My cousin just got engaged and is getting married next fall (2010)...a ways off. She's asked me to make her wedding cake. I've never done one before, but she just wants very simple and round cakes. They are planning around 300 guests.
Now, I know that you don't make enough cake for 300 guests and I think you take a percentage of that and make that amount of cake.
How would I calculate how much cake to make?
Also, how many rounds (and what sizes) would you make for a guest list of 300?
And, do I charge based on a guest count of 300..or if I only make the cake for 250 (accounting for those who won't eat cake, etc), do I charge for 250 people?
Last one...when you do a wedding cake, do you assume the bride and groom will keep the topper and freeze it? Would I just need to provide a small box for them if they want to do that? I know when we got married, my mom was friends with the bakery owner and they gave us a great discount on our cake and we served the topper and they just told us to come back around our 1 year anniversary and they would make us a fresh cake to eat for our anniversary. Since I'm not "in business" I don't want to offer that, so wasn't sure what you guys do as far as saving or eating the topper at the wedding.
Just trying to get some ideas...this is over a year away, but I've never done an actual wedding cake before
If you make a 250 serving cake....charge for 250 servings. I would ask her how many she plans to feed with her cake. She may plan on inviting about 300, but realize that maybe 80-85% will show (indydebi has a formula, I believe....if you ask nice maybe she'll share )
I generally tell my brides that they can change anything up until 3 weeks before, so if they see that they will need less or more cake, we can change that up until the final payment is due at 3 weeks before. That way they can evaluate their RSVP's and make a decision.
Check out this website: www.earlenescakes.com. She has a killer serving chart. I use it for all my weddings. Some swear by Wilton.com's serving chart, though. It's a matter of preference. I like earlene's since the serving sizes seem more generous and that way I don't have any complaints about too small pieces of cake. But that's just me.
I offer my brides a choice: either I don't charge them for the top tier of their cake (usu a 6in diameter) or they get a free 6in tier freshly made for their anniversary. Most have opted for the fresh cake. But just ask your bride which they prefer. If she wants to save it, provide a box and instructions for properly freezing it. Make sure the rest of the cake supplies her needs. If not....assume the whole thing will be eaten, and include the top tier in the final count of servings.
Headcount: How many did she invite? If she invited 300, then under my 60% Rule, she'll have about 175-200 actually show up. If she invited 500, then she'll have about 300 show up. But the above is true. If she orders 300 servings, you make 300 servings and you charge her for 300 servings.
Industry standard servings are 1x2x4. Here's the chart that shows the number of servings per tier, based on this size: http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm If you figure a larger size (I've seen some use 1.5x2x4, for example), then be sure you charge accordingly. A 1x2x4 = 8 cubic inches. A 1.5x2x4=12 cubic inches. The 1.5 piece is 50% more cake than the industry standard, so it should be priced at 50% higher per-slice price.
Here's my cutting chart on how to achieve the 1x2x4 servings: http://www.cateritsimple.com/id10.html
Here's a pic of cake that is 1x2x4. Notice they are NOT paper thin: http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1156785
How to store the top tier for your anniversary: http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/storing-wedding-cakes.cfm