my prices are too high for those same people? I'm located in Texas, in the DFW area. I've called a few bakeries to get ideas on pricing & they'll tell me well a cake that serves 30-40 people, one layer, unfilled, w/buttercream is $60. We can write happy birthday but anything else is extra. So that makes the per serving cost anywhere from $1.50-$2. Then these same places have wedding cake prices that start anywhere from $2.50+. I'm just at a loss on how to price the two now because this has been nagging me for a while. how do I explain a flat rate for all my cakes when places around me charge different amounts for different occasions? Or should I follow their pricing model and charge less for party cakes & more for wedding cakes? Thanks in advance

24 replies
Norasmom Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 2:53pm

Neither.  You charge based on price of ingredients, overhead, and most importantly, your time!!  Wedding cakes take longer, way longer.

 

 buttercream can go on a cake with a border quickly and easily, but to sculpt roses and flowers and other customized decorations can take several hours.  

 

It's not always about charging what others charge. It's all relative.

I cannot charge by the hour because it takes me twice as long as a normal decorator to make a cake, so I charge $3 and up per serving.  Someone who works at a normal pace can add an hourly rate!

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 3:05pm

AI understand I can't simply pull numbers out of thin air. It's just the fact that I also must look at the market around me because I do not want to undercut bakeries around me by pricing myself too low. I may not have as much overhead because I'm operating under cottage food laws, but I still have expenses. I've calculated my expenses in excel and have calculated a cost per serving for ingredients and materials. I'm just trying to get different perspectives because brides are always told that vendors are out to get them because prices increase at the mere mention of the word wedding. (I know I got married almost a year ago & I ran into that problem when calling for quotes) I just don't know if reinforcing that idea is good?

tina0719 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 3:31pm

AWow where are you located? The bakeries around my area charge no less than $5.50 per serving. Well the well known bakeries. Even Sedanos which is a Spanish supermarket charges $3.50 per person. It's crazy expensive over here compared to a lot of prices I have seen on this site. I actually have a cake order due today and its a 1 tier for about 30 with a microphone with headphones and I charged $160.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 3:38pm

AI live in Arlington, Texas. A lot of custom bakeries I have pulled up in my area are about $3.50+/ wedding servings & party cakes start at less. Then there are the really high end bakeries in Dallas which I've seen anywhere from $4-$7+ per serving.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 3:43pm

AI hope I'm not breaking any guidelines here but this is off a bakeries website in my city.

Wedding cake Base Price$4.00 Per Serving Includes: Buttercream Outer Frosting Choice of 4 Shapes (Round, Square, Oval and Hexagon) Desired Fillings Decoration (Fondant Work & Sugar Flowers Are Extra) Extras: Rolled Fondant Covering - Add $2.00 Per Serving Sugar Flowers - Price Varies Fondant Decorations - Price Varies

Grooms cakes Base Price$3.00 Per Serving

Sheet cakes No Filling$2.25 Per Serving With Filling$2.50 Per Serving

Party cakes For more accurate pricing on party cakes, please provide a picture along with the number of servings and any special requests. We will respond with a price quote.

Cupcakes Base Price (Varies based on design)$2.00 Per Serving

jason_kraft Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 5:44pm

APricing varies widely by area and should be based on both your costs and market value. If market value in your area for simple party cakes is $2/serving and you can make a decent wage and profit at that price then that price can work.

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 6:02pm

AI have different price structure as follows:

Tiered cakes are $3.50 or $4.50/serving (buttercream/fondant) or I charge a set price for specialty cakes which I only sell as 9 inch rounds. I charge less because there is no internal support, and I bought several 9" pans for this reason - to have them be my default cake size and bake in bulk. I also sell sheet cakes when purchased in conjunction with a tiered cake (or sculpted cake) that I charge less per serving for as well - and I will ONLY sell a sheet cake with a larger cake.

So there is a difference in price for different cakes for me, but I'm not charging more for the same cake simply because it's for a wedding as opposed to a birthday.

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 6:51pm

AA single layer cake is not the same as a single tier cake. You said they charge less for a one layer cake. That makes sense as it is much less cake. Also, wedding cakes usually have other things involved, such as supports, and decorations as Norasmom mentioned, which add to the supply and labor cost.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 6:57pm

AThanks so much for all your help everyone

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 7:38pm

ASo should I charge per serving for party cakes or have a flat price?

BatterUpCake Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 7:41pm

That is totally up to you. Different bakers do it different ways. It's a preference thing.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 7:51pm

AI guess I just need to be comfortable & confident charging more money for a better cake, for example $95 for a 10" cake. & if people aren't willing to pay for a better product then I don't want them as my customer.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 7:57pm

AIn my experience customers looking for smaller party cakes are more used to flat prices instead of per-serving prices. If you are targeting midmarket customers $95 for a simple BC 10" cake would be pretty high, our starting price for a 10" is $54 and that price point is quite profitable even with the additional overhead of a rented commercial kitchen.

Calculate how much a simple 10" cake costs you in ingredients, labor, and allocated overhead, you might be surprised.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:26pm

ASo if a customer orders a wedding cake that includes a 10" tier, I would then charge per serving not a flat rate?

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:30pm

ATiered cakes should cost more due to the extra work and costs of the internal supports. Unless you want to do the extra work for free.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:30pm

A

Original message sent by maira5792

So if a customer orders a wedding cake that includes a 10" tier, I would then charge per serving not a flat rate?

Exactly...the per-serving price would be for the entire cake based on the ingredients and labor needed to meet the customer's requirements.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:31pm

AI'm sorry if I seem like I'm running around in circles. If it ever gets to the point of why a customer asks why a same size party cake is less expensive than a wedding cake I can say its because weddings are more stressful, they require more time, etc because brides want perfection for their wedding day. Does that sound like something around the right lines?

BrandisBaked Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:33pm

A

Original message sent by maira5792

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm running around in circles. If it ever gets to the point of why a customer asks why a same size party cake is less expensive than a wedding cake I can say its because weddings are more stressful, they require more time, etc because brides want perfection for their wedding day. Does that sound like something around the right lines?

You don't want to say anything about stress - that implies that YOU get stressed out by cakes. Is that the message you want to convey?

I would say that the increase is due to the increased work and supply costs.

jason_kraft Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:33pm

A

Original message sent by maira5792

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm running around in circles. If it ever gets to the point of why a customer asks why a same size party cake is less expensive than a wedding cake I can say its because weddings are more stressful, they require more time, etc because brides want perfection for their wedding day. Does that sound like something around the right lines?

If a customer wants a party cake of size X that looks like Y, the price should be exactly the same as a wedding cake of size X that looks like Y.

Wedding cakes tend to be more expensive than party cakes because they are usually larger with more complicated designs that require more labor to complete.

maira5792 Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 8:44pm

AThank you!

BatterUpCake Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 9:18pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by maira5792 
 because brides want perfection for their wedding day.

Implies you aren't going to work as hard on their cake. And wedding cakes shouldn't be more expensive than wedding cakes. If you sell a 3 tier fondant cake with 13 roses for a wedding and next week someone comes in and wants a 3 tier fondant cake with 13 roses the price should be equal. Same time, materials, supports, etc...

costumeczar Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 11:25pm

AI charge the same for wedding cakes and party cakes because I don't care if they use them for a wedding, a party or a Jerry Springer food fight. I've been doing tiered cakes for years, though, so they really don't take that much more time. Seriously, the difference between a tiered cake and a single tier is about 5 minutes to dowel and stack the tier.

The extra time for weddings comes with the extra appointments, emails, delivery, etc. BUT...I've found that some of the most demanding people are the people who are ordering birthday cakes, especially the first birthday parents. If I assumed that those clients will take less time than a wedding client I would be sorely mistaken, so I charge the same regardless of event.

LoriMc Posted 30 Dec 2013 , 4:14pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 
 

Implies you aren't going to work as hard on their cake. And wedding cakes shouldn't be more expensive than wedding cakes. If you sell a 3 tier fondant cake with 13 roses for a wedding and next week someone comes in and wants a 3 tier fondant cake with 13 roses the price should be equal. Same time, materials, supports, etc...

 I know this thread is old, but I have to say I completely agree with you.  I've never understood charging more for wedding cakes, especially when some people are using smaller servings for their wedding cakes.  I don't do a lot of weddings, but I can tell you with 100% truthfulness, the wedding cakes I've done in the past year have been waaaaaaay less complicated than the birthday cakes I've done.  Maybe it's because simple is more the style for weddings lately, I don't know. 

Apti Posted 30 Dec 2013 , 5:57pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by LoriMc 
 

 I know this thread is old, but I have to say I completely agree with you.  I've never understood charging more for wedding cakes, especially when some people are using smaller servings for their wedding cakes.  I don't do a lot of weddings, but I can tell you with 100% truthfulness, the wedding cakes I've done in the past year have been waaaaaaay less complicated than the birthday cakes I've done.  Maybe it's because simple is more the style for weddings lately, I don't know. 


LoriMc~~You should enjoy this youtube video:

 


 

(Thanks to CakeBoss software for the link above.  The original article is well worth reading!)

http://www.cakeboss.com/CakeStuff/Articles/HowMuchShouldICharge.aspx

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