Personal Question Regarding Labor Charges...

Business By 4Gifts4Lisa Updated 24 Jun 2009 , 3:14pm by 4Gifts4Lisa

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4Gifts4Lisa Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 12:56am
post #1 of 6

How much do you charge for your labor? I am trying to price out some items (using my cake boss software icon_smile.gif ), and I need to figure out a labor charge. Please don't look at my gallery and then decide...those cakes are years old and I am much improved icon_biggrin.gif

I want to price out fondant package bows, flowers, etc.

Please help!

5 replies
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sari66 Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 3:04am
post #2 of 6

Well, how much do you feel your work is worth? A plumber can charge 30+ an hr a Dr will charge 100+ it just depends on the person and skill level.

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4Gifts4Lisa Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 4:12am
post #3 of 6

That's just it...I have no idea! I guess I am wondering what the "going rate" is. I know that cakes in my area are priced at anywhere between $4-$5 a serving, but I don't know how that translates to labor charges.

I keep discussing this with my hubby...he wants to price cakes at $2.75/serving, which I think is insane. In trying to price out my stuff, I keep thinking of the discussions we have on this board...the time/talent/overhead/amount invested for equipment/the time I have spent training and reading and experimenting and learning. It is common knowledge what doctors/plumbers/auto mechanics charge.

But what about cake decorators? Anyone?

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Mike1394 Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 11:43am
post #4 of 6

LOL I have had this discussion forever. You are a business owner you have no hourly pay. The public doesn't care whether you make 20.00 an hour, or 50 cents. Your cakes need to be priced competitivly, and if your not making as much as you think your "worth" then you need to rethink your stratedgy.


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indydebi Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 1:36pm
post #5 of 6

Your hourly rate per cake will be different depending on your productivity capabilities.

Let's assume you're paying someone to make your wedding cakes (and you are .... you're paying you, but let's pretend you're going to tell your accountant to write a payroll check to an employee.)

Assume $10/hour. Assume we are selling a cake for $3/serving and it's for 100 people = $300 for the cake. Assume ingredients cost $100. Assume we're going to ignore basic overhead costs for right now.....we're just going to deal with ingredients and payroll. All of this assuming is just for simplicity's sake.

A small kitchen/oven takes 4 hours just to bake the cake, plus 4 hours to do all the decorating from crumb coat to final flower. Add 1 hour for round trip delivery. Total man hours invested: 9. $200 divided by 9 = $22/hour is what you've "earned".

A commercial oven can get that same cake baked in 1 hour and since a larger kitchen can more easily accomodate an assembly line process, we can do the cake in 3 hours, plus 1 hour delivery = 5 hours invested, divided into $200 = $40/hour earned.

The bigger the cake, the more I earn per hour, because I can bake a cake for 100 or a cake for 300 in one hour. Decorating time is only slightly longer for a cake for 300.

So it totally depends on your productivity capability. A smaller kitchen will have higher overhead (more payroll because it takes longer just to even bake it).

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4Gifts4Lisa Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 3:14pm
post #6 of 6

Thanks, Debi...I *almost* PM'd you but wasn't sure you had time to answer!

Your answer is pretty much what I ended up figuring out...I hadn't thought about the "bigger cake, more per hour" though. Duh.

I think I needed to see it broken down for a few reasons...1) I am trying to price out my fondant package bows and 2) I wanted to show myself that $3/serving for a cake IS fair. Especially when the bakeries here are charging between 4-4.75. I have a baaaad habit of underpricing myself...not too bad when you are just getting started but extremely bad when you are established.

More later...I gotta get to work! icon_biggrin.gif

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