So, to my fellow bakers I ask, does this seem like a good idea? Keep in mind I do have a "regular" job and would be doing this as fun side job, doing one or two a month. I know I would need to be licensed first.
Any tips or suggestions? Thank you!
like dessert catering? I love the idea! I don't know how profitable it would be!
I used to work the Saturday buffet dinner at a very fancy private club, and 6-7 of us would make desserts for 3 days, (8 hour shifts mostly) for about 300 people.
my advice is, if you plan on doing large parties, more than 50 then get someone to work with you.
3-4 pieces of mini desserts (including slices)per person.
always have something ready made in the freezer for emergencies, I assure you it's not if, it's when.
consider offering "packages", for instance like a "French pastry package" or a "chocolate lovers package" or a " memory lane package". each with 6-7desserts for that theme, that way you can reasonably be stocked with ingredients you need.
even though you are not liscensed now, if you are serious about this, start investing in platters and buffet ware now! this stuff ( the good stuff), is expensive!
also, another thing to consider is will you be attending the events as a chef attendee :P. If not you may have to charge rent for your wares, or even better a deposit that they can get back after your stuff is returned properly.. not something I would have thought of by myself, but after reading all the horror stories on here about people not being able to get their cake stands back.
that sounds reasonable to me, I hope someone else will have some input lol.
what I meant by keeping stock is keeping the ingredients around for specific desserts because you always offer them, instead of having to run out last minute for specialty ingredients because it's something you've never made every time.( and what the above poster said, she said it better than I could lol)
you're gonna have just about as much overhead as any home based baking business. (if you're doing it from home). seems like you'll need a consultation room too, and unless you have a delivery van, your gas costs will probably be higher if you need to make multiple trips.
also you'll need a place to store all these backdrops and decorations. where normal bakeries only have to include time for shopping into overhead, you will also have to include time for shopping for decorations.
and I would charge, a lot!
price matrix (1).xls 655k .xls file
I can't imagine what else you would have to go for lol. they might ask you to cut the cake. with small buffets like you are talking about, you really wouldn't need any help.
anyways, sounds like a really fun idea! I hope it works out for you! any ideas for names?
Get rid of the tasting idea for small events - they will just suck up your time and money. Would you ask for a tasting for a cake for a shower? I wouldn't. They will need to trust that your lemon bars taste like lemon, and so on.
are you sure you were just an assistant, lol? sounds like you ran a hall and a catering business
First, when you say doing this from home....you do mean you have a licensed kitchen, correct?
Doing custom sweet tables is way more difficult than I think you realize. They are extremely hard to sell. Who's your customer? That's the problem....in my opinion.
1. You have the lower budget people who don't have the serving pieces and can't afford to rent them from you. Whom will buy candies and simple items else where to save money and just ask you to do a couple items for them. Those few items aren't as profitable as doing a cake and it involves more pans and more ingredients for you to own. (I do this, so I'm not saying it can't be done!)
2. The middle budget people get there sweets from the vendor where the party is. For example the have their wedding or shower at a venue, the venue provides the sweets or charges them extra to bring in their own sweets. So you have to find people having parties at home or small venues that don't provide food. Those people have their friends bring cookie bars and such, they buy some candies and still all they want is a few items from you. (Again, I sell to them, so it can be done)
3. The high end customer who has the money to do this might not shop for this themselves. They probably will have their party planner or hotel take care of purchasing everything for this. So you have to be "in" with the right people.
Spend some serious time google searching this topic. Look at the bakeries around you to see how they are doing this and pricing things. It's key to set minimum amounts because you don't want to sell half a batch of 10 different baked goods and take a loss on the rest of the batch not being sold (look at my website for examples if you want.). Renting trays seems simple but getting back 10 trays from one party undamaged and clean is 10x harder than getting back the tray the wedding cake sat on. You can't do tastings for 20 different items.....you'd spend you whole life doing that and once you figured out your costs for doing such, you'd not make a profit from your business.
I don't want to be Debbie Downer, you can do this if your super persistent, smart and well connected. I do offer sweet tables myself and love doing them too. But I personally couldn't begin to base a business on just doing them.
P.S. Look at my sweet table section on my website (it's just a small hint of the work I've done). I've done sweet tables for 25 plus years......my point being that I really know this topic well!