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Pricing advice for mini desserts (wedding)

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone!

 

Although I've been a fan of CC forums for a while, this is my first time posting. Hopefully some of you lovely ladies can help me out :)  I have been asked to provide mini desserts for a wedding reception in November. The menu will consist of 3 types of desserts. Right now, it's looking like 2" fruit tarts, 2" cupcakes, and 2" chocolate cups filled with mousse. I'm meeting with the bride next week to make final choices and discuss pricing.

 

I've made cakes before, but this is my first time making mini desserts for a client. I'm usually a little stumped when it comes to pricing, but in this case, the bride-to-be is my grandmother's boss's fiance. Yikes! My grandmother keeps saying things like, "you have to have lists of ideas for her, don't just ask what she wants," and "make sure you don't overcharge her," and "make sure you can do this in mini sizes!" I understand the worry, but it's making ME worried about coming up with a price!! Is it tacky to ask what her budget is? 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CronceM View Post

My grandmother keeps saying things like, "you have to have lists of ideas for her, don't just ask what she wants," and "make sure you don't overcharge her," and "make sure you can do this in mini sizes!" I understand the worry, but it's making ME worried about coming up with a price!! Is it tacky to ask what her budget is? 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Yes, sit down and write yourself a list of mini desserts that you are 100% confident making. I have some items on my website you could look at for ideas.

 

Work out your costs, set your price and figure out your profit per piece.

 

Than figure out how many you can make in your smallest batch. That determines your minimum order amount. For example, if you click on my cookie bars you'll see that my minimum order is 24 (write that number next to each item on your sales list). That's a 9"x13" pan of the cookie bar. You can't sell 17 cookie bars and throw-out the rest taking a loss those remaining bars. Instead you set a minimum for each item (again, you can look at my site for examples).

 

Next do the math to figure out what a minimum order of each item costs for your retail customer. For example, 24 bars at $2.50 each is $60.00. Write those numbers on your notes next to each item your selling.

 

Now you do need to know your clients budget, yes you must ask them. Write down that number. Than let your customer chose which items off your list of desserts they'd like. Write down the total cost per item and then they can shop/choose which items they'd like on their sweet table.

 

Working this way with your list that contains: 1. items 2. minimum order amounts 3. price of minimum total lets you talk clearly to your client. If they need to stick tightly to a budget let them choose which items to eliminate. Sometimes working this way has them increase their budget if they want more selections. Either way it works for you because you've set minimum amounts and know your profitable.

post #3 of 9

You need to do a little homework.  Go pastry shopping for mini treats. See how much it will cost you.  Also know that if you are not a full sized bakery, your costs will probably be higher for ingredients and you profits will be lower.

 

Therefore, pay attention to the prices you pay.  You should make sure you are profitable.  My only change to your grandmother's advice would be to not UNDERcharge.  Most people in your position do not charge enough and take a beating for the pleasure of making the food for someone's wedding.
 

post #4 of 9

I'm probably crazy, but I love doing petit fours (mini desserts).  I typically charge $2.50 each for simple petit fours, which are about two small bites or one large bite, in size.  I also charge a set up fee and delivery fee.  If I am using my own serving/display dishes, I charge a deposit on those as well.  Though I have never had anyone ask, I won't do petit fours for a small number of people, especially if they want several different types.  I work out of a commissary kitchen and pay by the hour, so it isn't to my financial advantage to make of a bunch of petit fours unless I know I can sell them.

Hope that helps somewhat.
 

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Than figure out how many you can make in your smallest batch. That determines your minimum order amount. For example, if you click on my cookie bars you'll see that my minimum order is 24 (write that number next to each item on your sales list). That's a 9"x13" pan of the cookie bar. You can't sell 17 cookie bars and throw-out the rest taking a loss those remaining bars. Instead you set a minimum for each item

 

I've got my lists of what I can make, and a general idea for cost of ingredients, but I never would have thought to require a minimum number. Thank you!! You're right, I could end up having to throw some away--or eat them all up myself and gain ten pounds...which is worse? ;)

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by CronceM View Post
 I never would have thought to require a minimum number.

Oh baby, that can KILL you. Everyone wants zillions of selections, which is really the opposite of what is profitable for you. My wholesale account minimums are much higher.

 

Also, if they want color matching products, that's an additional cost as are any décor on the mini's that match their colors or theme. Your time has to equal profit.

 

You also need to consider their budget and whether or not the whole thing is worth your time. If your not making as much if not more on a sweet table as you would on a cake for that number of people, don't take it on. Doing one cake for a party is easier than doing 6 different desserts. Also when you get into making pastries it increases your ingredient inventory from just doing cakes, which adds to your time and takes more space, so you better get paid for it or just stick with cakes.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Than figure out how many you can make in your smallest batch. That determines your minimum order amount. For example, if you click on my cookie bars you'll see that my minimum order is 24 (write that number next to each item on your sales list). That's a 9"x13" pan of the cookie bar. You can't sell 17 cookie bars and throw-out the rest taking a loss those remaining bars. Instead you set a minimum for each item (again, you can look at my site for examples).

I have a question about this. I have a similar requirement for certain things, so I don't have to make a whole batch and then have some leftover. However, what if in your example someone orders 30 bars. It's over the minimum, but then you almost would need to make a whole other batch to make up those other servings. I haven't had that happen yet, but on some things I've said "Only available to order in quantities of ____" What would you do?

Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; know that wisdom is thus for your soul...
Proverbs 24:13b-14a

 

~Licensed, inspected, home-based baker~

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Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; know that wisdom is thus for your soul...
Proverbs 24:13b-14a

 

~Licensed, inspected, home-based baker~

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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by justdesserts View Post

I have a question about this. I have a similar requirement for certain things, so I don't have to make a whole batch and then have some leftover. However, what if in your example someone orders 30 bars. It's over the minimum, but then you almost would need to make a whole other batch to make up those other servings. I haven't had that happen yet, but on some things I've said "Only available to order in quantities of ____" What would you do?

 

Items must be ordered by the dozen (or half dozen) whichever works out best for you. If the customer has to order more than they need, let them eat the difference.

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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by justdesserts View Post
 I've said "Only available to order in quantities of ____" What would you do?

I have been very lucky that I haven't run into that problem. I have quite an assortment of pan sizes and a hubby who begs for sweets so I just scale a recipe up to get more. For example, I might move from a 9x13 to a half sheet pan which is 12x16 to get the right count...........sometimes it works out better to bake 3- 9x9 pans. I'm new to retail sales of sweet tables...I'm usually working in the hundreds for wholesale.

 

Keeping orders in dozens and half dozens is the most logical way for a client to understand, no doubt! I take my time when giving quotes on each pastry because each one is different. Like I know I can stretch some recipes and make a thick bar more normal sized with-out adjusting my recipe only using a larger pan. Or I know I can pipe 75 éclairs out of the same batter I'd pipe 70, if I do them all a hair smaller....or visa versa.

 

But you've made a great point and definitely in certain situations you may have to make them order in quantities of _____. One things for certain, you never stop getting requests you've never confronted before....so don't hesitate to think before you give a quote.

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