If the bride asked for 150 servings in the display cake, then why did you sketch up a cake for 250? I suggest re-designing the display to include 150 servings, which in and of itself will reduce the cost. Encourage her to go with a buttercream cake versus fondant, which will save money as well. Eliminate the sugar flowers and any other add-ons. She needs to understand that if she has a budget, then the add-ons have to be eliminated. You don't work for free. If the bride wants to reduce the cost further but not eleminate any of the 400 servings, I suggest incorporating cupcakes. If cupcakes are all the same flavor (simple flavor) without any filling, they can be knocked out quickly and be done inexpensively. You could easily go $2/serving on the cupcakes since you don't have much overhead costs.
If you are unlicensed and do not operate a commercial business, I have to disagree and say that you can't expect to charge what a local bakery charges. Even when cake businesses first start out, many times you have to lower your cost a little below the established businesses in order to get contracts. Over time, you increase your prices. I'm sure some people on here will disagree with that, but unfortunately it is how the game goes in my city. Unlicensed or new business aren't able to command the same price for their cakes. It's just the way it is.
Maybe lower your per serving price slightly below legal commercial cake businesses but not so much that you lose your profit. If you charge as much as a licensed cake business, she may decide to go elsewhere. If I were her, and I was being charged the same amount by you and a local bakery, I would opt for the legal business that has experience, a license, and insurance. I would expect to pay less by ordering from someone that isn't licensed. Not traying to be harsh.
Good luck, and I hope it works out for both you and the bride.
I would draw up a few options for her with a few different
prices. This gives your customer the control to choose what
fits her budget. And doesn't compromise your pricing. Like
give the price of the smaller display cake with fondant and
with buttercream also with and without the gumpaste flowers.
Hi everyone, thank you all for your replies and your input.
I have talked to the bride to be and offered some different options to her. She did tell me that this cake is for her 2nd reception in the evening and she thinks it will be close to the 400 people mark. She will however give me her final guest number once she has all of her replies back. we talked about the licensing issue as one of you suggested and she will find out if that will be a problem. I was using a friends kitchen for the ovens, equip, ect. I will see if I am still going to do that.
I did the original sketch for her big cake too feed so many as an idea. The price was for all of the cakes as she orig wanted them, all filled and covered in fondant. Im going to scale down the idea I gave her to feed the actual number of people she wanted originally. She does however wants the cake to be fondant and not buttercream. She does not like the look of it and she would also like some gumpaste flowers, so were not going to use as many of those. She also wanted the sheetcakes to be filled and covered in fondant as the main cake. We have decided not to go that route for now. Those will be regular buttercream and not filled. The tree stump cake is out and I will make maybe a half sheet cake gluten free. She told me she got some samples of gluten free mixes, so I wont have to go out and get the ingredients (that are hard to find in our area) to make it from scratch.
She did tell me that she may have to change the date of her 2nd reception due to some problem with where it will be held. She told me she will let me know by the end of the week whats going to happen.
Thank you again for thoughts.
She is having TWO receptions?????
Please! Stick with your original price. If she doesn't like it politely suggest she check with other bakeries to see what they would charge. If you are going to have that many people AND want fondant covered cakes then you need to fork over the cash.