What does your "starting value" include?

Business By TheSugarLab Updated 11 Dec 2013 , 12:57am by jenmat

TheSugarLab Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 4:59am
post #1 of 15

I know many people have a starting price for their cakes. Like your cakes start at $4 per serving. What does your starting price include? I had a mother of the bride who was doing research and I was telling her about my starting prices and she kept asking what the included. Do you just look at the cake and determine if its a "starting price" cake or do you have specifics of what "starting price" includes? 

14 replies
jason_kraft Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 6:12am
post #2 of 15

AOur starting prices for tiered cakes include standard flavors, BC (fondant is extra), and a very simple design. I find it's helpful to have a few examples of what a "starting" cake looks like if a customer asks.

MimiFix Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 1:50pm
post #3 of 15

Jason, your response is in the present tense. Have you started another bakery? Is it also allergy free or have you expanded your product line?

ddaigle Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 2:30pm
post #4 of 15

My starting price only includes borders and maybe some very, very simple scroll work.     I have a chart for everything else, by cake size.   Everything from fondant dots, to zebra stripes, etc. costs extra and is determined by size of cake.   The bigger the size...the more it costs for fondant dots.  This list I have keeps me consistant on pricing so I don't have to memorizie every single additional deco item.


Hardly any of my cakes are sold at the starting price.   There are always extra "bells 'n whistles"

jason_kraft Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 4:03pm
post #5 of 15


Original message sent by MimiFix

Jason, your response is in the present tense. Have you started another bakery? Is it also allergy free or have you expanded your product line?

Nope, I'm referring to the bakery I sold in 2011 that is still in operation under a different owner, AFAIK the starting price policies I created have not been changed. We probably won't be starting another bakery until our daughter is in school.

cai0311 Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 4:49pm
post #6 of 15

AMy starting prices include: Buttercream icing Border Simple decorations (basic scroll design, swiss dots, evenly spaced dots, wrappinga ribbon around the base of the tiers...) All my cake flavors and fillings are the same price (just makes things easier)

Smckinney07 Posted 3 Dec 2013 , 8:59pm
post #7 of 15

AI explain that my cakes are priced more on the detail, design, and amount of time. I really try to stress that, obviously I don't need to explain that to any of you!

As DDaigle said, I rarely have anyone get a basic cake but it would be very generic: BC, writing, border.

TheSugarLab Posted 4 Dec 2013 , 11:39pm
post #8 of 15

Thank you everyone for your reply. Based on the responses, it seems like I'm giving too much away with the starting price. With weddings, most people say my prices are reasonable. It's the birthday part crowd that think I'm expensive. I also have a feeling that the other big custom cake shop in town prices her tiered birthday cakes differently than her tiered wedding cakes. I know her wedding cakes start at $6 per serving BUT I had a woman come to me for a cake quote and she said I was too expensive compared to the other shop. She said she normally gets her two tier cakes for $150 with a bunch of extras. 

howsweet Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 5:00pm
post #9 of 15

AFor tiered cakes, I'm similar to the above. My base price per serving includes some polka dots or stripes and basic trim. But lots of stripes add to the price as well as any other decoration like ball trim, toppers, banners, special things like quilting and pretty much anything you can add. They tend to be about $7 on up after all is said and done.

bubbycakes87 Posted 6 Dec 2013 , 8:33pm
post #10 of 15

AWith my business, I simply go off of the serving count and complexity of design and don't have a "per serving" price, everyone is different though

howsweet Posted 8 Dec 2013 , 7:11pm
post #11 of 15

I don't understand how that can work?  When I quote out a cake, I have to charge for each item.  Custom work is very specific and I don't see how tiered pricing categories (complexity of design categories ) can work. I'm in awe of anyone who can just look "complexity of design" and just know the price - how on earth do you do that?


For me, it's like this: For example, for various 5-8, 32 serving cakes, the price per serving for each cake winds up varying in small increments because each cake is different.  I gave an example below for how prices might vary between five cakes.  Cakes varying in pricing from $225-$255 are not the same amount of work. The difference between them might be, say, ball trim and a happy birthday banner. I'd charge $20 for the balls and $10 for the banner.


Let's say I'm doing three cakes.... at 8 pm, I can be finished with all my cakes or still have ball trim and banners to finish up. If that's 3 cakes, it's $90 difference and means working until maybe 10 instead of being done at 8.



5-8, 32 serving cakes

1) $225   $7.03 per serving

2) $231   $7.21

3) $239   $7.47

4) $248   $7.75

4) $255.  $7.98


This is also very fair to the customer as I'm charging very specifically for what they're getting and helps them decide on details. If the ball trim is going to be $20, maybe a scalloped trim will work just as well.

howsweet Posted 8 Dec 2013 , 7:34pm
post #12 of 15

This is because lots of people will splurge on a wedding cake, but not a birthday cake... as birthdays are not once in a lifetime events. You will have customers who do  like to splurge on birthday cakes and others who can easily afford expensive birthday cakes. Most people don't fall into either category, so finding that customer isn't nearly as easy as finding ones who will complain at your prices.  Most can't afford a custom birthday cake and many, many people are not logical. They don't understand that a high end birthday cake costs the same as a similar wedding cake. They think because it's a birthday the price should be less. In other words, they believe in magic.


But I don't want to be too hard on them. They also think these cakes should be less because lots of bakers working for next to nothing have taught them low prices. And of course the tv shows never explain they're cakes start at $1,000. 


Also, you can't go by what a customer says she usually gets.  Some people here think it's a really awful thing to do, but the only way to find out their real prices is to pretend to be a customer and get several quotes.  But the folks who think it's so terrible haven't thought it through.  Any baker with half a brain would rather spend 5-10 min quoting out a couple of cakes than have a customer say, sorry, I'd rather use you, but Sugar Lab down the street, will do it for much less. Just be concise and take as little of their time as you can.


You can't go off their website unless they have fully quoted out cake prices posted which is rare in the US. Also, you're not going to know what's in their product. They may used canned icing and raspberry filling that comes in a bag.

kikiandkyle Posted 9 Dec 2013 , 8:27am
post #13 of 15

AAlso, most people will compare your price for a birthday cake to Costco or the grocery store, because that's their point of reference. Those same people wouldn't consider getting a wedding cake from those places, but they fail to see that the product is the same whether it's got white flowers and lace all over it or pink bows and polka dots.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 9 Dec 2013 , 5:06pm
post #14 of 15

Mine includes a cake of X tiers, covered in fondant (it's still pretty rare to see a BC covered cake in the UK for weddings) with a ribbon around each tier in their colour of choice, boxed and ready to go.  Nothing else.  I was thinking of putting the starting price (subject to sponge) with the images for some of my previous cakes on there to provide people with a point of reference but am still not sure on that one.  I totally sympathize on the birthday cake front though - people don't seem to appreciate that the work that goes into a 3-tier cake is the same whether it is for a wedding or a birthday!!

jenmat Posted 11 Dec 2013 , 12:57am
post #15 of 15

My wedding prices include delivery within a radius, standard flavor combos, all fillings and IMBC or AMBC, buttercream decorations. It is not based on difficulty. That is standard for our area. Upcharges are fondant, gumpaste work, and carving/unique shape cakes. 


My celebration cakes are much cheaper and again are competitive if not a little higher than the other bakeries in my area. They are less than my weddings because they do not include consults, tastings, 6 months worth of emails, delivery, setup, and assuming the time to do buttercream designs on each tier). They are also a different weight per batter-filled pan than my wedding cakes. The wedding cake slice has more cake, filling and icing than my run of the mill celebration cakes. 


Celebration cakes start at a price per cake and every detail they add will add price. 

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