Home-Based Cakers - How Much Is Good To Charge If Giving Two Days Baking And Fondant Making Classes?

Business By Achee Updated 24 Sep 2015 , 11:46pm by Achee

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Achee Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 11:43am
post #1 of 23

Hi All,

I need help in determining the fee to take from our participants.

My wife and I are running our home-based online business since 3-4 years. We have started giving classes since a couple of months and they are going good. Since we are home-base, not certified or anything, I’m not sure how much it is reasonable to charge. And of course we are not giving them any certificate or anything.

Our classes’ session include the follow:

Day one (3 hours): - Fresh Cream Pineapple Cake (sponge) (from baking to icing) - Chocolate Cake (baking) - Chocolate Buttercream (making) - Marshmallow Fondant (making) - Useful Tips all through the class --- Participants take away their share of pineapple cake they learn

Day two (3.5-4 hours): - Preparing Cake board at home - Preparing the above Chocolate Cake (slicing, icing, freezing for fondant) - Coloring fondant - Making basic shapes from cutters of fondant - Some tiny simple flowers - Rolling fondant - Covering Chocolate Cake - Decorating the cake with objects they make. --- Participates take away their share of chocolate cake with fondant and their objects.

At the moment, we are charging US$ 53.33 but We think it’s not that feasible for us considering the time. And not the mention the mess that is left behind in these two days.

We would love to get some guidance from you fine and experienced people.

Thanks and regards


PS: our saviors: >>> K8memphis (http://www.cakecentral.com/u/3886/-K8memphis) >>> costumeczar (http://www.cakecentral.com/u/606598/costumeczar)

22 replies
costumeczar Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
costumeczar Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 12:36pm
post #2 of 23

If you're providing the materials for all of this you're probably not making any money once you take all of your expenses into account.

What country are you in, first of all? I ask because it looks like you've translated another currency into $$. If I was going to offer classes (which I'm not allowed to do out of my home based on zoning regulations, you might want to check about that in case a neighbor complains) I'd start at about $25 an hour for a group lesson, and $50 an hour for individual, so the base price for what you're offering time-wise for each person in the group would be about $175. Then you have to add the cost of the ingredients and materials to that, so I'd probably be around $250 for the whole thing. For a two-day class with all of that baking and handing out of recipes that isn't unreasonable.

If you're only getting people signing up because it's so cheap and you're not getting any profit out of it, you shouldn't do classes at all. The craft stores do Wilton classes at a very low price because they're selling the equipment to go along with it. If you're doing that, that's one thing, but if you're not making more than $53 for 7 hours of your time plus preparation and cleanup and materials, you're not earning money, you're running a charity. A charity that involves you cleaning up, which is not good.

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Achee Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 12:55pm
post #3 of 23

I knew I could rely on you costumeczar.

We are originally from Pakistan and residing in Saudi Arabia, we are charging SR 200 (US$ 53.33).

Yes we are providing all the equipment and everything. All we ask people is to bring an empty box to take away their piece of cake. And that too many people don't bring and we give them our own disposables.

In general, they come, they learn, they take away their piece of cake (two pieces for two days) (BTW they all go very contented).

Luckily our neighbors are very nice people and they have no problem with that.

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Norcalhiker Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 3:26pm
post #4 of 23

ive never taken a class at an in home kitchen; but I've taken a number of classes in the U.S. And Italy ranging from top culinary schools, to speciality cooking store schools, to craft store decorating classes.  The prices vary from inexpensive to $$$$.  Price factors include:

1. training and reputation of instructors and school.  Classes at the Culinary Institute of America are considerably more expensive than classes at Sur La Table.  

2. Availability of equipment. Providing ingredients is only part of what training entails.  There's a significant difference in demonstration classes, team classes, and individual student focus class.  Demo classes only offer information, no hands on baking so price is much lower.  Team classes are part hands on in that 2 or more students prepare the product, so multiple workstations are required, and price is adjusted accordingly.

Individual focus requires an commercial kitchen instructions is completely hands on.  class size is usually limited because each student has a workstation; each student is given ingredients to prepare the food products being taught; there are sufficient numbers of stove tops and ovens for preparation of the foods.  Of course the cost per student is higher in this type of class.

so there are many variables that determine cost of a class.  

But to give an idea of current cost here, a 3-day  (4 hours each day) cake course I recently took was $350.  It was at one of the top culinary schools in San Francisco.  Class size was limited.  Each student had a work station.  Each student completed two cakes.  Lunch with wine was provided each day.  The instructor Is a graduate of Culinary Institute of American, studied under a James Beard award winning pastry chef, was pastry chef at a nationally recognized restaurant and catering company, and has had her work featured in several food publications.  

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 3:33pm
post #5 of 23

thank you for the honorable mention, so glad i could be of help to you -- of course i ditto what costumeczar said -- i think you should buy some paper plates -- do they have those in arabia? but slice them tiny servings and let them eat it after they clean up clap.png

i've toyed with doing classes from home but got the dog & cat and the husband too just really wouldn't work but i would charge several hundred dollars and they would take home three baked items, layer cake, yeasted tea ring and a cheesecake -- all on the smaller side -- probably could mop that up in 5-6 hours -- just one day though -- i'd demo how to make the yeasted dough but have a batch ready to go for them in the class -- the layer cake would have a pound cake layer and a white cake layer -- i'd demo the icing -- but they would be making the rest -- i've always packed it into my classes -- no more than three hands on students at a time --

so i hope you can up your prices and/or just provide a demonstration for x amount then if they want a hands on adventure charge xx amount -- they do that at the world pastry forum and elsewhere of course but just saying you could offer two levels --

best of the best of the best to you both -- i hope you get this thing going good and make yourselves very contented as well!

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Snowflakebunny23 Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 4:06pm
post #6 of 23

I would look for examples in your area to get a benchmark of the 'going rate'.  It seems exceptionally cheap to me.  I have seen many places charging £50 for half a day - £100 a day and £230 for 2-days in a group class.  That is in a dedicated training room but still. I know more which are even higher.  By the time you factor admin, organising, materials, insurance and general labour then you need to work out your hours required to actually put it together.

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costumeczar Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 4:07pm
post #7 of 23

Let me ask you this...How much PROFIT are you making per student each time?

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Achee Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 5:54pm
post #8 of 23

Great help so far from you guys. And thanks -K8memphis, I was waiting for your reply too :)

The thing is that, which I'm thinking from my own point of view, if I go to take any class and I'm paying more, I will expect some recognition like "certificate of completion". Since we are only home-based and have not done any certified courses by ourselves, we can't offer them certificate.

costumeczar , It's hard to check the profit per student at the moment because we have only done 3 sets of classes so far. For these classes we had the material ready in our home. Therefore I'm not sure how to calculate our profit at this time.

Our classes go this way: five participants maximum, we make one cake only and let them participate in every step (measuring, mixing, etc). This way they know how to do it properly. And then we cut six pieces, five students take along their share and one we keep. Same goes with the fondant decorated cake next day.

And for all this, we are charging them US$ 53 per student.

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 6:08pm
post #9 of 23

if they went into a shop and bought the two cakes slices how much would they spend in your area -- just guess --and what size cake is this? 


you can make up a certificate to give them that states " (space for their name here) has successfully completed the course designed by the pakirabia school of cake and good manners" and then everyone who leaves a clean work station including kitchen sink, all the dishes cleaned & drying gets the certificate -- because sanitation is also something you can teach them -- it's very important segment of this cake journey --


not give them a certificate at all -- it's not totally necessary -- 

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 6:09pm
post #10 of 23

and I bet you could compress this into a one day class also

*Last edited by -K8memphis on 10 Sep 2015 , 6:14pm
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costumeczar Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 6:31pm
post #11 of 23

If I took a class and got a  certificate of completion I wouldn't do anything with it because it's not necessary. What am I going to do, put it in an album and show it to people? (I'm sure that there are people who do that but really...) If it isn't a course at a college where you get credit toward a degree it really doesn't matter what certificates you hand out, so I wouldn't even factor that into the cost of the class.

So you're making $265 per two-day class with five students. Just a very rough estimate, you're probably using a tub of fondant (maybe less but you have to start with that so I'll say one 5lb container as a rough estimate), ingredients for two cakes, boards, paper goods etc, plus electricity to bake and gas in your car to go shop for materials. So maybe $75?? Hard to estimate without knowing more specifics but just go with that.

So for a rough estimate you're netting $190 after expenses. For 7 hours of class time plus probably an additional 4 hours of prep time and cleanup, that's $17 an hour or so. Personally that wouldn't be enough for me to want to teach a class, but it depends on how much you want to earn an hour. Also, your actual expenses might be higher or lower, which would affect the result. If you can figure out your expenses (and include things like insurance, license fees etc if any, cost of advertising, etc) you'll be able to get a better idea of what you're actually making and decide if you need to raise your prices.

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Achee Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 7:39pm
post #12 of 23

Thanks a lot: -K8memphis and costumeczar, you both are great help. Many  things you told us are really worth realizing, as we being non-business-minded couple was not taking into consideration.

Just now my wife and I did our rough estimation of expenses and profit. We will have to increase the fee to at least US$ 80 for this 2-day class. And then later on perhaps more than that. Since we are having very good feedback from all the students (most probably because they are getting so much in so little money), we will do it gradually. Hopefully this step will have no negative impact.

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costumeczar Posted 10 Sep 2015 , 9:07pm
post #13 of 23

I'd just raise it to $80 and not wait. You might have fewer students at first, but I bet it won't affect it too much. Get some previous students to give a little review of the class and use those when you advertise. Ask them to specifically talk about what they learned from the class, then put three or four reviews up that show how many things are covered to show people they'll be learning a lot.

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Achee Posted 11 Sep 2015 , 9:26am
post #14 of 23

costumeczar, I couldn't agree more..

But since we have already booked our next two weeks' classes, we will have to increase it from October. 

I truly appreciate your guidance blush.png

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costumeczar Posted 11 Sep 2015 , 11:54am
post #15 of 23

Ooh, good. Then as the next couple of classes are winding up, hand out a little review sheet and ask people who would be willing to, to write a little endorsement of the value of the class while they're all in a good mood!

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Achee Posted 12 Sep 2015 , 8:17pm
post #16 of 23

What a wonderful idea smiley.png We're sure gonna do that.

Sorry, I couldn't message earlier, we had a class yesterday and today hence we were very busy in teaching and then cleaning..............

Thanks a million 

*Last edited by Achee on 12 Sep 2015 , 8:50pm
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johnson6ofus Posted 15 Sep 2015 , 2:42am
post #17 of 23

As a former Wilton instructor, I was surprised by both the adults and kids who waited for their completion certificates. Even the adults were excited to get one. With color printers, it is easy to make your own completion certificates. 

Many instructors also offered a small cake decorating tool as a gift after they completed all 4 classes--- a great incentive to have them sign up for more classes. 

Good luck!

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bakernoob Posted 16 Sep 2015 , 10:10am
post #18 of 23

The small cake supply store near me teaches basic classes similar to what you're doing. They do not supply anything at all and charge $60.

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Achee Posted 17 Sep 2015 , 9:31pm
post #19 of 23

johnson6ofus, I was thinking the same to print nice little certificates and offer them at the end of the classes. I even designed one. But I wasn't very sure if they would have any value, not to mention that it was additional work involving time and money.

bakernoob, In our class, we do give them piece of the cake they prepare (2 pieces for 2 days). We are also giving each of them four papers in plastic folder containing recipes (3 for recipes and 1 blank for notes)  and a pencil. I print my logo with color printer and text with laser printer. So it's really a lot of work apart from just classes. 

That's why we were so confused about the fee to be charged.

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bakernoob Posted 20 Sep 2015 , 3:38pm
post #20 of 23

Their $60 fee covers the teaching part of the class only. The students keep  their finished cake that they make in their classes but the cake supply store does not supply anything actually needed for what they're teaching. You must bring everything you'll need (spatulas, tips, deco, bags, etc) with you or purchase it from their store for an additional cost, so I think your current price of $53,33 is more than fair :-)

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Achee Posted 22 Sep 2015 , 9:11pm
post #21 of 23

Now from October, we will be charging US$ 67, with all the things we were providing before. I believe this much fee is quite reasonable.
As suggested by costumeczar, we have collected few good reviews too and will be posting them on the Event of October for people to see. This is give our viewers a good image of us and our class.

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Sep 2015 , 12:45am
post #22 of 23

wishing you the best success ever

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Achee Posted 24 Sep 2015 , 11:46pm
post #23 of 23

Such a sweet thing to say -K8memphis. I wish you the same relaxed.png

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