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What do you charge per serving?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Curious... What do you charge per serving for your buttercream cakes? And how much more per serving (on average) do you add per serving for fondant cakes?

Much appreciated !!!
post #2 of 12

You can only charge per serving what your market will bear and what your product proficiency can bring.  Also, to set your prices you have to make sure your are marketing yourself to the correct market group.  You will not be able to get high end bakery pricing if your market base are grocery store cake customers.  

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post #3 of 12

This is kinda strange question...because if I make a cake with eggs and butter then even I will charge a different price than for a cake made with shortening and no eggs.

 

Price depends on cost of ingredients, labour, and overhead/expenses.  Calculate labour with the hourly rate you want to be paid.  You have less choice with ingredient prices.  Overhead depends on your local; regulations as well as your market niche.

 

So after you calculate all those costs for a cake that serves 12 people, add it up and divide by 12 and you have YOUR cost per serving.  For YOUR local wage and market.

 

And keep reading Cake Central postings about cake prices...you will see that most people have a base price and a separate charge for time-consuming add-ons.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartsnsync View Post
  You will not be able to get high end bakery pricing if your market base are grocery store cake customers.  

 

Is there a way to change the grocery store mindset? 

post #5 of 12

Regardless of what it costs you to make a cake, as mentioned above, you can only charge what the market will bear.  But to do so, you have to find your target customer, and when you do, you should know your costs. But you should charge as much as you can. If you don't, you negatively effect the market price which hurts everyone.

 

With the new cottage food laws, lots of ladies baking cakes are undercharging. If they have hopes of one day owning a storefront, they are shooting themselves in the foot by driving prices down.

 

If you simply decide a wage per hour that you want to make and add your costs to that, you become a cake making service, not a cake business. A cake business considers what it costs to pay employees to make a cake and then make a profit on top of that.

 

Your target market is not people who want to pay $40 for a grocery store cake. Nor is it people who want to have a cake lady who makes awesome cakes for really cheap.  Nor is it a person who wants you to charge less because there will be lots of people at her party and, "surely it will drum up business for you".

 

To answer your question, my cakes start at $5 per serving and I steer customers away from cakes not covered in fondant. Most of them wind up at $6.50-$10 per serving after artwork.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWinslow View Post

Is there a way to change the grocery store mindset? 
It depends on why they are shopping at the grocery store. If it is because they can't afford anything more expensive, then you are better off not targeting them. But if the reason is just inertia (as in they don't know what other options are available) it is quite possible to move them upmarket.

The bakery I founded targeted more of a midmarket consumer, with single tier and sheet cakes starting in the $2-3/serving range and multi-tier cakes starting at $5-7/serving.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


It depends on why they are shopping at the grocery store. If it is because they can't afford anything more expensive, then you are better off not targeting them. But if the reason is just inertia (as in they don't know what other options are available) it is quite possible to move them upmarket.
The bakery I founded targeted more of a midmarket consumer, with single tier and sheet cakes starting in the $2-3/serving range and multi-tier cakes starting at $5-7/serving.

 

I'm of the opinion that where I live, the choice appears to be the grocery stores and a couple of bakeries that mostly do bread, rolls & sheet cakes.  I asked around and many people are getting wedding cakes from the grocery store (yuk).  I have tasted the stores icing and.........it makes my teeth hurt - lol. 

I think my question was really more about How to change people's attitudes and make them feel good about paying for something unique. This, I know is much more complicated than appears on the surface.  There seems to be a lack of exposure to really neat cakes and decorating here.  So far everything I've done has been received with over-the-top enthusiasm and I am far from an expert.  

 

Anyway, this thread sparked my question and I didn't mean to hijack it :)

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWinslow View Post

 

Is there a way to change the grocery store mindset? 

I have filed away a few of the ingredient labels from grocery store cakes...just to show people in comparison with the list for my scratch cake.

 

It tends to get the point across without too much fuss.

post #9 of 12

I have filed away a few of the ingredient labels from grocery store cakes...just to show people in comparison with the list for my scratch cake.

 

It tends to get the point across without too much fuss.

 

Great Idea! I don't know why I never thought of that. definitely more effective than just telling them

 

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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

I have filed away a few of the ingredient labels from grocery store cakes...just to show people in comparison with the list for my scratch cake.

 

It tends to get the point across without too much fuss.


I have brought up "those" ingredients in conversation but showing the labels is excellent! Most of the time explaining that grocery stores are about quantity so they are going to use the cheapest ingredients they can,however the trade off is flavor experience, custom design and details that grocery stores are not equipped to handle, ie gum paste flowers, handmade toppers, techniques that will make your cake unique -  I try to create memories :)  This usually works but adding labels to the "sales pitch" is a good idea.  Thanks

post #11 of 12

In my experience, the best way to help your customers not have the grocery store mindset is to make sure you customers don't consider grocery stores your competition.  You do this by offering what they can't get at a grocery store.

 

The cake flavors and fillings offered at grocery stores are very limited.  By offering a wide variety of options, you will stand out from others.  Also, if you have a website, make sure you are showing cakes that are not offered at grocery stores.  Such as, tiered cakes, cakes with fondant accents, cakes with custom toppers...

 

As for the OP...

I charge $4/serving for buttercream and $4.50/serving for fondant covered cakes.  I am a little pricier than others in my area but I offer quite a bit more in terms of flavors/fillings.

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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

thanks ladies! i thought i might be undercharging because my small town community is mainly grocery store shoppers, b ut thats because they haven;t had a good bakery like mine until recently. i was leary of charging more than $3 a serving, but i know now that they are worth it, and if they don't want to pay it, they don't have to have a nice cake!

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