I'm getting more requests for smaller tiered wedding cakes and then supplemental sheet cakes as well. It's a budget thing and I like to accommodate as best I can, while still staying firm on my prices. I make sure that I let me brides/customers know that MY sheet cakes aren't like to cheap ones you'd get at Walmart, Sam's etc and that is why they cost more. Most customers think this is completely reasonable and will book. Those who don't, aren't in my target market anyway and will just go to a local bakery or Walmart and get a dry cake!
1) What pans do you use? Brand, size etc?
I use Wilton pans. I offer a 13x9 (which is considered a 1/4 sheet). I offer a 12x18 (which is considered a 1/2 sheet). I rarely have requests for a full sheet size cake, but if I do, I just put 2 of the 12x18 together. For weddings, I like to just add additional 12x18's and not FULL sheets. I think it looks nicer and it's just what I prefer.
2) Do you torte them or just bake multiple pans and just level & fill?
I bake them in the 2" high pan and then cut them in 1/2, level and then fill. They end up being almost 3.5" high after completion.
3) What servings do you say they serve?
My regular torted, non-sheet cakes are typically 5.5" high and have 3 layers of cake and 2 filling/frosting - - These are to be cut in 1.5x2 inch slices. My sheet cakes are to be cut into 2x2 inch pieces and serve the following: 13x9 - 25 and 12x18 - 54
4) (don't shoot me for this one!) What do you charge? If you answer this one, if you could say where you are and what your tiered cakes generally cost that would be great! I know I need to still calculate my costs but I would love to see what everyone else charges.
I am from rural Wisconsin (have a home based licensed/inspected kitchen), so I'm sure my cakes are less than yours. Since my torted cakes have more ingredients and take longer to decorate, my basic starting charge is $3.00 per slice for buttercream and $4 for fondant. My "sheet" cakes cost $40 for a 13x9 and $70 for a basic buttercream cake. The price increases for specialty flavors (25 cents per slice), fondant or decorative & time consuming accents.
Hope this helps :)