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Itemized charges for cake? - Page 2

post #16 of 19

Jason, Usually I agree with you, but in this case, not so much.

 

I don't price by the flower, or by buttercream vs fondant.  Every cake is priced individually and the biggest piece of the price is how long I think it will take to create the concept.  There is no way to itemize because they don't get a picture that I will recreate in cake, they get a concept and it is created as I progress through the project.  While I can simplify a concept, I can't itemize adding or subtracting a flower or a border or whatever. If clients don't like this, they will find another pastry chef.  They are not my client.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post

The original poster has already told her customer that a basic buttercream cake costs $XXX.  Gumpaste decorations add $XXX to the price.  There is no additional price breakdown required.

That's a start, but in my experience (assuming the cake is over budget) the next question will be something like "how much I can get for $X", if the customer hasn't already moved on to another vendor. Presumably you already know your cost for different types of decorations so there's no harm in sharing that with the customer.
Quote:
To me, it just invites those customers who see the breakdown and say "Bakery ABC down the street only adds $20 for fondant, why do you add $30?  Their basic cake is only $36, why do you charge $44?"  I just don't have the patience for that, but I'm glad that there are people who do. icon_smile.gif

This is no different than a customer questioning the total price of the order, and the response is the same: the price of the product (or component) reflects my costs, and the customer is welcome to place the order with Bakery ABC down the street if they are insistent on lowering their price without also lowering my cost.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsacake View Post

Every cake is priced individually and the biggest piece of the price is how long I think it will take to create the concept.  There is no way to itemize because they don't get a picture that I will recreate in cake, they get a concept and it is created as I progress through the project.  If they don't like it, they will find another pastry chef.  They are not my client.
I see where you are coming from, but the vast majority of designs can still be broken down into components. Even if you don't have a final design set in stone and are conceptualizing as you go, there is always a way to dial back the detail to fit a lower budget (to a point of course). I agree this is not necessarily an itemization per se, it takes the form of a conversation with the customer to a similar end.

I also agree that if the budget is below the point where the concept can be executed to your satisfaction, it's time for the customer to choose a different design or a different bakery.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! Good discussion. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post
 To me, it just invites those customers who see the breakdown and say "Bakery ABC down the street only adds $20 for fondant, why do you add $30?  Their basic cake is only $36, why do you charge $44?"  I just don't have the patience for that, but I'm glad that there are people who do. :)

 

Liz
 

This is exactly what I was concerned about. It's not that I have anything to hide or that I feel our prices are exorbitant or unfair, but I can see someone taking each line item and trying to argue with me and ask me why this costs so much. For example, most people, if they are not familiar with custom cakes, don't fully understand how and why a single gum paste flower can cost upwards of $20-$30 (depending on the complexity of the flower, not saying I would charge that much for a simple daisy like these). 

 

I guess it just caught me off guard because I've never had anyone ask me for that before. I always end my quote emails with "If this is outside of your budget, let me know and we can work up some other options for you." So when someone emails back and says it's too expensive, I try to come up with something that fits in their budget. But I don't really think of custom cakes as an a la carte kind of situation, where I give them a "menu" and let them put a design together. I guess I feel like, as a cake designer, that's my job. 

Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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