Need Help Figuring Out This Cost!

Decorating By marie1152 Updated 21 Jan 2009 , 1:19am by indydebi

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marie1152 Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 12:39am
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Can someone please help me with this? I am fairly new at doing wedding cakes but have been trying to get into this for a while now and have just about finished finished my classes to get certified as a pastry chef. Here is my question, I do not know how to charge for this cake, a lady called and wants a wedding cake, but wants a presentation cake and wants to save the top layer for her anniversary, then have one layer to cut at the wedding for photos. The other layer she wants as a dummy layer to save costs and then serve sheet cakes for the guests. She hasnt really told me the design yet for the presentation cake other than she probably wants a three tiered cake and would bring me swatches of her bridesmaids dresses, and also asked about filling for the sheet cakes with maybe chocolate shavings on top. Sorry this is so long, but Im not sure how to go about this, I quoted her a price only on the sheet cakes until she decided what exactly she wanted on the other cake, but could someone please give me some ideas on where to start with this? Thanks so much in advance!

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indydebi Posted 21 Jan 2009 , 1:19am
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First of all, I tell brides "the wedding magazines are lying to you. Dummy cakes PLUS sheet cakes are NOT cheaper......"

I actually run the numbers on my FAQ page. Here's the cut-n-paste.

How much cheaper is it to rent a dummy cake and then get sheet cakes, as suggested by many wedding magazines?
This is another rumor put out by non-cake-makers that is very misleading to brides.

First, there are businesses out there who make up styrofoam cakes and rent them out over and over. There are also dummy cakes that have a wedge cut out and a real piece of cake is inserted for the cake-cutting photo. I'm not aware of how to sanitize a styrofoam cake that's going to be rented out over and over again, and I personally would be very nervous about feeding my new spouse some cake that was shoved into a slot that's had heaven-knows-what in there, used by how-many-people and not properly sanitized.

The magazines, news shows and websites lead a bride to believe styrofoam cakes are practically free. Here's the truth:
---It takes real money to buy the styrofoam dummies.
---It takes the same amount of icing to ice a fake cake as it does a real cake.
---It takes the same amount of time to ice a fake cake as it does a real cake.
---Fake cakes take up the same amount of space in the delivery van as a real cake does.
---Fake cakes take the same amount of gas in that van to deliver it as a real cake does.

Because my costs are not diminished by that much, I (as many decorators do) charge 80% of the standard price for the fake cake. ASSUMING sheet cakes are cheaper (which is not always true because it's the same cake, same icing, same delivery costs, etc.), you are most likely to spend MORE on a small fake cake with sheets, than you would on a grand and glamorous wedding cake. Here are the numbers:

Fake cake for 100:
$3/serving x 100 = $300 x 80% = $240.

Sheet cakes for 100:
$2/serving x 100 = $200

Total cost for fake + sheets: $240+$200 = $440
Cost for real wedding cake for 100: $3/serving x 100 = $300

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