A little while ago I posted a question about running a cake decorating business through the catering company that I work for. Now that I have sold and delivered my first wedding cake, I'm not so sure it's a good idea.
My boss wrote out what she thinks that the business lost as a result of my wedding cake sale and it came out to be about $115.00. She included utilities, income tax (federal and state), loss of cake cutting fee ($40), and the credit processing fee. I figure that my cost, including the time spent on the cake, ingredients, and equipment, was more like $250. Since we only charged $3 per person, plus extra for the fresh flowers, the customer only paid $235.
It's obvious that I need to charge more but I'm afraid that I'll price myself out of the market. She also thinks that she needs to get a bigger cut of the profits. We had agreed on 65-35 (me-her) but she now feels like it should be closer to 50-50.
Also, she feels like there is a conflict of interest since I'm also her event coordinator and she often relies on me to work events when she is unable to. Last Saturday I "chose" to work on the cake (for 10 hours!) instead of serving at a wedding. I already work 40 hour weeks for her so I guess she expects me to work 8 hour days in the office, then bake and decorate cakes in the evening, plus work events most Saturdays.
The short of it is that I'm feeling very discouraged. She claims that she likes the idea of offering my cakes to her customers but I feel like I'm facing a giant stop sign. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to have a side cake decorating business if I continue to work for her.
The bride, by the way, LOVED the cake and was very happy with the way it looked and tasted and I have several other brides who are interested in booking their cake with me. I'm just not sure I'll be able to do it any more under these circumstances.
I know this is complicated, but does anyone have any advice for me?
Is there any way you can just do cakes on the side on your own?
It sounds like to me, since you are just starting out, that the fees and everything involved with the catering is going to be more out of your control since it's falling all under your boss' business. If you did cakes on your own, it would be more of your own control....hour, fees, cost of supplies, etc.
I don't think that she's taking advantage of you, but from what I read....seems like it just wouldn't work trying to do it the way you are. At least not until you can get a solid flow of clients to help off set the cost to your boss.
Well...that's my two cents.
Thanks for your advice, Erdica. Any ideas about what a fair percentage might be if I decide to continue with her? I really don't think 50-50 is fair when I'm the one buying all of the supplies and ingredients and putting in all of the hours.
It sounds like she has seen a golden opportunity and is now going to capitalize on it at your expense.
Your doing the work and the investment. You should get at least 75% of the amount. I agree that paying her a "rent" to use her facility to make the cakes in is fair, however, it's YOUR bllod, sweat and tears being shed...not hers.
An idea maybe to find another facility in which to make your cakes at thus ending her conflict and capitalizing on your efforts. People that take advantage really make me go ARGH!!
Good Luck to you
A $115 loss sounds like bull to me. I don't believe her. She has "greedy" written all over her. And why did she lose $40 on a cake-cutting fee? When does she charge/not charge? Did you get a line item breakdown of her costs? What does she mean re Fed/State taxes?? Get your business license, pay a reasonable fee to rent the kitchen, and she can treat you like any other cake business.
I almost took a job as a wedding cake decorator last year. They were going to pay me 40% but they were going to pay for everything and bake the cakes and make the frostings. All I would have to do is decorate and deliver. Maybe that would put it into perspective?
I'll pay you $50 to mow my grass, but I'll keep $30 of it because that's what I would have paid myself to mow my own grass. That sounds to me like what she's doing. If you hire someone to do something, you can't charge them for the money you didn't earn by not doing it yourself. She doesn't have her head on straight. Same with the taxes. Sure, she'll have to pay taxes on her earnings, but she'll also take all kinds of deductions that she's not passing on to you. It sounds to me like she doesn't really want you making the cakes. Sounds like she really wants you for this other work, and either conciously or subconciously, she's going to make it hard on you to be successful with your cakes. Decide if it's worth it to put up with until you're able to afford your own kitchen or find someone else to rent from.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
That being said, this has contract, contract, contract; lawyer, lawyer, lawyer written all over it.