## Really... Help... How Many Ways Can You Calculate Servings?

By johnson6ofus Updated 30 Aug 2014 , 1:41pm by -K8memphis

johnson6ofus Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 6:31am
post #1 of 21

Standard 8" diameter, 4" high cake. Using EVERY chart- Wilton, Earlene's etc.... How many answers are there to this simple math question?

20 replies
karateka Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 10:22am
post #2 of 21

At least 3. Rose Beranbaum's chart is different than both of those, but her servings are smaller. I'd go with whatever one you feel you can live with. The industry standard is Wilton, so most people who will cut and serve a wedding cake will probably use that. Most lay people cutting for parties will probably cut bigger, like Earlene's.

I generally tell my clients that this cake is designed to serve x. They can cut bigger or smaller pieces as it pleases them.

jason_kraft Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:50pm
post #3 of 21

A standard wedding cake serving size is 8 cubic inches, or 4"x2"x1". The volume of a 4" high, 8" diameter cylinder is pi * 4^2 * 4 = 201 cubic inches, which comes out to just over 25 servings.

But there are any number of answers to this question depending on how you define the serving size.

CWR41 Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 3:11pm
post #4 of 21
Debbye27 Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 3:30pm
post #5 of 21

Awesome Link!!! how cute - cakulator!

cakelady2266 Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 3:33pm
post #6 of 21

I would have to agree that Wilton's is the industry standard. I gauge all cakes into their wedding serving size chart. So an 8 inch round 4 inch tall cake would serve approximately 25 in 1x2x4 servings.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 4:08pm
post #7 of 21

As confusing as it is, try it before you pick one. many people cut pieces of styrofoam to size to see what they get, or cut some cakes yourself - the family will like that.

Think of it like this - How many cupcakes would you feel comfortable serving your guests? Is one OK or does everyone need two? Well, the same 8" layer cake that can't possibly serve 24 people also makes 24 cupcakes. While the cake looks small it really serves that many!

But it only matters that you pick one system for you and stick with it. Once the customer gets the cake, they can do what they want.

costumeczar Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 7:50pm
post #8 of 21

I give them a range of servings and let them decide what size they want. http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

btrsktch Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 21

czar:

How do you determine pricing with your chart? Take your 6-9-12 option for example. Your chart states it will serve 80 to 100. If someone chooses that option, do you price them at 80 servings or 100 servings, or do you have a flat rate and not charge per slice?

jason_kraft Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 8:59pm
post #10 of 21

We also do flat rate pricing, but for single tier cakes only (including a range of servings). Our pricing for a cake is based on the cost of making a cake of that size plus a profit margin, the number of servings is irrelevant.

costumeczar Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 9:30pm
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by btrsktch

czar:

How do you determine pricing with your chart? Take your 6-9-12 option for example. Your chart states it will serve 80 to 100. If someone chooses that option, do you price them at 80 servings or 100 servings, or do you have a flat rate and not charge per slice?

I take an average for each combination and charge the prie per serving for that, and that's the price of the cake.

btrsktch Posted 6 Mar 2012 , 11:14pm
post #12 of 21

Okay, that makes sense, and is very fair. I may use that

I do flat rate pricing for my single tier cakes too, but when it came to tiered cakes, I was always caught in the exactly how much to charge and found myself feeling guilty for charging the maximum serving price and hence would charge the lowest serving amount.

Your chart will come in very handy. Thank you very much!

johnson6ofus Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 2:01am
post #13 of 21

Sorry... my "alerts" seem to be turned off.

Thanks for the replies... yes, just to be fair... as a "range" seems to be possible. A number should be a number, and not a range. I like the straight mathematical version I guess, and of course, "estimated standard servings" disclaimer.

Thanks all...

costumeczar Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 2:26am
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Sorry... my "alerts" seem to be turned off.

Thanks for the replies... yes, just to be fair... as a "range" seems to be possible. A number should be a number, and not a range. I like the straight mathematical version I guess, and of course, "estimated standard servings" disclaimer.

Thanks all...

But...unless the person who cuts the cake cuts it exactly the same way that you anticipated they'd cut it, they won't get a straight mathematical number of servings. I've seen so many different venues cut the cake so many different ways, there's no way you can say for sure that this cake will serve exactly this many servings. That's why different serving charts say that the same cake will serve a different number of people.

Apti Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 3:07am
post #15 of 21

A similar subject came up on another current thread:
is there any pictures for cutting guides for 1 1/2 x 2 slice
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=7268805&highlight=#7268805

Here's my response to that baker's question:

Many custom bakeries in the USA use the Wilton Wedding serving chart to determine the pricing per serving. Individual custom bakers may choose whatever they want to use to price their cakes. Keep in mind that NOBODY out there in the general public has any idea how to get 24 wedding cake slices out of an 8" round, 4" high cake tier. [They'll think you're NUTS!] Many wedding cakes are cut and served by a professional caterer or staff person at the venue. The assumption with wedding cakes is that there will be other food served at the event, and the cake will be a symbolic, small slice. Party or Earlene sized slices are generally used when there is no other food at the party/celebration.

Here is a lovely chart from the Lark Cake Shop:

http://larkcakeshop.com/CakeServeGuide2.pdf

Indydebi has another wonderful method which you can copy and provide to clients. Indydebi states:
"feel free to link to this page or print it out for your brides to help them ensure a smooth cake cutting at their event!"

http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/search/label/cake%20comb

These sample cake serving slices are also excellent to give to a client. The client can see how big the slice will be on the cake AND know how big the slices should be when cut!
Sample Cake Serving Sizes -- made of Paper or Cardstock

johnson6ofus Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 3:34am
post #16 of 21

Agreed! I love cake, so I would get 8 1950's Wilton servings out of a 8" cake. BUT, it appears that the "standards" may not be so broad as I initially thought. Yes, I can the variations are all over the place, and you are at the mercy of the person manning the knife at the cake table...<sigh>.... at least to some extent.

costumeczar Posted 7 Mar 2012 , 3:55am
post #17 of 21

I've found that venues tend to cut the pieces thinner than 1" and longer than 2" so that they fit on the dessert plates better. They ignore the cutting charts completely.

SetFree Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 3:19am
post #18 of 21

Concerning cake servings, a customer requested a cake for 85 people.  One version of my 3 tier cake serves only 76 and the other version (11-9-7) serves 94.  I did not charge for 94 but 85 as requested although the customer received more.  What is common practice?

I also have a question concerning dowels.  The way I see it, the dowels take up room and cake.  If my calculator says that I will get 94 pieces of cake, it surely will be less because of the dowels?? Any advice please?

-K8memphis Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 3:36am
post #19 of 21

i charge by the number of servings they request but i always pad more servings into the cake -- 10-15% -- to allow for dowels like you said -- for someone to tear up a few before they realize they have to clean the knife in between slicing-- a few peeps get seconds before everyone is served -- a few servings get dropped -- to allow for life to go on smoothly

mcaulir Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 4:22am
post #20 of 21

Quote:

Originally Posted by SetFree

Concerning cake servings, a customer requested a cake for 85 people.  One version of my 3 tier cake serves only 76 and the other version (11-9-7) serves 94.  I did not charge for 94 but 85 as requested although the customer received more.  What is common practice?

I also have a question concerning dowels.  The way I see it, the dowels take up room and cake.  If my calculator says that I will get 94 pieces of cake, it surely will be less because of the dowels?? Any advice please?

That's why I think charging by the serving is a bit silly. I believe what most businesses do is to tell the customer that they can buy 76 servings or 94, and which would they like?

-K8memphis Posted 30 Aug 2014 , 1:41pm
post #21 of 21

six of one half dozen of another -- caterers ask for a head count so to keep the cake buyer from having to make too many decisions they aren't capable of making i go by servings then as i said i add more to give them the range but without involving them in that decision --

i do all the over thinking for them