Rainbow Layer Cakes. How Are You Charging??

Decorating By LoriMc Updated 24 Mar 2014 , 3:34pm by enga

cakefat Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 9:06am
post #31 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 
 

An 8inch round rainbow layer cake for $45?????????

 

Do you want a job in Australia?   Hop on the first plane you can get on.   You will be working in a beautiful part of Australia.  I will be your boss.  I won't get in your way ...  I will be taking the orders, you will be living your dream, making LOTS of cakes - and I will be sipping Bombay Sapphire & Tonic by the pool  !!

 

haha! That's my drink- I'll join you!!

 

An 8" rainbow cake here costs about $100. A 2 bedroom condo/apt also sells for about $1M- 1.5M-at least.  It all really depends on the cost of living of where you live.

 

I do wonder how custom cake makers/ businesses can survive in really low cost of living places, where a custom cake sells for $30-45? Isn't that like slave labor? why not just go get a job that at least pays $10 per hour or something?

ApplegumPam Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 9:15am
post #32 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by 810whitechoc 
 

Rainbows start at $95.00 for me too and yep that is properly priced out, not a guess.


Would you take an order for one at that price? Or do you have a minimum order.

You are in Australia too ??

810whitechoc Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 12:54pm
post #33 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 
 


Would you take an order for one at that price? Or do you have a minimum order.

You are in Australia too ??

Hi Pam, Central Coast and yes we regularly make rainbows, it's not a big deal to do, we use our regular vanilla mix which we make several times a week.  All our cakes are made by weight so the amount for the each layer is a set weight which is scooped out into bowls, one staff member continues making the rest of the vanillas and another puts Americolor in all the bowls.  They all go in the ovens, they take 25mins to cook and are ready to be assembled in about an hour.  99% of the time they are for kids cakes so we make a simple frosting, butter, icing sugar, milk, vanilla.  They are layered and crumb coated and put in the freezer to set firm. Then a final coat put on.  We charge extra for anything else.  I made a rainbow for a wedding last weekend, we made the layers higher so I could trim and get them more even.  We made SMBC with pure NZ unsalted butter yum.  Delivered with decoration $250.00.  It's all about communicating with the customers about what they are getting, the cheap ones are made aware of what they are buying. And yes I'm annoyed with myself that all my layers aren't perfect.  The stand was theirs.

ddaigle Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 3:40pm
post #34 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakefat 
 

 

haha! That's my drink- I'll join you!!

 

An 8" rainbow cake here costs about $100. A 2 bedroom condo/apt also sells for about $1M- 1.5M-at least.  It all really depends on the cost of living of where you live.

 

I do wonder how custom cake makers/ businesses can survive in really low cost of living places, where a custom cake sells for $30-45? Isn't that like slave labor? why not just go get a job that at least pays $10 per hour or something?


 Cakefat...I guess it's all relative.   When you live in a town where it is relatively cheap to live there....than a $30 cake isn't shocking...or slave labor.   It's the norm.   But some customers will throw that theory out of the window too if a custom cake is thier "thing".  For some it's shoes and purses, etc.  I remember may people coming into the bakery who would forgo their months groceries to buy a custom cake on their food stamp card.   We wouldn't take it...but just goes to show how priorities differ.   I think people here expect to pay the big bucks for custom/3D crazy "wow" stuff.   They just can't see the cost in the standard birthday cakes. 

JPinBklyn Posted 1 Dec 2013 , 9:53pm
post #35 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 
 

An 8inch round rainbow layer cake for $45?????????

 

Do you want a job in Australia?   Hop on the first plane you can get on.   You will be working in a beautiful part of Australia.  I will be your boss.  I won't get in your way ...  I will be taking the orders, you will be living your dream, making LOTS of cakes - and I will be sipping Bombay Sapphire & Tonic by the pool  !!

sorry,you misunderstood.  Our regular plain cake, no fillings, no frills...that is 45.00, Rainbow is double, 90.00 before you even start adding any other decorations!

carmijok Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 1:10am
post #36 of 74

The disparity in pricing is why I think these posts about 'what should I charge' get confusing and why there is no one answer to this question!  

 

I just recently started charging for my work now that we have a CFL here in Oklahoma and I can tell you that my prices are consistent...if not more...than most custom cake bakeries around here.  One reason is because I think my skill level is equal to most of them (with the exception of fondant...I don't cover in fondant)...and another is because I have to pay retail for ingredients-- I don't use cheap ingredients.  I can't justify wholesale purchasing at this point because I really don't want to become a full time bakery. 

 

Have I lost a job or two because of my pricing?  Yeah...and I'm glad.  Who wants to work for nothing?  I've done that and now that I have the experience, it's time to get back some of that sweat equity I put out there. 

 

That being said, I do like to hear the various price points from everywhere...however I would  never use someone else's pricing on CC or anywhere to make a decision on what I should be charging... nor would I ever purposely undercut someone else.  If you lessen your pricing just to get a job, then you are also lessening your own value and talent in the eyes of your customers. 

 

And that's my 2 cents worth! ;D

ApplegumPam Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 6:03am
post #37 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by ddaigle 
 

I guess it's all relative.   When you live in a town where it is relatively cheap to live there....than a $30 cake isn't shocking...or slave labor.   It's the norm.  

 



I think it has LESS to do with the cost of living and more to do with how many hands your business has available .... I am a single operator - I only use my own TWO hands - I don't have staff that I can get to do the more menial jobs while I concentrate on other things.... it takes me the same time to order stock for a small cake as a big cake - the kitchen requires the same clean up time for a 6inch or a 12inch

THIS is what decoraters need to think about when accepting these orders - its also WHY I put in place a minimum order - its the amount I have calculated that makes it worthwhile spending an hour cleaning up !  If its only a $45 order.... forget it !  NOT worth getting my kitchen messy

I am not into volume baking/decorating -  I don't lower my price JUST to secure the booking - I just tell them what my minimum is, AND if they are prepared to pay it - then yes, they might get 6 cupcakes for $150 - I don't feel bad..... or that I am ripping them off.  Its just a business practice

jason_kraft Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 8:52pm
post #38 of 74

A

Original message sent by ApplegumPam

I think it has LESS to do with the cost of living and more to do with how many hands your business has available .... I am a single operator - I only use my own TWO hands - I don't have staff that I can get to do the more menial jobs while I concentrate on other things.... it takes me the same time to order stock for a small cake as a big cake - the kitchen requires the same clean up time for a 6inch or a 12inch

From what I've seen the biggest issue for a business of any size is often the marketing strategy. Cost of living (and wage distribution) does play a part when researching how much disposable income is available in different demographic groups. If you market to people that can't afford your cakes you are wasting your money, and too often people will simply reduce their prices to match the demand of downmarket groups instead of shifting their marketing to a different target or switching to a different product with a lower cost structure.

ApplegumPam Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 10:29pm
post #39 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 

I think it has LESS to do with the cost of living and more to do with how many hands your business has available .... I am a single operator - I only use my own TWO hands - I don't have staff that I can get to do the more menial jobs while I concentrate on other things.... it takes me the same time to order stock for a small cake as a big cake - the kitchen requires the same clean up time for a 6inch or a 12inch

From what I've seen the biggest issue for a business of any size is often the marketing strategy. Cost of living (and wage distribution) does play a part when researching how much disposable income is available in different demographic groups. If you market to people that can't afford your cakes you are wasting your money, and too often people will simply reduce their prices to match the demand of downmarket groups instead of shifting their marketing to a different target or switching to a different product with a lower cost structure.

 

 

ApplegumPam Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 10:45pm
post #40 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 

I think it has LESS to do with the cost of living and more to do with how many hands your business has available .... I am a single operator - I only use my own TWO hands - I don't have staff that I can get to do the more menial jobs while I concentrate on other things.... it takes me the same time to order stock for a small cake as a big cake - the kitchen requires the same clean up time for a 6inch or a 12inch

From what I've seen the biggest issue for a business of any size is often the marketing strategy. Cost of living (and wage distribution) does play a part when researching how much disposable income is available in different demographic groups. If you market to people that can't afford your cakes you are wasting your money, and too often people will simply reduce their prices to match the demand of downmarket groups instead of shifting their marketing to a different target or switching to a different product with a lower cost structure.

ApplegumPam Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 11:54pm
post #41 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by jason_kraft 
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 

I think it has LESS to do with the cost of living and more to do with how many hands your business has available .... I am a single operator - I only use my own TWO hands - I don't have staff that I can get to do the more menial jobs while I concentrate on other things.... it takes me the same time to order stock for a small cake as a big cake - the kitchen requires the same clean up time for a 6inch or a 12inch

From what I've seen the biggest issue for a business of any size is often the marketing strategy. Cost of living (and wage distribution) does play a part when researching how much disposable income is available in different demographic groups. If you market to people that can't afford your cakes you are wasting your money, and too often people will simply reduce their prices to match the demand of downmarket groups instead of shifting their marketing to a different target or switching to a different product with a lower cost structure.

ApplegumPam Posted 2 Dec 2013 , 11:59pm
post #42 of 74

"A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

jason_kraft Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 12:23am
post #43 of 74

A

Original message sent by ApplegumPam

[COLOR=0000CD]"A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change." [B]Dr. Wayne W. Dyer[/B][/COLOR]

That's a great quote...before I helped launch our new bakery business my understanding of business concepts was more abstract. Actually going through the launch process and running the day-to-day of a successful operation gave me a new perspective, hopefully others here find that perspective useful. :)

I'm not sure how the quote applies to this thread though.

kikiandkyle Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 12:27am
post #44 of 74

If you can't sell your 8" cake for more than $25 I don't know why you'd bother. You must REALLY love making cakes. Like enough that it's your full-time hobby. 

 

DDaigle your clients are getting an amazing deal if that's all you're charging for your beautiful cakes. Walmart doesn't even make a profit on their cakes and I think they charge more than you. 

jason_kraft Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 12:38am
post #45 of 74

A

Original message sent by kikiandkyle

If you can't sell your 8" cake for more than $25 I don't know why you'd bother. You must REALLY love making cakes. Like enough that it's your full-time hobby. 

$25 can be doable if you keep it very basic and have an efficient process...for example, $12 in ingredients + allocated overhead (assuming a legal home bakery) and 45 minutes of labor corresponds to $12/hour with a 20% markup for profit.

MBalaska Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:41am
post #46 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by 810whitechoc 
 

810whitechoc:  that cake is so beautiful.  love the penguins. love the way you cut it for the camera. I've got to visit Australia and try all your cakes.

mb

810whitechoc Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 10:30am
post #47 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

810whitechoc:  that cake is so beautiful.  love the penguins. love the way you cut it for the camera. I've got to visit Australia and try all your cakes.

mb

I wish I could claim ownership of the cut, but the bride sent me this photo.  She said she didn't realise how crooked she cut the cake until after it was done.  None of the guests knew it was a rainbow until she cut it and she said everybody was laughing about her crooked cutting.  When she first came to me, she hesitantly asked me if it would be weird to put penguins on her wedding cake, I told her I loved the concept, it was the staff's favourite cake of the week.

 

You would be very welcome to come to Australia anytime!

ddaigle Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 12:37pm
post #48 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 
 

If you can't sell your 8" cake for more than $25 I don't know why you'd bother. You must REALLY love making cakes. Like enough that it's your full-time hobby. 

 

DDaigle your clients are getting an amazing deal if that's all you're charging for your beautiful cakes. Walmart doesn't even make a profit on their cakes and I think they charge more than you. 


Thanks Kiki....but just to clarify...the $25-$35 butter cream 8" cakes have no deco....just borders.  I charge accordingly (for my expenses & market) for the custom stuff.  It's the industry standard here.   I could sell an 8" butter cream cake for $95....but odds are I might have 1 cake a week from some crazy rich person.   But frankly, that price would not even be considered "here". 

cakevette Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 5:19pm
post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 
 


There are areas where people can't afford custom cakes. Companies selling luxury products don't come into those areas and lower their prices by 2/3 -- it's not good business. Why anyone would sell cakes for less than minimum wage is intriguing to me. Why not just get a part time job?

 

I'm not referring to anyone specific...I just sincerely don't understand why people do this.

$45 for an 8" is an amazing profit if you make cakes in bulk. What do you guys do, like one a week?

I'm thinking about making these rainbow cakes in bulk and googled to get info. I guess I have my answer!

I just saw it on shaws of sunset last night and can't wait to make some!!!

MimiFix Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 6:18pm
post #50 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakevette 
 

$45 for an 8" is an amazing profit if you make cakes in bulk. What do you guys do, like one a week?

I'm thinking about making these rainbow cakes in bulk and googled to get info. I guess I have my answer!

I just saw it on shaws of sunset last night and can't wait to make some!!!

Jason, that you again? :wink:

Rosie93095 Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 8:43pm
post #51 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by JPinBklyn 
 

I think there are many more factors to consider. In my shop, we charge one price for a basic triple layer 8" cake with buttercream frosting. If a customer orders a 6 layer cake, it's twice the price at least, maybe more. The "labor intensive" part is not all about making the rainbow effect, although it does take time to correctly, evenly portion and color the batter. The added cost in terms of actual ingredients is the additional layers, and additional frosting. While those ingredients are not totally a double recipe (it's like a recipe and a half) it certainly does cost more! As to your time, it takes longer to portion the batter and color it, bake 6 pans, level, stack and frost 6 layers vs 3 layers. I think we also forget all the other costs, when someone dashes off a remark like it only takes 15 mins. No, it takes a longer amount of time for washing all the extra bowls and pans (water bills,electricity for the dishwasher, that costs you money), it takes more time in the oven using the gas or electric you're paying for. It needs a larger, higher box (our rainbow cake is about 10" high!). How do you expect to survive in this business, if you're not adding in all these costs? Water, gas, electricity, wear and tear on your equipment, your time spent purchasing, your time spent paying bills. The risks you take if you drop the darn thing.  If you're in business for yourself, or you own a small bakery, ALL of these things cost you money.  Sorry if I'm ranting, but I strongly resent the impression some customers have that this is as easy as what you remember your grandmother doing with a box of Duncan Hines, leisurely on a Sunday afternoon and therefore shouldn't really cost much for a cake. If it's so easy, go bake one, why are you in my store? Do you argue at the supermarket over how much a box of cereal costs? No, you just pay it.  It's a business, we sell certain products, and to make a living, those products are for sale at a profit, not merely covering costs of ingredients. You're doing this particular business presumable because you love it. But it's a business nonetheless and you have to get adequately paid or you will soon be out of the business. Do you think Ron Ben-Isreal got his start giving away his early cakes under cost? I bet you he did not!

 

I think if customers were more educated by us as to ALL the costs involved in 'just baking a cake', instead of "oh it's only 15 mins to add some food coloring",  it would go a long way towards everyone making a living! These TV shows don't help, because now the general public thinks Cupcake Wars is in real time, and it only takes an hour to bake and decorate 1000 cupcakes in 3 flavors with 3 different handmade decorations! How ridiculous. TV is not real life. Back to the rainbow cake, it's a 'specialty' cake, and should be charged as such, not merely a small add on to the cost of a regular cake.  NYC prices, I charge $95, pre-decorations. It's a fad right now, people will pay if they want one. If I'm not going to make money on it above and beyond costs, why make the cake at all? The name of my bakery isn't Charity with Frosting on Top! If a customer won't pay you fairly, then toss some rainbow sprinkles on the outside of a regular cake and be done with it!  At some point, take the leap, and don't bake anything you won't make money on. The only thing worse than not making money, is spending your own money to give away a cake to a stranger.

 

My 2 cents for what it's worth.


Awesome!;-D 

MBalaska Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 8:56pm
post #52 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by ApplegumPam 
 

"A non-doer is very often a critic-that is, someone who sits back and watches doers, and then waxes philosophically about how the doers are doing. It's easy to be a critic, but being a doer requires effort, risk, and change." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

 

Amazing how something written 40 years ago is still relevant and very true.

This is a good thread...

AivaCake Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 2:58am
post #53 of 74

AI don't have a minimum order amount. If you want a $30 cake, I can make you one. It won't be very big and won't have decoration but it will taste dang good. The way I see it, you have no idea how many potential customers will be at that birthday party that your cheap $30 cake is at, and who knows, they may order your next $850 sculpted cake from you because they were impressed by your product. Saying an order under a certain dollar amount isn't worth dirtying up my kitchen just isn't my forte, unless I'm already super booked :-D

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 6:49am
post #54 of 74

Quote:

Originally Posted by LaurenSadler 

I don't have a minimum order amount. If you want a $30 cake, I can make you one. It won't be very big and won't have decoration but it will taste dang good. The way I see it, you have no idea how many potential customers will be at that birthday party that your cheap $30 cake is at, and who knows, they may order your next $850 sculpted cake from you because they were impressed by your product. Saying an order under a certain dollar amount isn't worth dirtying up my kitchen just isn't my forte, unless I'm already super booked icon_biggrin.gif

I too, do smaller orders, but I have a minimum cupcake order of 12 of a single flavor, and I won't do a 6" without a minimum of 12 cupcakes, unless they are a regular customer. I know it might seem like too little to some, and too much to others, but I don't aim for a single order each week, I aim to stay busy and make money. While I prefer to do larger orders, of course, I feel obligated to make every penny I can, so I don't have to depend on my husband's income. Yes, It makes a mess, and yes, it stinks, but if I have a few small orders spread over the course of a few weeks, I bake and fill them all at once, then freeze them in a dedicated freezer set at -20 below 0. Keeps them crazy fresh.

Besides, last year I did a $36 cake and the gentlemen who bought the cake recommended me to one of his theater group. She got married last December and her cake I made her cost her a little over $800. It took about 16 hours. Not too shabby, IMHO. I know my last job I made that in 2 weeks.

AivaCake Posted 13 Feb 2014 , 4:06pm
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
 

I too, do smaller orders, but I have a minimum cupcake order of 12 of a single flavor, and I won't do a 6" without a minimum of 12 cupcakes, unless they are a regular customer. 

 

I also have my limitations.  Ive never had anyone order just a 6", alone.  A 6" alone was always a smash cake along side a birthday cake.  And all cupcakes have to be placed in orders of 12 and there's no mixing flavors within dozens, either.  Meaning, I'm not a cupcake bakery.  You can't order 12 cupcakes and get 3 key lime, 1 vanilla, 2 chocolate, 3 strawberry, 1 red velvet, 1 coconut and 1 snickers. 

cherie7896 Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 3:45am
post #56 of 74

I honestly agree with everything you say. I work out of my home selling cakes..hoping someday to own my own shop...but I am always worried if I am charging enough. I cannot compete with New York prices, this is a small rural town. but I do think I may not be charging enough..I charge for ingredients, and add a little more for my time...I was told never to charge for my labor hours...but how can I not?? it is time taken away from me and my family...

Godot Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 6:00am
post #57 of 74

A

Original message sent by cherie7896

I honestly agree with everything you say. I work out of my home selling cakes..hoping someday to own my own shop...but I am always worried if I am charging enough. I cannot compete with New York prices, this is a small rural town. but I do think I may not be charging enough..I charge for ingredients, and add a little more for my time...I was told never to charge for my labor hours...but how can I not?? it is time taken away from me and my family...

I want to know who told you never to charge labor so I can slap them upside the head.

Who in the world would say something that stupid? And why in the world would you ever actually BELIEVE it?

AZCouture Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 6:14am
post #58 of 74

GOOD GRIEF. Now I've seen it all. 

AZCouture Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 6:16am
post #59 of 74

I'm sorry, that was blurted out before honestly assessing if you were serious or not. But yes, if you are indeed for real and not making that up, because honestly, it's quite unbelievable that someone would tell another that, and that other person actually to listen....tell us more. You're only selling to friends and family right? You're not doing business for the general public that would otherwise be soliciting properly operating businesses?

morganchampagne Posted 22 Mar 2014 , 6:41am
post #60 of 74

A

Original message sent by cherie7896

I honestly agree with everything you say. I work out of my home selling cakes..hoping someday to own my own shop...but I am always worried if I am charging enough. I cannot compete with New York prices, this is a small rural town. but I do think I may not be charging enough..I charge for ingredients, and add a little more for my time...I was told never to charge for my labor hours...but how can I not?? it is time taken away from me and my family...

Somebody told you to not charge for your work. Seriously? Wow. I feel for you. That's the worst advice anybody can give and at least you have sense enough to question it. That's absolutely incorrect, and you can tell them I said it. If they want to debate it, bring them here lol

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