Why Charge Per Slice Instead Of Per Cake?

Business By kparks2 Updated 21 Aug 2014 , 6:19am by queenfa

kparks2 Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 8:44pm
post #1 of 24

I looked in the archives and I did not see the answer I wanted.  Personally for my business I charge per cake because I figured if someone wants a 10 inch cake it is up to them to get minimum or max servings out of it.  Also, if a customer wants only 10 servings but they want a larger sized cake I figured that charging per slice would get less money.

 

My question to the bakers out there with a cake business what is the reason behind charging per slice as per cake?  I am wondering if this is something I should do.

 

Also, the average person does not know about wedding vs party style cuts so is that something you explain to them when explaining the slices?

23 replies
ellavanilla Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 8:51pm
post #2 of 24

it's simply the industry standard, probably due to catering services also charging per serving. 

 

You can charge however you feel comfortable.

 

For basic cakes I have a standard base rate per cake and add on costs depending on how elaborate the cake is. When it comes to tiered cakes I have a base rate of 4.5 per serving since it immediately requires more work, equipment and expertise to stack a cake. 

 

I don't go into an explanation of party vs wedding serving. a 4-5 inch cake will give liberal servings at the wedding size. I do say that if they want more than one slice per guest they should get a bigger cake.

 

Jen

kparks2 Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 8:56pm
post #3 of 24

Thanks EllaVanilla that is a very good explanation.  

ellavanilla Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 9:09pm
post #4 of 24

You're welcome, I should add that your customers rely on you, as the expert, to tell them how much a given cake will serve. Selling them a "10 inch cake" for example, may or or may not meet their needs. I always quote servings to customers when figuring that out. So servings are important, in that way. 

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 9:50pm
post #5 of 24

You are still charging by the serving, just in a different way.

 

Let's say you charge $75 for a 9" round.  You can get about 25 servings out of that size cake. That's how much the industry standard says you are supposed to get out of the cake.  That's $3 per serving.  You're just not telling the client that.  If they cut bigger slices and get less servings that's fine.  If they cut smaller pieces and get more servings that's fine, too.  But you still have to know how many slices you can get out of a cake in order to make

sure the client has enough cake. 

 

I know that's not the best explanation but the bottom line is you really are still charging per serving even if you say you are charging per cake size.

kparks2 Posted 28 Jul 2014 , 10:03pm
post #6 of 24

EllaVanilla and CakesbyCathy, actually those are both great explanations.  Those really helped me out.  Thanks ladies.  I just never really understood but I do see most bakers charge per serving so I was curious on the difference.  Thanks!

kakeladi Posted 29 Jul 2014 , 3:14am
post #7 of 24

I have only once (that I can remember) had someone order a larger cake - in this case a 12x4" cake for only about 20 servings.  When I explained that a 8x4" would give them the # of servings that said they needed they said that wanted much larger servings. 

Almost all my customers usually accepted the 'industry standard' sizes w/o a problem.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 7:27pm
post #8 of 24

I charge per cake and use an average number of servings per tier based on the different cake charts that are floating around to set the price. Then they can use it for a food fight or cut it into a million tiny pieces as far as I'm concerned.

 

I tell brides that this size cake or that size cake will serve between X and Y number of servings, depending on how the person cutting it does it. Truth be told, we can do all the calculating that we want, but if the person who cuts the cake does it differently from what we say they won't get a consistent number of servings out of it. A charge per cake makes more sense to me. I once had a person at the venue give me lip about how "you cake people all sell them too much cake." When I questioned that, it turned out that he'd been cutting every wedding cake 1"x 1 1/2"  instead of 1"x2". So he'd end up with extra cake all the time and then tell everyone that we were ripping off the brides. We have no control over that kind of intelligence. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-i-price-my-wedding-cakes.html

morganchampagne Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 8:49pm
post #9 of 24

A^ditto. I do it very similarly to costume.

AZCouture Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 9:28pm
post #10 of 24

I very well may have been tempted to punch that guy. Wow.

costumeczar Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 10:54pm
post #11 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 
 

I very well may have been tempted to punch that guy. Wow.

Oh, when I was done with him he felt stupid.

ellavanilla Posted 30 Jul 2014 , 10:58pm
post #12 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

 I once had a person at the venue give me lip about how "you cake people all sell them too much cake." When I questioned that, it turned out that he'd been cutting every wedding cake 1"x 1 1/2"  instead of 1"x2". So he'd end up with extra cake all the time and then tell everyone that we were ripping off the brides. We have no control over that kind of intelligence. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-i-price-my-wedding-cakes.html

 

then there are the geniuses who serve it with the supports still in it...

 

or the fondant on it, when you coated every cake with ganache for the purpose of removing before serving and even though you personally tell the catering manager of a 4 star hotel, you still get the cake served with thick layers of fondant that the bride expressly said that she didn't want, but you had to use in order to transport the cake on two flights over 3000 miles but you promised her that it could be removed and shes a good friend that she trusts you and you end up so frustrated that you leave the wedding early and have a really nice steak and listen to jazz at a restaurant near the hotel then you return to the venue to find that the groom and the MOB are in love with the fondant anyway and are now picking it off the leftover slices and eating it. why lord? why?

 

or something like that.

costumeczar Posted 31 Jul 2014 , 10:31am
post #13 of 24

A

Original message sent by ellavanilla

then there are the geniuses who serve it with the supports still in it...

or the fondant on it, when you coated every cake with ganache for the purpose of removing before serving and even though you personally tell the catering manager of a 4 star hotel, you still get the cake served with thick layers of fondant that the bride expressly said that she didn't want, but you had to use in order to transport the cake on two flights over 3000 miles but you promised her that it could be removed and shes a good friend that she trusts you and you end up so frustrated that you leave the wedding early and have a really nice steak and listen to jazz at a restaurant near the hotel then you return to the venue to find that the groom and the MOB are in love with the fondant anyway and are now picking it off the leftover slices and eating it. why lord? why?

or something like that.

Not that you probably have any experience with that kind of situation, heh heh.

mcaulir Posted 31 Jul 2014 , 11:03am
post #14 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

I charge per cake and use an average number of servings per tier based on the different cake charts that are floating around to set the price. Then they can use it for a food fight or cut it into a million tiny pieces as far as I'm concerned.

 

I tell brides that this size cake or that size cake will serve between X and Y number of servings, depending on how the person cutting it does it. Truth be told, we can do all the calculating that we want, but if the person who cuts the cake does it differently from what we say they won't get a consistent number of servings out of it. A charge per cake makes more sense to me. I once had a person at the venue give me lip about how "you cake people all sell them too much cake." When I questioned that, it turned out that he'd been cutting every wedding cake 1"x 1 1/2"  instead of 1"x2". So he'd end up with extra cake all the time and then tell everyone that we were ripping off the brides. We have no control over that kind of intelligence. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2009/11/how-i-price-my-wedding-cakes.html


This seems to me to be a completely sensible way to do it.

 

I often think, when I read about charging by the serving, that you must have to be constantly explaining to customers why they can't buy 193 servings at $3 each, when the tier combination they want work out to be either 190, or 210 servings, for example. After all, from a customer's point of view, if I'm buying by the serving, then I should be able to buy just the amount of servings I need, right?

morganchampagne Posted 31 Jul 2014 , 7:31pm
post #15 of 24

A[@]mcaulir[/@] that's EXACTLY why I don't publish a price by the serving!

costumeczar Posted 31 Jul 2014 , 9:41pm
post #16 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

@mcaulir that's EXACTLY why I don't publish a price by the serving!

Here's another explanation of it, using my kids as an example: http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2013/02/tell-me-about-those-serving-sizes-again.html

kparks2 Posted 1 Aug 2014 , 4:33pm
post #17 of 24

MorganChampagne and CostumeCzar thanks for what you said.  That was my purpose behind charging per cake (besides I get more profit from the design hee hee) and I agree with everything CostumeCzar said that it makes more sense to me to do it that way then as everyone has said it is up to how the customer cuts it.  I do respect anyone that wants to charge per slice and the reasons for that did help.  Thanks for all the great advice.

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 12:45am
post #18 of 24

After reading the responses and the thoughts from those of you who charge per cake I think you may have convinced me to change what I am doing...

 

Is it crazy to change what I am doing?  I've been doing this a while (over 5 yrs).  Charging per serving has been working fine but I'm feeling like maybe the other way is easier?

Maybe I've just inhaled a little too much powdered sugar this weekend and it's all gone to my brain:?

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 12:50am
post #19 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 
 

After reading the responses and the thoughts from those of you who charge per cake I think you may have convinced me to change what I am doing...

 

Is it crazy to change what I am doing?  I've been doing this a while (over 5 yrs).  Charging per serving has been working fine but I'm feeling like maybe the other way is easier?

Maybe I've just inhaled a little too much powdered sugar this weekend and it's all gone to my brain:?

If it works for you don't change it.

kparks2 Posted 3 Aug 2014 , 11:12pm
post #20 of 24

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 
 

After reading the responses and the thoughts from those of you who charge per cake I think you may have convinced me to change what I am doing...

 

Is it crazy to change what I am doing?  I've been doing this a while (over 5 yrs).  Charging per serving has been working fine but I'm feeling like maybe the other way is easier?

Maybe I've just inhaled a little too much powdered sugar this weekend and it's all gone to my brain:?

LOL yeah do what works for you.  At the end of the day my business if not my principal form of income rather a side job so if you profit more doing it that way then do it.  I can see how charging by slice would be more profitable esp for large events.  Powdered sugar would do that lol.

cakecoachonline Posted 7 Aug 2014 , 10:28pm
post #21 of 24

I think that the people that gasp at the cost per slice of cake when quoted at a really reasonable price for a hand crafted cake which has taken hours of loving labour to make - are in fact the same people who sit in nice coffee shops happily tucking into slices of cake at £4.00 a slice.  If you quote £4 x as many servings that they want - they are aghast and wonder how you can charge THAT much.   So how does that work then?    Just a thought!  

kparks2 Posted 7 Aug 2014 , 11:28pm
post #22 of 24

A[I][/I Lol that is so true! Valid point. Once I started doing cakes I can see why cakes cost what they cost and many expect grocery prices for designer cakes. Nuh uh lol

The Orange Lily Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 4:44am
post #23 of 24

Hello everyone! I'm with you with that doubt too. Here we charge by cake, based on the weight. A kilo is supposed to be for 10 servings. So whenever a client is asking for a cake, let's say the cake is supposed to be for 40 guests. Then I do a cake that weights 4 kilograms. I am no machine so I always warn the costumer that is possible that the final cake weights a little bit more, and they are ok with it - of course the margin of error is very little (0.5kg=5 servings) so the final price doesn't change that much. I confirm them the final weight to them the day before the delivery. They pay for what they are taking and I don't loose any money if the cake is a little bit havier. So let's say I make a 4 kilo cake and the final product weights 4,3 kilos. Charging $100/kilo. Then the cake costs $430. (This is a basic decorated cake)

And how do I make sure that the cake is going to weight what I need? Well I have a table, something like this (this is an example, you should make your own because of course it changes according to your recipe, specially in the weight of the sponge cake):
Let's say I make a sponge cake of 24cm, when it's cooked (this is important, you must weight it after it's cooked), I weight it. It weights 700grams. Then I add the fillings - and for this size of the cake I weight 300grams of filling (two fillings) - So It's a total of 600 grams only the fillings. Then I ganache my cake, and I use about 700 grams. And then I cover it with fondant. I use a kilo. So let's see:
Sponge cake: 0.7 kg
Fillings: 0.6 kg
Ganache: 0.7 kg
Fondant: 1 kg
TOTAL: 3 kg
And that's it. Next time I have to make a 3 kilo cake (30 servings) I make a 24cm cake, making sure I put the right amount of filling.
I have this table with 2kg, 2,5kg, 3kg and etc etc.

I like charging this way because in the end I recommend the client how much cake he needs, but the decision is his, and as I said before, he is paying for what he is taking, And I don't loose any money if the cake weights a little bit more. The first times is a bit hard standarazing the weight of the cakes but in the end you get use to it and it's so much simplier. And after a while the cakes come out with the right weight, no more, no less!

Please forgive if my english is not perfect! I did my best trying to explain myself and I though you might be interested in this kind of charging. 

 

queenfa Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 6:19am
post #24 of 24

Acostumeczaroffline9,516 Posts. Joined 10/2007

I charge per cake and use an average number of servings per tier based on the different cake charts that are floating around to set the price. Then they can use it for a food fight or cut it into a million tiny pieces as far as I'm concerned.

Ditto. I hardly, hadly ever charge per slice.

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