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How to you charge to set a cupcake/dessert table?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
quickie question:

if you are providing a collection of trays, stands, and possibly speciality linen along with printed descriptions of each cupcake/dessert, how to you charge extra for rentals? Many of my cake platters and stands are one of a kind or vintage, so i'm not sure I can go with the standard 1/3 of replacement value (because i'm not sure what that would be!)

i have a bride who wants a sleek, mid-century feel to a cupcake display (11 doz) with a centerpiece cutting cake 4"/6". I know that i'll be thrifting to find some items and using items that i have already...but I need to put something down in the quote. I have a standard $25/hr delivery and set up fee in my wedding cake quotes. but this seems above and beyond.

thanks for your input in helping me think this one through.
post #2 of 7
Personally, when I use to do candy buffets I always purchased platters from thrift stores, and let the customer keep them, I always seemed to find great deals on glass platters, usually .50 to 1.00 each. I also used two linen tablecloths, and seperated them and used different levels, don't know how else to explain it, which held the platters at different levels, but were hidden by the top cloth, does this make sense?

I also charged a flat fee to deliver and set up the complete table, if it was an 8' banquet table, I charged $200 to set. Two 8' tables were $300, no matter if the job took me 1 hour or 4. I also stated in the contract that the customer was being charged an additional fee if the items weren't returned by such and such date, and I always got a deposit for things that would later be returned to me.

I am enclosing a pic to give you an idea of the table decor. Hope you understand.
LL
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Simply Cakes! Where life's simplest pleasures are made to be eaten-
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post #3 of 7
I offer everything and I charge a la carte.

I have about 80 coordinating pieces to rent. I avoid the deposit by offering the attendant for the duration.

I just started offering the complete setup for vintage staging, furniture and all. Again, the pieces are a la carte and once we have an idea what will be used or the budget, I offer package A, B, and C. So far, all C's... they go above budget. But with package C, I add some discounted incentives to make it more attractive.

I do the fabric, flowers, basically everything. I know pretty much how much material and flowers will be. Any odd things are usually on Amazon. I can ball park it and get close. I know how much time it will take and I charge essentially, just like I do the desserts. I even know where all candies are and can figure that budget without checking.

I think like anything else, you have to know your products and know your time.

You will find, as you do these, cleanup is a real factor. Yes, you pack it up, but then all have to beunpacked, cleaned, jars air dried, and all put back on display. I undercharged on my first rentals because of this under-estimation.

I just had framed back-drops made for my buffet tables. This is a huge wow factor and an easy upsell. Again, a la carte.

I suggest starting small and screw up a little. What you miss will not be missed again.

My placecards are done by a graphic artist and I surcharge them.

Make sure you count washing and ironing linens. Plus, the good ones are expensive, but will save time. I use BB&B that are stain proof. This is why rental companies charge $25 per tablecloth and so do I.

The nice thing is that I work out prices but manage to keep most of the custom props such as floral arrangements, fabrics, and table decor. Not only can they be used again, but grouped properly, they provide a display for the next potential client. I hav a large staging and rental display area and it is almost overwhelming with possibilities with little vignettes. I have a studio a few miles away for furniture rental.

My price is way above $25/hr. Don't sell yourself short.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
thank you both for the input. I know i'm going to undercharge for this first cupcake table...just because i know that it is a learning experience. The pick up is going to be a point to work out. I'd ideally like to be able to have them pack the items up and return them just like a regular cake stand, but i guess not doing it myself leaves more room for breakage and lost items. Maybe driving back at the end of the night would be best. Attendant isn't in the picture.

thanks again for helping me think this through! thumbs_up.gif
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann

thank you both for the input. I know i'm going to undercharge for this first cupcake table...just because i know that it is a learning experience. The pick up is going to be a point to work out. I'd ideally like to be able to have them pack the items up and return them just like a regular cake stand, but i guess not doing it myself leaves more room for breakage and lost items. Maybe driving back at the end of the night would be best. Attendant isn't in the picture.

thanks again for helping me think this through! thumbs_up.gif

I have a bunch of stands and props and stuff, and was thinking of offering setups like this myself for extra income. My first thought if I wouldn't be tearing it down at the end of the evening would be to specifically say DO NOT WASH, do not scrape anything off, just set them aside. I have a bad feeling something will happen though. And like you, mine have been picked up at random places sometimes and could not be replaced! Decisions, decisions....
*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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*Top 100 Designers in The USA, Brides Magazine, 2013*<---little ole' me!
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
i know...how can you put a price on a true one of a kind that you got for $10 at the thrift store, but is worth $$$ to you personally because of how unique it is? I think it is going to be a case by case decision. this mod cupcake display is pretty close to my house, so it won't be too bad to be there to do pick up at the end of the night. hmmmm...
post #7 of 7
I you really want to start this, you can collect just for the buffets. I have gotten all of my pieces at Marshall's, TJ Maxx, Target, and places like that.

I collect white and various silver metal platters and stands, and a variety of apothecary jars and clear glass containers that are interesting. They range from $10 to $30 each. The good thing is that these types of stores have similar pieces all the time.

When you hit them with a deposit on 15 pieces for about $250.00, the attendant doesn't look so bad. Now you are paid to set up, attend, and tear down. Your pieces will only be broken by you (yes, I have done that).

You can always do what you said, but charge for the pickup. If I really cared about the piece, I would charge for a pickup.

If not, send a separate trash bag for every piece and have them pack them dirty. Provide ample boxes. Be sure to charge for all of those bags. I actually pack like this myself. At the end of the night, those bags are very protective. I pack in paper to bring the things (candy I don't want to move and dirty the jar). I put the candy in jars at the bakery and the rest is put on platters there.

I undercharged the first time too. If no one does it in your area, you will get business. All of my weddings add a little something, even if it's chocolate strawberries and a few candies.

I make all displays 3D. I stack pieces on top of each other and make it all different heights and dimensions. They really are a lot of fun.

I would suggest an amount per hour for your time of at least $40.
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