From reading thousands of cake posts over the past four years, the industry standard in the USA for pricing purposes seems to be the Wilton Wedding guide.
Is the Wilton wedding guide the industry standard in the USA?
When I started this cake hobby in 2010, I ROFLMAO when I was "told" that an 8" x 4" cake will yield 24 servings. Are you kidding me???? was my overall response. Then I was "told" that a 6" x 4" cake will yield 12 servings. That's when I knew for sure that people were funnin' me.
It took some practice to get 22 servings from an 8x4" cake, and it took 4 years before I was able to get exactly 72 servings from my first 12x4" square cake. (Personally I still think that 12 servings from a 6"x4" cake is bogus, but that's just me....)
Telling people (like I was "told" by instructors and charts and blogs) that a certain size cake will yield XXX servings, and having those same, regular-non-cake-people, actually get that # of servings are two different things. Do you, the professional baker, educate customers on HOW to obtain the recommended number of servings on the Wilton chart?
When I deliver a hobby cake that I will not be cutting/serving, I provide a copy of a cutting chart diagram and a copy of Indydebi's "how to cut a wedding cake". I also provide 2 food safe, non-latex gloves (which I use instead of a cake comb).
In some cases, I also provide a paper or cardstock example of a wedding serving, 1"x2"x4".
I like the look of the Lark Cake Shoppe cutting guide, because it shows how the same cake can yield different servings, depending on how the cake is cut.
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Do y'all have any special ways/methods to educate your customers?
no i really don't -- i explain at the consult how you'd cut a 9x13 into 24 servings which this size is familiar to most everyone and that it's basically the size of a nice cupcake with extra fillings -- that if they get aunt louise's twin 16 year old daughters to cut the cake it probably won't serve everyone -- that they need to rely on an experienced cake cutter or their caterer --
i use the wilton wedding size serving but i make more cake than they order -- i've never had anyone come back & say not enough -- maybe one long ago and far away -- i give them a few guidleines about how to determine the # of guests and let them decide how many servings they want to pay for
if they ask i tell them
I'm not a professional, so ignore if you like!
I will be giving serving guides in the future, especially for weddings. The last wedding I did, a guest told me later that they got a 1inch x 1/2inch sized slice, and there was heaps of cake leftover.
I always tell people how big to cut the pieces, but obviously, that doesn't always get passed on to the actual person cutting the cake.
AI serve a tasting cake that is cut in 1 by 2 by 4 inch slices. I explain this is what a serving slice looks like. I then explain that each cake serves a certain amount of cake pieces. People always thank me and remember what I said. I call it "cutting it round" or "cutting it square". I show them that you measure in 2 inches and then you can get ten one inch slices from one side of a ten inch square cake.
They understand I do this stuff every day! I try to make stuff easy!
All of my cakes are based on Wilton party servings--1.5x2x4.
I provide a cutting guide and a photo of how to begin cutting the cake when I deliver the cake. What they do with it isn't my problem. I just know that I made a big enough cake and that they got what they paid for.
I had a complaint about a venue cutting the slices too small and lots of leftover cake. I explained that I had done the best I could to stop them from doing that but unless I'm contracted to cut the cake, there's not a thing that I can do when someone goes rogue. I told them how to store the leftovers and told them to enjoy them.
AI have a cake chart based on Indydebi's method. I print one for each tier and give it to my contact person at the venue. when I like to customer (!) I will draw a life size cake chart on wax paper...this way they can just put it on the cake and score where the servings need to be cut.