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post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by taartenmaker View Post

de_montsoreau haha yes we certainly do, and my cakes also are a lot of times 4'' tall, but some people just prefer a very small piece of cake for their clients, I just don't want to get the risk that my client ends up with to less cake


I'm in the UK and in general our wedding servings are just a bit more than half the portion of Wiltons. I don't know about the rest of europe though.

I do see the logic behind having larger portions for birthday cakes, as long as the customer knows what size your cake are, they can decide to order more if they think its necessary.

"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
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post #32 of 52

I live in central Ohio. Amish Paradise. Farmville. Frugal people live here. Supermarket cake is "plenty good enough!" The very first question asked is how much? How much do you charge for a double stack for 35 people? "Plain frosted is $$ (cheap) fondant peices will be additional " Okay sounds good I'll send you a picture of what I want" Emails a picture of a cake with parrots and smaller birds of all different colors, that would take probably 2 days and 3 pounds of fondant. I wound up emailing her back, gave her an itemized list of my costs and at the end of the list was what was left for my labor. 4 bucks per hour. So I re configured her cake to an 8" layer cake and upped the price. Still did the birds etc. That is typical of this area. Everyone expects the best for nothing. People just don't see the value in it.

My wedding cakes start at $1.50 per slice and I can't tell you how many people have listened to the quote and looked at me like I just pulled a gun on 'em. It's inexpensive! 1.50 for a slice of dessert to celebrate your wedding is half what you pay for pie at the local diner. And the pie isn't custom decorated. Not going to become rich doing cakes here. Loving the process and the decorating and the look on the customer's face when they see the miracle you pulled off for $1.50 per slice is the reward. 

post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BomCakes View Post

I live in central Ohio. Amish Paradise. Farmville. Frugal people live here. Supermarket cake is "plenty good enough!" The very first question asked is how much? How much do you charge for a double stack for 35 people? "Plain frosted is $$ (cheap) fondant peices will be additional " Okay sounds good I'll send you a picture of what I want" Emails a picture of a cake with parrots and smaller birds of all different colors, that would take probably 2 days and 3 pounds of fondant. I wound up emailing her back, gave her an itemized list of my costs and at the end of the list was what was left for my labor. 4 bucks per hour. So I re configured her cake to an 8" layer cake and upped the price. Still did the birds etc. That is typical of this area. Everyone expects the best for nothing. People just don't see the value in it.

My wedding cakes start at $1.50 per slice and I can't tell you how many people have listened to the quote and looked at me like I just pulled a gun on 'em. It's inexpensive! 1.50 for a slice of dessert to celebrate your wedding is half what you pay for pie at the local diner. And the pie isn't custom decorated. Not going to become rich doing cakes here. Loving the process and the decorating and the look on the customer's face when they see the miracle you pulled off for $1.50 per slice is the reward. 

HUH?! I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything, I might have choked. Bless your generous heart.

post #34 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus View Post

Friendly amendment to Full House's excellent instructions, I would add for the cake dummies (like me!) that they should start serving the largest tier first because the smaller tiers are easier to store and transport- if left over...

 

Just an obvious "duh" moment I had reading on CC one night. Something, I , as a customer, would find helpful.

Ha, good point.  I do always start with the largest tier if I'm cutting, but never would have thought to specifically mention that.  I will be adding that in :).

post #35 of 52

I do two different cake pricing... layer and sheet. It doesn't matter what the event is for, I use the wilton slice guide for wedding cake standards 1x2 size slices for all layer cakes and 2x2 slice guides for the sheet. I charge a base price of $2.50 per slice for layer (base price in my area) and $1.00 per slice for sheet. All extras are extra. Complex designs (which is anything more than a SMALL amount of piping, a small amount of buttercream flowers or sprinkles, etc) start at a $30 design fee, and is subject to be more depending on the complexity of design. Then everything from fondant to figures to monograms are extra fees.

I do catch a little bit of flack from birthday or other occasional type of customers... especially when they say "Well, that 8 inch cake will only serve 10 people with how I cut pieces!" and I tell them that is fine, but prices are based on 1x2 inch pieces of cake. They can cut it in 10 pieces, but they are getting and paying for 20. A bride that wants a 3 tier buttercream cake for her wedding and Joe Schmoe that wants a 3 tier buttercream cake for his 1 year old's birthday should pay the same price. However, if she wants strawberries in her cake, it's extra. Or he wants transformers made out of modeling chocolate, those are extra.

It all works out fairly in the end. And that way I can actually post base prices. I get a lot more customers that way.

post #36 of 52

I have to be honest, I am still very frustrated trying to come up with pricing that is fair and competitive. the wilton serving charts make it much more difficult for me.

 

for example, the wilton chart has an 8 inch round at 24 servings. At 3 dollars a slice that's $72.  I charge $48 and I think that's about all the market will bear and I live in very pricey Orange County CA. 

 

It appears (from what I've gleaned from this site) that most charge additionally for special decorating, but how do you decide?

 

I somehow feel like a base price per slice will either over charge my customers OR leave me with less profit in the long run, but if I don't have a number of servings per cake, well you can see how that would be a problem. Last, I would hate to become known as the woman who over supplies, so don't order the size you think you need.  AARGH. I'm so frustrated. 

 

It seems to me that having a base price per cake size with a range of servings would be easier to present. It would certainly be easier for ME to understand. 

 

Does anyone price that way?

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by BomCakes View Post

I live in central Ohio. Amish Paradise. Farmville. Frugal people live here. Supermarket cake is "plenty good enough!" The very first question asked is how much? How much do you charge for a double stack for 35 people? "Plain frosted is $$ (cheap) fondant peices will be additional " Okay sounds good I'll send you a picture of what I want" Emails a picture of a cake with parrots and smaller birds of all different colors, that would take probably 2 days and 3 pounds of fondant. I wound up emailing her back, gave her an itemized list of my costs and at the end of the list was what was left for my labor. 4 bucks per hour. So I re configured her cake to an 8" layer cake and upped the price. Still did the birds etc. That is typical of this area. Everyone expects the best for nothing. People just don't see the value in it.

My wedding cakes start at $1.50 per slice and I can't tell you how many people have listened to the quote and looked at me like I just pulled a gun on 'em. It's inexpensive! 1.50 for a slice of dessert to celebrate your wedding is half what you pay for pie at the local diner. And the pie isn't custom decorated. Not going to become rich doing cakes here. Loving the process and the decorating and the look on the customer's face when they see the miracle you pulled off for $1.50 per slice is the reward. 

I still think you need to raise your prices. I had very low prices for a while, and have doubled them, and I still have the same percentage of people who think that the prices are too high. The bonus is, I get paid more for the cakes I get to do. 

 

Your cakes are gorgeous, and VERY well made, and I don't tell that to everyone, only if I believe it. If I ws as good as you, I would be charging $4 as a base price, and I live in a small town in Ky. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #38 of 52

I use the "Earlene" chart for my servings.  I think the Wilton is way too small also.

post #39 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla View Post

I have to be honest, I am still very frustrated trying to come up with pricing that is fair and competitive. the wilton serving charts make it much more difficult for me.

 

for example, the wilton chart has an 8 inch round at 24 servings. At 3 dollars a slice that's $72.  I charge $48 and I think that's about all the market will bear and I live in very pricey Orange County CA

 

It appears (from what I've gleaned from this site) that most charge additionally for special decorating, but how do you decide?

 

I somehow feel like a base price per slice will either over charge my customers OR leave me with less profit in the long run, but if I don't have a number of servings per cake, well you can see how that would be a problem. Last, I would hate to become known as the woman who over supplies, so don't order the size you think you need.  AARGH. I'm so frustrated. 

 

It seems to me that having a base price per cake size with a range of servings would be easier to present. It would certainly be easier for ME to understand. 

 

Does anyone price that way?

 

I do not live in CA, but I find it very hard to believe that the market is that low.  I live in Wal-Mart country, Arkansas, and I charge $66 for an 8 inch round.  I won't turn my oven on for less.  I think your target market it set too low if $48 is all you can get for an 8 inch.  I don't mean to sound rude, but I had the same problem in the beginning.  I had to find the right market.  If people don't want to pay my prices, that is fine they can go to Wal-Mart.  My time is too valuable to do a cake for so low. 
 

post #40 of 52

I did an 8-10-12 three tier, each tier at 4 inches tall this weekend, for 50 people. There was only a little of the bottom tier left at the end of the party! No way I'd be able to tell the friend who got the cake that a single 12" would be enough for the same size party another time. Luckily for her the cake was free!

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #41 of 52
A basic 8" BC party cake for $48 is about right for a midmarket customer. Assuming you have an efficient process in place, that's less than an hour of labor so you would be pretty profitable at that price point.

Of course, if someone is looking for 24 servings for a party I would sell them a 12" round, an 8" wouldn't yield nearly enough cake.
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron View Post


I'm in the UK and in general our wedding servings are just a bit more than half the portion of Wiltons. I don't know about the rest of europe though.

I do see the logic behind having larger portions for birthday cakes, as long as the customer knows what size your cake are, they can decide to order more if they think its necessary.

Traditionally in the UK the cake was not served as the main dessert, and therefore a smaller slice was served, plus a smaller slice of rich fruit will hold it's shape better than a slice of sponge/madeira.

Nowadays very few people want every layer of their wedding cake to be fruit.  Many couples will choose different flavours for each layer, and will also serve it as the main dessert, therefore needing a larger slice to be served.

I did lots of maths about how many servings can be got from different size layers last year as I was making a multi layered wedding cake. (for 300) 

I don't have any idea about pricings though, as the only wedding cakes I've made have been presents.

post #43 of 52

I to have found the wilton sizing too small. I found a another chart that is pretty good.  http://www.earlenescakes.com/ckserchart.htm.

 

I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

 

I also have minimum cake prices, and increase it based on decor and size. Prices start at $40 for 1 tier, $100 for 2 tier, and $200 for 3 tier.

 

I also normally charge slightly more for wedding vs birthday cakes. For example, a 3 tiered  wedding cake of 6"/10"/14" (about 100 servings) I price range at $350 - $500 depending on type and detail of decor chosen, a birthday cake of same size would be $300 - $500. Most of the price difference is due to delivery costs associated with wedding cakes. On average I charge $3 - $5 per serving (plus delivery if needed). I use a 2 layer cake for each tier (unless otherwise requested) for both weddings and birthdays. My cakes come out at 3" high.

 

I can't believe anyone would be making a profit at $1.50 like BomCakes charges. I don't make a lot of profit at $3.00, although I do have to order a lot of product items from the US or UK as they only have the basics available here.

post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by lihainalady View Post

I use the "Earlene" chart for my servings.  I think the Wilton is way too small also.

 

Wilton bases their servings on a piece of cake being 8" cubed. (1x2x4) That "slice dummy" in my hand is 1x2x4.25 It is plenty of cake, in fact, many people will ask me to cut it much smaller.

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #45 of 52

I'm seeing these posts about how some of you think you're in an area where you just can't get much for cake or a even a fair price for your labor. I promise you, the problem is that you are not making contact with your target customer.   When i first started i had people trying to negotiate down my prices and many who balked at my prices. If I had given in to satisfy those people, they would still be my customer base and I'd never have found the people who appreciate my cakes. I don't want those people as customers.

 

When someone does not want to pay a fair price for your cake, they are not your customer. Period.

 

And on a side note, while I am very kind and patient with the one-time-splurge customer, they do often take more time and effort because they have so much invested in this cake that's outside of their price range. Time is money. As I get more customers in the higher range, people who don't bat an eye at spending $500 on a birthday cake for 40-50, I find they are less high maintenance and sometimes say, just make it awesome and don't go over a certain amount.

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