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pricing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
help! need help pricing cakes! been asked to do 9x13 buttercream cake, and 3 tiered topsy turvy in fondant too! havent a clue what to charge!!! also how to differentiate cost of buttercream cake and fondant cake?
post #2 of 14
Have you called local bakeries to compare prices? That will give you an idea of where to start.
post #3 of 14
This is a topic I'm interested in myself. I'd like to eventually start my own cake business, but am having troubles trying to figure out the pricing game. I have seen this advice before about going to local bakeries to compare prices. I would do that, but the small town I live in doesn't even have a bakery other than grocery or chain stores. I wish there was an easy way to figure out pricing, oh say like, snapping your fingers and the prices magically being there. LOL. I'm going to keep my eye on this thread though because I know how helpful the folks here at Cake Central are. Wonderful, knowledgeable people!
post #4 of 14
Another tip I have read on this site about pricing is to add up your ingredients, double that, and then add (i think) 25%. Maybe it is 50%.... I am sure someone will be able to verify that. HTH.
post #5 of 14
Sorry - this is gonna be long. Please bear with me. Hopefully something here will be helpful.

There will be lots of ideas on this, but this is what I do:

1. Figure out your costs - how much does it actually cost you to bake, ice, fill, etc. Don't forget to factor in boxes, boards, foil, etc. When you know the base cost, add a few bucks to cover electricity and/or gas

2. Figure out your time - how long does it take to mix, bake, cool, level, wrap and clean up?

3. Determine how much your time is worth.

Add up the cost of materials and time. Is it a price that you can live with and still attract customers? A $75.00 buttercream 1/4 sheet will make you a lot of money, but how many can you sell? On the other hand, a $10.00 cake will get you lots of orders - but you'll be losing money. Find the happy medium.

You do not need to price out every single cake - once you have figured out the price for a cake, divide it by servings to figure out the per-serving price. Use this as a guide to price out other sizes of sheets and rounds.

Costs for fillings, fondant/gumpaste deco, etc can be added on to the total cake price.

Bottom line: know your costs for time and supplies.
post #6 of 14
Some people say figure your costs and triple (or double, or whatever). I know that a 1/4 sheet costs me about $6.00 (raw costs, not including time). If I triple it, I get $18? I don't think so!
post #7 of 14
Yes the easiest way is to price all of your ingredients and multiply by 33-35 percent. Here in Missouri $18 for a 13x9 is a basic price for buttercream with some roses and borders.
In my next life I wanna be a pastry chef.
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In my next life I wanna be a pastry chef.
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post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by amysue99

Some people say figure your costs and triple (or double, or whatever). I know that a 1/4 sheet costs me about $6.00 (raw costs, not including time). If I triple it, I get $18? I don't think so!



Agree.

If I went by the "Times 3" formula, I'd be bankrupt in about 20 minutes.

The reason this doesn't work well in the food industry is because the food is not the most expensive part of the production.

I'll use amysue's example: $18 for a small sheet. Mixing, baking, cooling, clean up = let's say an hour. Icing, decorating can be 1 to 2 hours, depending on your speed and how detailed it may be. Including time to go pick up supplies and deliver the cake, let's say 3 hours total.

$18 less the $6 for supplies = $12 divided by 3 hours = $4/hour.

If I was making this cake, I'd be paying someone AT LEAST $7.25/hour (but probably more). Three hours labor = $21.75 for payroll (and that's not counting the payroll taxes you have to pay) plus the $6 for supplies = $27.75. You only get $18 for the cake ... .you're in the hole by about $9.

Not a good way to make money. I'd be bankrupt in about 20 minutes.

Good post, amysue! thumbs_up.gif
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by poohthebear

Yes the easiest way is to price all of your ingredients and multiply by 33-35 percent. Here in Missouri $18 for a 13x9 is a basic price for buttercream with some roses and borders.



icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif I wouldn't even bother.
post #10 of 14
I charge $3.00 per slice for Buttercream cakes so if it feeds 25...25x3=$75.00.Fondant covered cakes I charge $5.00 per serving so 25x5-$125.00..Then if there is more intricate work like fondant bows,gumpaste flowers..I upcharge from there.

Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

Mom to Mitchell 13 yrs and Delaney 11 yrs

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post #11 of 14
My prices for fondant and buttercream cakes are the same. It actually takes me less time to decorate cake in fondant then sweat around with BC. And I price per serving calculating little room for error. Since I am not licensed and doing cakes on the side as a hobby I don't think it would be fair to compare with local name bakeries. Although I do think my work is a bit better than some of those bakeries... Be fair to yourself, sit down and really price your recipes, your time and all those little things that goes into your cake making. And other advice: stay on your prices! So many times people are coming with their own ideas how much should you charge for their cake. Be prepared and stay strong icon_smile.gif
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the replies!! i think i like the per slice method? but how many does a 9x13 serve? and also how many would a 3 teir lets say 10 8 6 layer cake serve? i know that topsy turvy is supposed to be more expensive than a plain tiered cake too.
post #13 of 14
This is the chart I use to determine pricing (and servings) for round cakes. Most venues cut this size, too.
http://www.wilton.com/wedding/wedding-cakes/wedding-cake-data.cfm

To determine servings in a square cake, it's easy to do the math.

Determine what your normal serving size is going to be. Industry standard for a single layer is 2x2x2.

So a 9x13 will be cut into approximately 4 rows by 6 columns (24 servings).

A 2-layer cake is usually cut into 1x2x4 pieces. This means a 9x13 will be cut into approximately 8 (or 9 rows, but I use 8 for simplicity) by 6 columns = 48 servings.
post #14 of 14
A topsy-turvy is definitley more expensive, becuase it takes more time. I charge carved cakes (anything that is shaped, like a topsy-turvy) on a per-cake basis. Sometimes it's hard to tell exactly how many servings there will be once you carve. This is where knowing your costs and time comes in handy. Figure it out based on your costs, not just on serving size. But do approximate the servings sizes so that you know you'll have the amount that your customer needs.

And listent to Indydebi. She gives very solid advice and has lots of business know-how. icon_smile.gif
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