Please Help Me To Price The Cake

Business By Jeevaabr Updated 19 Mar 2014 , 12:12am by Apti

enga Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 6:47pm
post #31 of 57

Elcee you say my example is flawed. I don't use Earlene's method as I have stated before. Your calculations and rationale behind it is that no matter how you slice the cake its still the same cake. I read costumeczar's blog and she explains it perfectly. Thank you costumeczar!

 

I had never heard of Earlene's chart until I joined this site. Like I said, I was using it as an example. I have found that many cake shops and bakeries use a combination of both. For instance a very popular bakery I saw online when researching pricing uses Wilton's chart for her round cakes and Earlene's for her square cakes another cake shop uses the opposite. While I don't get their reasoning behind using a combination of both, it's their business and they can run it however they want to.

 

I didn't know I was in a competition for being right or wrong. I thought I was helping someone with pricing cakes and feeling confident about pricing them accordingly.

 

My apologies to you Earlene (if you frequent this site) for being ignorant to how our chart really works and to the OP if I confused you by using her chart as an example.

Godot Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 6:54pm
post #32 of 57

AAw.... does someone need a pity party?

enga Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 7:00pm
post #33 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Godot 

Aw.... does someone need a pity party?


Haaa haaa haa, Good day to ya Godot! No I don't, thank you for asking again. I just didn't know to much about Earlene's chart and was enlightened by Elcee.

 

Which chart do you use?

Elcee Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 7:26pm
post #34 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by brenda549 
 

Elcee is right.  Think about it this way.  My 10-inch round cake is going to cost $114 regardless of whether it is cut into 38 Wilton slices or 30 Earlene slices.  You find your price based on the cake in it's entirety, THEN divide by the number of servings you think the customer will get from the cake, regardless of what chart you use.    


Thank you, brenda549, I think you explained a little better than I did.

Godot Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 7:31pm
post #35 of 57

AI use my own chart.

enga Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 7:39pm
post #36 of 57

I mostly lurked on this site before joining, I learned a lot by reading old threads. I think Indydebi summed it up perfectly. I have been using Wilton's every since.

 

"How do I account for people cutting larger pieces? I don't. I tell them how many the cake will serve based on the standard serving size (and I tell them the standard serving size). I also tell them, "If you plan to cut them bigger than that, you should consider a larger cake." They are welcome to cut those pieces any size they want, but they are PAYING for the number of servings the cake is designed to serve. If they want "more" cake in a piece, then they need to buy "more" cake."

 

I also made these by MikeRowesHunny. http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-photo_88648.html

morganchampagne Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 9:06pm
post #37 of 57

AOk..OP so as you see there's more than one way to skin a cat. Read through all the threads in this forum and you can go with whatever strategy you're comfortable with

CWR41 Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 9:08pm
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet 
 

I don't know if it matters to anyone,  but Earlene's chart is not based on larger serving sizes. She says she made the chart because she thinks the Wilton chart is wrong.

I believe it doesn't matter that Earlene thinks the Wilton chart is wrong.  If you do the math, the numbers don't lie, Wilton is nearly spot on for industry standard 8 cu. in. servings...

here's a helpful cakulator (see for yourself; actual volume numbers, not guestimates):

http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.html

denetteb Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 11:31pm
post #39 of 57

Years ago I was wondering about the Wilton serving chart.  I took my 9 inch pan and traced it onto paper.  Then I took a ruler and made lines 2 inches apart  horizontally. Then I made vertical lines 1 inch apart and did a  little adjustments for the round edges so that each space had about the same area.  This is the IndyDebi way of cake cutting.  Then I numbered the spaces and I had exactly 32 spaces, exactly what the Wilton chart said I should have for a 9 inch pan.  I didn't do this with any other pans but decided it was a good chart to use.

howsweet Posted 15 Mar 2014 , 11:50pm
post #40 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by CWR41 
 

I believe it doesn't matter that Earlene thinks the Wilton chart is wrong.  If you do the math, the numbers don't lie, Wilton is nearly spot on for industry standard 8 cu. in. servings...

here's a helpful cakulator (see for yourself; actual volume numbers, not guestimates):

http://shinymetalobjects.net/cake/calculator/cakulator.html

I was addressing a popular misconception that Earlene's slices are supposed to be more generous. You see on this site all the time that people believe it's larger portions. My point was she is saying her portions are not larger.

 

Anyone who finished high school should be able to do the math without an online calculator. We all learned the formula for area of a circle.  All that is is a calculator for area (and volume). It says 25.13 servings for an 8 inch cake, but Wilton calls an 8 inch cake 24 servings because you're not cutting a piece of paper, you're cutting cake.

shaleha Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 12:54am
post #41 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by Veronica1203 
 

It's no typo :(  I wish it was.  I just can't get really great prices in my area.  I would love to due to putting so much time into each one of my cakes.  And that's the price chart that I have just started the past few weeks.  I do get burned out and frustrated.  I had one girl and her sister call up for a cake price.  I tell them $45 and she said "if you can do it for $25 I will order it".  I sold a 4 tier a few weeks ago for $185 covered in fondant and handmade bows.  Quilted look on a two of the tiers and detailed piping on the other two.
I just priced a two tier to a girl for $75.  I don't know what to do. 
I get messages all the time "tasted great", "I've heard you are the best", "you come highly recommended", "you do amazing work".

BUT THEY ALL WANT IT CHEAP!!!! 
I have made myself sick over it the past few weeks.
 


Hi Veronica

 

Your selling was below cost ! Are you a home baker ? I understand where you are coming from. I face the same problem too! But I am firmed with my price by looking at what the market price for that particular cake and you can quote somewhere in between cos as home baker we save on rental fees.

 We also charge according to design of the cake. You can divide if its simple or complex.

ugcjill Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 2:02am
post #42 of 57

When figuring prices, the piece of the equation many home based businesses forget is profit for the business itself. It is a learner's mistake, but a tragic one. No profit for the business means that you are drawing from your own salary when you need equipment, supplies, training (like trying new techniques), and any extra expenses.

 

Your salary should be yours to keep. Just yours. Pay the cable bill, buy an air hockey table, invest in ornamental fish - it's your thing, I won't judge.

Overhead covers your costs. That's utilities, ingredients, supplies and transportation costs to support your existing business.

Profit will buy your business the new pans, the practice cakes, the table at the bridal show, the oven repair when it goes kaput, etc...

 

Home bakers who undercharge don't have lower costs - they pay retail prices for all supplies and dedicate costly residential square footage in the home vs. lower cost retail locations. Business profit is handed right back to the customer, money from the family budget is sapped to fund discounted product, the economic value to the industry is lowered and the illegal bakeries divert tax money from the community.

chicny Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 2:17am
post #43 of 57

i live in nyc and before i even calculate servings i know this is about $800 minimum....without delivery--that's on the cheap!....also for some of the others...I received great advice when i started out...cheap pricing will lead to super fast burnout and it's true...If i'm taking the time out from my family then it better be worth it or forget it...

morganchampagne Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 5:00am
post #44 of 57

A

Original message sent by Elcee

Thank you, brenda549, I think you explained a little better than I did.

You know, I was washing dishes and this just clicked to me all of a sudden lol. I finally understand what you mean!!!

morganchampagne Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 5:05am
post #45 of 57

AYour cake is the same no matter what servings because the price is based on materials....and the materials are the same whether they get 30 or 38 servings!!!!

enga Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 8:12am
post #46 of 57

I found this post.

 

~~ Earlene offline 12 Posts. Joined 2/2007

 

I made the cake chart simply because I wanted to make sure my customers had what they had paid for. The chart was not made to sell and certainly not to put on the web site. Some of the differences in cake sizes are smll in numbers and yet others are a big difference. For instance a 6 inch two layer round cake - my chart says serves 8 people and Wilton's chart says it serves 14. To me that is a huge difference. the 16 inch round cake on my chart says it serves 90 and Wilton's says it serves 100 - that is a much smaller difference. I just tried to figure out a way to make sure my customers had enough cake. Then I began having requests from other decorators for what I was using. That is when I put one page of it on the web site. I wasn't looking to make Wilton's look bad. I had relied on their chart for years and years. I just found their numbers didn't feel right when I couldn't cut a cake and get the published number of servings. I had always rather be generous with the servings rather than hoping my customers would cut cake slices small enough to just get by. That chart is something I used almost daily and I am certainly not going to tell anyone that it is the most accurate. It is just what I used for my customers. If you want to use Wilton's chart for your customers - that is your decision. Just make "your" customers happy - that is everyones goal.

enga Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 8:35am
post #47 of 57

I'm glad I found this thread, Earlene sounds like a kind and generous person.

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/615548/earlenes-chart

Apti Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 5:38pm
post #48 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by enga 
 

I'm glad I found this thread, Earlene sounds like a kind and generous person.

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/615548/earlenes-chart


Oh my goodness.  I really enjoyed reading the old thread you posted, Enga.  It's so fun to find out stuff like this!  I was very proud to meet Earlene in person at the 2010 ICES (International Cake Exploration Society) meeting in San Diego.  I was a BRAND NEW NOOBIE (had a whopping 6 months of Wilton courses under my belt), and there I was, in the Cake Hospital for Demonstration Cakes fixing my borders in the SAME room with THE famous.......Earlene......

 

Wow.  It doesn't get much better than that.  She was very gracious and polite and was kinda tickled at my adulation when I approached her and said "it is an honor to meet you!". 

enga Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 7:45pm
post #49 of 57

Hi Apti, I'm glad you enjoyed it too! I have read through a lot of threads, some of them read like soap operas,lol. I gained so much information from them. I even saw threads from one of my fav decorators Edna De La Cruz!

 

I'm a adamant YouTube fan, it's fascinating to know that a lot of famous cake artists and pastry chefs on there belong to this site. I have seen more than a few pop up in threads and leave us in awe.

 

I think that it is truly admirable of Earlene to care so much about her customers that she created a chart so they would have enough cake.

 

I don't sell cakes at this time. I have been taking time off to restructure what I want to offer customers as a cake artist and baker. After reading the thread and going to her website, I see that her system worked for her and her customers. And that whatever chart we use whether it's hers, Wilton's or our own. If it works for you and your customers then it shouldn't matter what everyone else uses.

 

I know pricing is a hot topic on CC. I tried to use a system that would prevent me from undercharging myself or overcharging the customer in a atmosphere where I felt comfortable selling a cake and they felt comfortable buying my cakes. It didn't work, hence the restructuring part. I lowered my standards to fit their standards and I was not happy with what I was selling. So until I get that equilibrium, I wont be selling anything.

 

It's like a balancing act, use what works for you and your standards.

howsweet Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 4:33am
post #50 of 57

Apparently Earlene is saying two different things. I'll stop quoting her statements from her chart.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill 
 

When figuring prices, the piece of the equation many home based businesses forget is profit for the business itself. It is a learner's mistake, but a tragic one. No profit for the business means that you are drawing from your own salary when you need equipment, supplies, training (like trying new techniques), and any extra expenses.

 

Your salary should be yours to keep. Just yours. Pay the cable bill, buy an air hockey table, invest in ornamental fish - it's your thing, I won't judge.

Overhead covers your costs. That's utilities, ingredients, supplies and transportation costs to support your existing business.

Profit will buy your business the new pans, the practice cakes, the table at the bridal show, the oven repair when it goes kaput, etc...

 

Home bakers who undercharge don't have lower costs - they pay retail prices for all supplies and dedicate costly residential square footage in the home vs. lower cost retail locations. Business profit is handed right back to the customer, money from the family budget is sapped to fund discounted product, the economic value to the industry is lowered and the illegal bakeries divert tax money from the community.


So true. When this is stated: "many home based businesses forget is profit for the business itself." It just usually falls on deaf ears. Your post was correct and extremely valuable and very much likely to be ignored.

Apti Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 5:45am
post #51 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by ugcjill View Post
 

When figuring prices, the piece of the equation many home based businesses forget is profit for the business itself. It is a learner's mistake, but a tragic one. No profit for the business means that you are drawing from your own salary when you need equipment, supplies, training (like trying new techniques), and any extra expenses.

 

Your salary should be yours to keep. Just yours. Pay the cable bill, buy an air hockey table, invest in ornamental fish - it's your thing, I won't judge.

Overhead covers your costs. That's utilities, ingredients, supplies and transportation costs to support your existing business.

Profit will buy your business the new pans, the practice cakes, the table at the bridal show, the oven repair when it goes kaput, etc...

 

Home bakers who undercharge don't have lower costs - they pay retail prices for all supplies and dedicate costly residential square footage in the home vs. lower cost retail locations. Business profit is handed right back to the customer, money from the family budget is sapped to fund discounted product, the economic value to the industry is lowered and the illegal bakeries divert tax money from the community.


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by howsweet 
 


So true. When this is stated: "many home based businesses forget is profit for the business itself." It just usually falls on deaf ears. Your post was correct and extremely valuable and very much likely to be ignored.

What???  What did y'all say???  I think it had a "p" sound to it.  Pfft????  THAT must be it, Pffft...

brendajarmusz Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 5:04pm
post #52 of 57

AEnga, you didn't do anything wrong. I think those you are trying to help understand what you are saying, at least you are offering some help to others rather than saying "you cant answer that question on here." Pricing cakes has to be individual based on many many things, charts are there for us as a guide but other facts have to be considered as well so you were fine Enga.

enga Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 10:45pm
post #53 of 57

Thank you Brenda for understanding where I'm coming from.

leah_s Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 11:06pm
post #54 of 57

As IndyDebi always said, "Use the Wilton chart for PRICING."  An 8" cake serves 24 X whatever your per serving price is.  The customer can sit down with a fork and eat the whole thing;  that doesn't make the cake a serving for 1.

brendajarmusz Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 5:12am
post #55 of 57

AYou are very welcome :-)

SkinnyNinjaNoo Posted 18 Mar 2014 , 11:02pm
post #56 of 57

So everyone is working in $ and I'm in £.

 

I’m new to the cake business and not had a lot of experience I have researched cake pries by me and they are all asking for about £42 for a 12 inch that’s decorated so I decided to go for £30 it costs me about £7 to make, I feel like I need to charge more but if I do they can get a ‘perfect professional’ cake for £42, so I feel stuck on my charges.

 

Any help would me greatly appreciated. 

Apti Posted 19 Mar 2014 , 12:12am
post #57 of 57

Quote:

Originally Posted by SkinnyNinjaNoo 
 

So everyone is working in $ and I'm in £.

 

I’m new to the cake business and not had a lot of experience I have researched cake pries by me and they are all asking for about £42 for a 12 inch that’s decorated so I decided to go for £30 it costs me about £7 to make, I feel like I need to charge more but if I do they can get a ‘perfect professional’ cake for £42, so I feel stuck on my charges.

 

Any help would me greatly appreciated. 


Welcome to the forum.  I strongly suggest you read every single post from the beginning of this thread AND apply those concepts.

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