I don't want to get into the sheet cake business, but everyone asks for one and I hate to turn down the opportunity since Im brand new and every chance to get a customer is needed. How do you guys price a sheet cake? If you price per slice, it would be outrageous, since you get so many servings. I thought about only doing single layer 1/4 sheets with an edible topper and that's it. That way Im not stuck doing lots of handmade fondant topper and not getting paid for it.
Price per serving is correct. Why would you not? A serving is a serving no matter the shape of the cake. Yes the price will be high if you are comparing yourself to Costco or Walmart, but that's going to be true of any size cake. You need to charge for the time and effort your work takes.
As pastrybaglady said, price per servings. Sheets are so easy. There is so much room to make designs. And if you are stuck/don't want to do so much work,, use a double border. A borde inside the top edge border sort of similar to this: http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/1370485/christening http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/1326839/sweet-pink-roses http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/1299024/generic-sheet-idea-for-many-occasions things like that.
If it is a "true" sheet cake... one layer, no filling and minimal designs... why not?
It is OK to offer a more economical version with limited designs. No fondant toppers or elaborate piping. I had read a PP piece here on CC where she explained how she could whip one out in 30 minutes (labor time) fit in between her other cakes.
If the customer thinks they are getting a fondant covered, carved or sculpted cake, that starts out as a rectangle sheet cake---- well, that's another story. I have seen some AMAZING "sheet" cakes, but recreating a "standard" WalMart style sheet cake, with a better cake and better icing MAY be worth it if your business supports it.
We don't offer sheet cakes at all. Where I am sheet cake translates to cheap cake. And most people here would expect a decorated sheet cake for a grocery store price. I find sheet cakes hard to decorate for some reason I lack creativity when it comes to sheet cakes. I know there are some amazing sheet cake decorators out there and I'm not knocking sheet cakes but the sheet cake market here wouldn't go for being charged what a sheet cake is worth. And then the whole "I need a full sheet cake but have only 30 guests" deal is also something I don't want to deal with. Case in point a phone call today very nice lady wanted a full sheet cake to serve 40 guests with teacher themed decorations by the end of the call I learned that her expectations were for a cake to serve 100 people with fondant teacher themed decorations for well under $85. My experience is that sheet cakes draw in a different customer base for us and that's not the orders we need or want.
I offer quarter and half sheet cake sizes as part of my custom caking, each is 4" tall consisting of 3 layers of cake and 2 layers of filling. So when all is said and done it is simply another cake that can be ordered and serves 48 or 96 (all my servings are based upon 1" x 2" x 4", which is actually a very nice cake slice). My quarter sheets are 8 x 12 and a half sheets are 12 x 16. I charge per serving, based upon the flavors, frosting, fillings, and decorations selected. Which is basically the way I charge for any other custom cake.
I do offer dessert cakes in basic flavor combinations and standard bakery style decoration. A client orders that for the listed price and gets a basic cake. Or they can order some of my specialty flavors that have a set price/size like my flourless chocolate cake in a chocolate glaze. Even with those, they are priced on a per serving basis and then listed with that price.
You could do that with a sheet, or half sheet or quarter sheet. Like a basic chocolate or yellow cake with buttercream frosting and standard bakery decoration. As long as you were clear on what that means for the cake with either a description, or pictures, or both, then you set that expectation. If someone wants something added, you let them know that you can create something custom, but that cost is different then your listed pricing on that cake. You get to set the expectation and then control how it works for your business. That way your clients work within the boundaries you put into play.
I decided to go with a double layer 9x13 with an edible print and borders. This is he only kind if sheet cake I will offer to make it simple. Thanks for all the input.