Okay, I'm having a hard time deciding which serving guide I use. Honestly, I hate to admit it, sometimes I've used Wilton to price a cake and sometimes I've used Earlene's. And yes, as warned by the very wise folks here, it's becoming an issue now, so I need to decide which chart I am going to use and would like to know what the consensus is and what most of you use. The reason I have liked Earlene's is because it does give more generous slices, but I think it might be a little too generous for some pan sizes, and then I'm also missing out on those extra servings I could charge if I used Wilton's, but I want to be fair and reasonable to my customers.
I think it's just best to use the Wilton guide because that's how caterers have been trained to cut.
The other thing is - if you're going to use Earlene's chart, then you need to charge more for the cake.
Just my thoughts.
Why do you think you're not being "fair and reasonable" to yoru customers? I think you need to identify that, first. A wilton serving is not paper thin. It's a nice size dessert serving. I get lots of people at weddings who ask me to cut them a smaller piece .... smaller than wilton.
The only food I ever order at Cracker Barrel is their chicken 'n dumplings. I could eat my weight in those. I COULD argue that their vision of a serving isn't "fair and reasonable" to someone like me. But the bottom line is they have determined that's how much I get for the price I pay. If I want a bigger portion, then I pay for the extra. Period.
I am very confused, I paid the extra money to Earlene and got her copy of the serving chart. Her sizes are the same as Wilton 1 x 2 x 4. She is just stating that you can't get the servings from the pan that wilton says. I have gone thru it and some sizes it is a large difference, 10 or more servings. I don't understand how she is getting such a difference. She does offer a cutting chart also, but still confused by it. I understand indydebi way of cutting, easier and get more accurate servings. If Earlene is the same size pieces, how can wilton be off so much in there serving amts.
If you have someone comparing costs with another caker/baker, your cost per serving will be higher if you use Earlene's and that person uses Wilton.
Most persons may not understand (or care) about the slight difference between the two different standards, and instead will think that you simply charge more per piece.
She is just stating that you can't get the servings from the pan that wilton says. I have gone thru it and some sizes it is a large difference, 10 or more
No disrespect to Earline because I admire her vast knowledge and talent, but if someone can't get wilton servings from a cake, then they're not cutting it right.
I get about 10% more than wilton indicates and I have people asking me for smaller pieces, so I think that indicates I'm not cutting them teeny tiny.
You lose some of the cake in the angled cutting of using the circle method. That ever so slightly almost imperceptable "flare" on each piece is a little extra cake that makes each piece not "quite" a true 1x2x4 .... the flare makes it a little bigger than 1x2x4. By using my cutting method (straight line method .... NOT circle method) you eliminate that flare on each piece, getting a true cut of 1x2x4, ergo the math works.
I used Earlene's chart for awhile because I was afraid of running out of cake. I seemed, however, always to have way too much cake. Then I averaged Earlene's and Wilton's for awhile and usually still had too much cake. When I finally decided I needed to make more profit, I went to using Wilton's chart exclusively and I have never run out of cake and usually, like Indydebi says, people ask for smaller pieces, so there is still leftover cake. Wilton is the industry standard for a reason. I'm not a fan of Wilton, but they seem to have this right. (Except maybe in Texas where Earlene lives, where they want really BIG pieces of cake LOL)
Wow, thanks to all for the insight on this. Debi, you are a a fountain of knowledge and reason! I am going to stick with the Wilton chart now. I'll make more money too, so that is always good!
I used to think that wiltons was way too small...but now that I have gained like 15 pounds I realize that my eyes were just too big. I think Earlene's pieces are a bit too big. Maybe for a party cake I guess...
Even at my grandchildren's birthday parties (where the guests are little kids and adults); even at family Christmas gatherings and summer picnics, I cut the cakes using the wilton sizes and everyone is fine with it. Those who want more, can take a 2nd piece. For a 5 year old, it's more than enough cake.
We've "biggy'd" ourselves into thinking more IS better. It's not better ..... it's just more.
I used your cutting method when I cut the wedding cake I did three weeks ago. It was so much easier than trying to cut those stupid angles. Thanks again for your link and advice!
I just wrote a blog entry about how I price my cakes, and it basically hinges on the two cutting charts. I do a range now instead of a per-serving price, but read the blog to see the full explanation! I do think that the servers at reception venues tend to cut it closer to the Wilton chart than Earlene's.
I was trying to decided how accurate Wilton's chart was so I drew a 9 inch circle on paper, then using the straight line cutting method made horizontal lines 2 inches apart and vertical lines 1 inch apart. The round edges I adjusted so all the pieces had about the same area. I then numbered them and came up with 32. I checked the chart and that is exactly what Wilton has. Try it yourself for the size you are interested in.