Pricing For Family And Friends

Business By webberblessings Updated 11 Jun 2019 , 6:19pm by inthekitchen2

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webberblessings Posted 8 Jun 2019 , 1:08pm
post #1 of 15

My niece had a graduation and celebration afterwards and I reached/texted out to my sister to let her know I been baking and decorating cakes that if she was going to be ordering a cake to consider me and I would give her a family discount. She ended up responding back with oh I thought you wanted to give to her as her graduation gift. I thought on it before responding back and thought since I'm so new and not experienced that I would do it as a gift but I really didn't want to because grads want money not cake as a gift but the cake cost a lot of money on ingredients and took me about 10 hours total between baking and decorating. Do you think this was reasonable giving the circumstances? I think next time I need to make it clear that it takes money and time so I have to charge and can give a discount. Here is a picture of the cake. My first fondant cake and first two tier cake with homemade LMF fondant. They really loved it.Pricing For Family And Friends

14 replies
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kakeladi Posted 8 Jun 2019 , 2:44pm
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When I started out I took every opportunity to give free cakes to get known   I never thought about how much it was costing me   Not knowing your situation $$wise I still think it’s a good way to let people know that you do cakes       In this case you knew the grad didn’t want/need $$ or so said the mom :)    Only you can know who deserves a free one or if  you need to give a discount     Your cake looks nice—are those real flowers?   Did you wrap the stems  before sticking them in the cake ?  A tip for the future: when you take pictures make sure the background is uncluttered so your cake will show off much better:)  

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kakeladi Posted 8 Jun 2019 , 2:47pm
post #3 of 15

As you make more cakes you will get faster and better:)   


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-K8memphis Posted 8 Jun 2019 , 6:41pm
post #4 of 15

I did my niece’s wedding cake but it was a gift to her grandmother too (who raised her and paid for and arranged the wedding) but my niece was blessed by it all too — 

bottom line for real close family I would gift but ask yourself — like for your sweet little cake there — is that an 8x6 for 40 servings like $200 — would you ordinarily spend that much on a gift —

and that brings me to an epiphany — my idea for you to consider is subtract the amount of the gift you would normally purchase — $20, $50? Let’s say, you would get a $35 gift — so for a $200 cake charge them $165 — the price less the amount of the gift you would give — but invoice them for the $200 and show the discount —

however #1, they get to order the cake you don’t get to wax eloquent on it —

however #2, if you want to flex your decorating muscles when they would ordinarily go for a sheet cake then you gotta gift it —

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-K8memphis Posted 8 Jun 2019 , 6:41pm
post #5 of 15

I did my niece’s wedding cake but it was a gift to her grandmother too (who raised her and paid for and arranged the wedding) but my niece was blessed by it all too — 

bottom line for real close family I would gift but ask yourself — like for your sweet little cake there — is that an 8x6 for 40 servings like $200 — would you ordinarily spend that much on a gift —

and that brings me to an epiphany — my idea for you to consider is subtract the amount of the gift you would normally purchase — $20, $50? Let’s say, you would get a $35 gift — so for a $200 cake charge them $165 — the price less the amount of the gift you would give — but invoice them for the $200 and show the discount —

however #1, they get to order the cake you don’t get to wax eloquent on it —

however #2, if you want to flex your decorating muscles when they would ordinarily go for a sheet cake then you gotta gift it —

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Freckles0829 Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 3:36pm
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I am doing a grad cake for my husbands Aunt's daughter.  This isn't some distant cousin, this is a cousin we see a lot throughout the year and we are close to his Aunt as well.  So even though she said she would pay me at the time she asked for me to make a cake I will probably decline the money when the day of the party actually arrives.  Or if she insists I will give her a 50% off family discount.  But in the end it is up to you to decide who gets a discount and what type of discount that is, not the person ordering the cake.  Next time, if you want to be generous to your family (or whoever) you could charge them only the cost of the ingredients.  Or like K8memphis suggested, subtracting the cost of the gift you were going to get from the cost of the cake.  This way the person of honor still gets a gift that isn't cake but you still get some reimbursement for the cake you made.

I think many times family members tend to assume that they should get things for free because they are family.  They don't quite realize the money and time involved in making a cake.  I also think it is silly for the Mom to say "oh but this could be her gift" because lets face it, it is a gift to the Mom who is throwing the party (one less thing to have to spend money on), not the actual graduate.

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inthekitchen2 Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 4:16pm
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Wow, you guys are WAY more generous than me. I have at least 2-3 family cakes a month, and that takes away from other customer orders when I do theirs. I tell them the charge for "regular" customers, and offer a 20% family and friends discount. They usually pay in full, and 90% give a tip on top of that. I have a HUGE family though. I can't be giving out free cakes to everyone, I'd be in the poor house, that, and I'd be turning away paying customers, which is just unwise for business. My family loves my cakes, knows to book me well in advance, and are my best supporters. 

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 4:38pm
post #8 of 15


Quote by @Freckles0829 on 58 minutes ago

  I also think it is silly for the Mom to say "oh but this could be her gift" because lets face it, it is a gift to the Mom who is throwing the party (one less thing to have to spend money on), not the actual graduate.


yes freckles! it's often better for the honoree for the people paying for the party to get the sheet cake from Costco and a nice juicy gift from the family member/caker

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Freckles0829 Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 5:17pm
post #9 of 15

@inthekitchen2 - oh it would be very different if family cakes got in the way of actual paying customers.  For me, I am just a hobby baker who makes maybe 4 cakes a month and who will turn down cakes if I have other non-cake stuff going on and I don't want to try and fit in a cake too.  But if cakes is a main source of income and is your primary job then giving away free cakes or giving out large discounts to family members (especially if you have a lot of family orders all of the time) just wouldn't be the way to go.  So it definitely depends on each persons circumstance and what people feel comfortable with.  Completely agree that in your situation it would be bad for your bank account to give away cakes to family all of the time.

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 5:30pm
post #10 of 15

clap and it is the perfect thing for your large family to be so supportive, inthekitchen! 

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kakeladi Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 7:17pm
post #11 of 15

Yes, it certainly does make a difference as to how many family requests one gets.   Since I have a VERY small family and they did not support my baking I seldom got family requests .  But I certainly can see where it needs to be taken into consideration so as to not get in the way of paying customers! 

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-K8memphis Posted 10 Jun 2019 , 7:56pm
post #12 of 15

although and kind of surprisingly — faithful frequent customers eventually impact your bottom line way more than the weddingcake crowd —

we had a sweet man buy  seven inch and sometimes an eight inch cake nearly weekly for years and we had to squeeze many many names on there — and we used to wonder why doesn’t he get a cake big enough to go with all these names —

in the meantime i’m pushing myself and i’ve learned to write eensy teensy weency  on these little bitty fully decorated cakes — he would Never say what they were for — come to find out he was a kind hearted therapist and he ran AA meetings among other things and that’s what all those cakes were for — we’d get a call late in the day and he’d wanna pick it up before we closed — he spent a ton of money over time being an angel to a lot of struggling people 

so while I did get carried away here and i’ve told the story before— i think it’s even in one of the magazines — I really love that story — probably retell it in a few years... 

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Freckles0829 Posted 11 Jun 2019 , 11:31am
post #13 of 15

@-k8memphis - what a sweet story!  And I agree it is the frequent customer who may not spend a lot each time but who will spend $X every week that keeps businesses in business.  I know when I worked at a florist, yeah we would get large chunks of money from our brides but it was the regulars who would come in and order $50 bouquets every single week or local businesses who would get fresh flowers for their lobby/reception desk weekly that really kept the business going

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SandraSmiley Posted 11 Jun 2019 , 12:40pm
post #14 of 15

Thanks for sharing you sweet story, -K8memphis.  That is what makes cake decorating so rewarding.

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inthekitchen2 Posted 11 Jun 2019 , 6:19pm
post #15 of 15

@kakeladi- I'm sorry to hear your family wasn't supportive. It took my family a good minute to get on board, but when they did, they all did. Since I have such a huge family, the cakes are always huge too, at least 40 servings, usually more. And, they are not sheet cake people, they are several tiers, sculpted/carved, and lots of modeling chocolate figures on cakes people. There is no way I could hand them out with the amount of time I put into them. I would resent it and probably quit caking if I did.  

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