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I feel like I'm spending too much money. - Page 4

post #46 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

If a customer wants petal shaped pans does she have to pay for those, too?


So if you don't see yourself ever using those petal-shaped pans again for another order, who should pay for them?

But I would see myself as using them again. Why wouldn't I use them again? They are a common bakery tool. I'd be offering them out as an option. Same with the damask stencils.


If you see yourself using them frequently then you can just allocate them over all orders for the expected life of the pans, as you would with the rest of your overhead. Either way, your customer(s) are paying for the pans.
post #47 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

If a customer wants petal shaped pans does she have to pay for those, too?


So if you don't see yourself ever using those petal-shaped pans again for another order, who should pay for them?

But I would see myself as using them again. Why wouldn't I use them again? They are a common bakery tool. I'd be offering them out as an option. Same with the damask stencils.


If you see yourself using them frequently then you can just allocate them over all orders for the expected life of the pans, as you would with the rest of your overhead. Either way, your customer(s) are paying for the pans.

That is stating the obvious as if it's somehow a new idea. The point is, if you buy a new stencil or a new oven, bakery equipment/tools would not be charged to the first customer that they are used for.
post #48 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by howsweet

That is stating the obvious as if it's somehow a new idea.


I never said it was a new idea, businesses have been allocating costs this way for a long time.

Quote:
Quote:

The point is, if you buy a new stencil or a new oven, bakery equipment/tools would not be charged to the first customer that they are used for.


Sure they would, the percentage of the cost charged to the first customer would vary depending on how much use you can expect out of the item. For something like an oven that would be used on every order you might charge .1% of the cost (at 100 orders/year and a 10 year life), but in my example earlier in the thread of a mold that probably won't be used again, 100%+ of the cost goes to that customer.
post #49 of 54
Personally, I only add charges on to an order if the customer wants something totally custom, like a custom mold. If it's a tool, mold or pan that I can buy retail (preferably wholesale) in order to execute a design that someone wants, it's not added to the cost of the cake - because I already have it in my yearly budget to buy new tools and supplies to keep up with trends - which in turn has already been added into my pricing structure. I think 2 or 3% of everything I sell is earmarked for tools and equipment, but I don't remember exact. In fact, the more advanced my designs get I think I have to adjust that figure up for 2013 because this stuff is getting pricey!

But anyway, I had to buy a damask stencil to execute a cake last year. Guess what? I used my powers of sales and eye for design to figure out how to work that stencil into designs I came up with over the year to at least get some use out of that stencil. Cupcakes, cookies, random patterns on fondant - you name it, if I can use that stencil, I do. I do the same with every technique and tool I spend money on. I just had to buy a bunch of isomalt gem molds and isomalt for an upcoming design - so guess what I'll be trying to sell at all my upcoming consultations? If someone wants a petal shaped cake and I have to buy a set of pans? Guess which shape I'll be suggesting at all my consultations?

As for reimbursing, once upon a time the USA used to have a lot of money and companies had things like employee charge cards. No so anymore, or it's more rare. Can only speak from experience, but in my former life I had a company charge card that they took away in 2006 when the economy tanked. Here's why - charge card accounts show as debt on a balance sheet. Employee reimbursements show as an expense. Much better column.
post #50 of 54
That's a good point fromscratch. Allocating x amount for new supplies per year would prevent the first customer to want a leaf cake pah for the whole cost of the tin.
post #51 of 54
Quick tip: rather than buying a new pan every time you get a unusual shape requested, go hire it from your local cake deco shop. Some even mail out for you. Charge the customer 100% for all the associated costs.

This is not what I do, but a handy tip for small CFL bakers etc with limited space and budget for new tools.

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #52 of 54
Quick tip: rather than buying a new pan every time you get a unusual shape requested, go hire it from your local cake deco shop. Some even mail out for you. Charge the customer 100% for all the associated costs.

This is not what I do, but a handy tip for small CFL bakers etc with limited space and budget for new tools.

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #53 of 54
Quick tip: rather than buying a new pan every time you get a unusual shape requested, go hire it from your local cake deco shop. Some even mail out for you. Charge the customer 100% for all the associated costs.

This is not what I do, but a handy tip for small CFL bakers etc with limited space and budget for new tools.

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply

Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

Reply
post #54 of 54
I don't have an opinion to offer on the specialty tools. I don't do enough cakes to add anything of value.

However - I do have a thought on your venue wanting to offer cakes made by their very own pastry chef. Perhaps you and your boss can offer 2 styles of cakes. So, you don't have to stress out over learning every tiny little technique all at once.

I'm not sure if your target market are interested in cupcakes. However, you could offer cupcakes with a topper cake. OR, a 3 tiered cake with fresh flowers and/or ribbon. If you kept it these two offerings, you can perfect the basics. THEN...move on to other trendy techniques and fancy things.

Offering cupcakes is very convenient for a new decorator. With an acrylic stand, a neat presentation is offered effortlessly. With the options out there for great cupcake liners and wrappers...again, it adds to the flawless presentation. For add ons like pretty flowers and pearls, a sheen airbrushed on for sparkle. All these things are easily cut out in fondant, dried and placed on top of the icing. Monogram medallions look very pretty as well. I'm NOT a piper. I have NO desire to learn the basic buttercream techniques. So, I use cutters. Tons of them. You are a pastry chef! Maybe you know some neat things to do with chocolate & sugar for fun garnishes. Do you do anything special for your desserts? Perhaps those things would translate onto the cupcake tops?

For the 3 tier cake. Perhaps you can look into a standardized way of stacking. If you are offering the same 3 tier cake, technically the size and height of the cake would be the same, you can re-use say...hidden pillars and wilton separator plates. Doing the same technique of stacking over and over will build confidence. What about looking into the alternative ways of applying buttercream? Lots of people like the smooth application. I do too. But there are very pretty ways to apply buttercream "roughly" to get an effect. I've seen many that are elegant. So...then you just add fresh flowers.

When I first tried cakes....I went nuts trying this technique and that new idea & I just never got great at any ONE thing. Maybe it's best to offer 2 styles & 2 structures. That way, you are super confident a lot quicker.

THEN...think about adding another variable. Just my 4 cents. icon_wink.gif
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