I've got a problem that I'm struggling with and I wanted to know if others have this problem and how you all deal with it.
The problem: 'per person' or by a 'cake size' fee structure.
My current pricing is by the person. I'm not totally sure why, I think I just did that because that's what I thought everyone else was doing. The issue I'm having is one of the Chefs who buys my cakes is getting really cheap about the guest count. He's being pressured by his manager. Our arrangment is; the Chef books me for all his wedding cakes with a list of dates for the whole year. Then every couple of months he emails me the details for the up coming cakes......once the bride and groom have picked out their menu and cake design. The Chef is supposed to tell me if there are any changes in the cake order as soon as he knows this (usually it's the week of the wedding). But now several times he calls me days later after the wedding, after he's recieved my bill and my per person count doesn't match his. He wants/expects me to adjust my price to exactly what their count was by resubmitting my bill.
We all know the reality of making cakes is; you can't really make cakes to an exact per person count. I have charts where I've worked out my sizing so the stacked cakes increase in the same increments so each layer looks in balance with the others. But I can't add or subtract servings from those with-out changing the size of the cake, throwing the whole design out of balance.
I keep thinking in the back of my head, the next time he tells me at the last minute the count has gone down by 3 people I'm going to take a knive and cut those 3 portions out of the already delivered cake. Like oops, you said 124 people and that's what I made your cake to feed, so now I'll just take back those 3 extra servings I gave you that you now don't want to pay for. It never seems fair that I always have to loose finacially.
This whole issue isn't worth loosing a good customer over, yet it iritates me greatly.
So I'm currently thinking abour charging my wedding cakes by the cake layer sizes. That seems to be the only way in my head that I don't get screwed by the per person count. If I charge X dollars for a 14", 10", 6" wedding cake which feeds X number of people, it's not my problem if you cut the cake wrong and don't get enough per person servings. And this way, I don't feel cheated not being compensated for extra portions they always get. Some Chefs cut too small and some too large, no matter what I tell them, no matter how many charts I give them. So if the Chef bought the cake by sizes it's fair to me no matter how many people he feeds out of those cakes.
I feel like this is such a childish problem and I should be grateful for his orders and just keep my mouth shut. On the other hand, logicly it's not fair that they get more cake then they are paying for when we go by a per person pricing.
I'm guessing that most of you will say, just set a deadline for the final count and set that in stone with my billing. But the facts are Chefs always play with the per person count, to lower their costs. Since I can't be there to count exactly how many people he does feed I/we are always on the side of the bill that gets cheated.
Help.........this is driving me nuts...........