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Questions on pricing

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I'm a long time lurker & this is my first post. I understand pricing guidelines and how to price things. My dilemma is that most places around me have different pricing for party cakes & wedding cakes. I always looked it at as cake is cake. When I do weddings everyone's fine w/pricing but when it comes to party cakes it seems that my prices are too high for those same people? I'm located in Texas, in the DFW area. I've called a few bakeries to get ideas on pricing & they'll tell me well a cake that serves 30-40 people, one layer, unfilled, w/buttercream is $60. We can write happy birthday but anything else is extra. So that makes the per serving cost anywhere from $1.50-$2. Then these same places have wedding cake prices that start anywhere from $2.50+. I'm just at a loss on how to price the two now because this has been nagging me for a while. how do I explain a flat rate for all my cakes when places around me charge different amounts for different occasions? Or should I follow their pricing model and charge less for party cakes & more for wedding cakes? Thanks in advance
post #2 of 25

Neither.  You charge based on price of ingredients, overhead, and most importantly, your time!!  Wedding cakes take longer, way longer.

 

 buttercream can go on a cake with a border quickly and easily, but to sculpt roses and flowers and other customized decorations can take several hours.  

 

It's not always about charging what others charge. It's all relative.

I cannot charge by the hour because it takes me twice as long as a normal decorator to make a cake, so I charge $3 and up per serving.  Someone who works at a normal pace can add an hourly rate!

post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
I understand I can't simply pull numbers out of thin air. It's just the fact that I also must look at the market around me because I do not want to undercut bakeries around me by pricing myself too low. I may not have as much overhead because I'm operating under cottage food laws, but I still have expenses. I've calculated my expenses in excel and have calculated a cost per serving for ingredients and materials. I'm just trying to get different perspectives because brides are always told that vendors are out to get them because prices increase at the mere mention of the word wedding. (I know I got married almost a year ago & I ran into that problem when calling for quotes) I just don't know if reinforcing that idea is good?
post #4 of 25
Wow where are you located? The bakeries around my area charge no less than $5.50 per serving. Well the well known bakeries. Even Sedanos which is a Spanish supermarket charges $3.50 per person. It's crazy expensive over here compared to a lot of prices I have seen on this site. I actually have a cake order due today and its a 1 tier for about 30 with a microphone with headphones and I charged $160.
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
I live in Arlington, Texas. A lot of custom bakeries I have pulled up in my area are about $3.50+/ wedding servings & party cakes start at less. Then there are the really high end bakeries in Dallas which I've seen anywhere from $4-$7+ per serving.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I hope I'm not breaking any guidelines here but this is off a bakeries website in my city.

Wedding cake
Base Price$4.00 Per Serving
Includes:
Buttercream Outer Frosting
Choice of 4 Shapes (Round, Square, Oval and Hexagon)
Desired Fillings
Decoration (Fondant Work & Sugar Flowers Are Extra)
Extras:
Rolled Fondant Covering - Add $2.00 Per Serving
Sugar Flowers - Price Varies
Fondant Decorations - Price Varies

Grooms cakes
Base Price$3.00 Per Serving

Sheet cakes
No Filling$2.25 Per Serving
With Filling$2.50 Per Serving

Party cakes
For more accurate pricing on party cakes, please provide a picture along with the number of servings and any special requests. We will respond with a price quote.

Cupcakes
Base Price (Varies based on design)$2.00 Per
Serving
post #7 of 25
Pricing varies widely by area and should be based on both your costs and market value. If market value in your area for simple party cakes is $2/serving and you can make a decent wage and profit at that price then that price can work.
post #8 of 25
I have different price structure as follows:

Tiered cakes are $3.50 or $4.50/serving (buttercream/fondant) or I charge a set price for specialty cakes which I only sell as 9 inch rounds. I charge less because there is no internal support, and I bought several 9" pans for this reason - to have them be my default cake size and bake in bulk. I also sell sheet cakes when purchased in conjunction with a tiered cake (or sculpted cake) that I charge less per serving for as well - and I will ONLY sell a sheet cake with a larger cake.

So there is a difference in price for different cakes for me, but I'm not charging more for the same cake simply because it's for a wedding as opposed to a birthday.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #9 of 25
A single layer cake is not the same as a single tier cake. You said they charge less for a one layer cake. That makes sense as it is much less cake. Also, wedding cakes usually have other things involved, such as supports, and decorations as Norasmom mentioned, which add to the supply and labor cost.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for all your help everyone
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
So should I charge per serving for party cakes or have a flat price?
post #12 of 25

That is totally up to you. Different bakers do it different ways. It's a preference thing.

post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
I guess I just need to be comfortable & confident charging more money for a better cake, for example $95 for a 10" cake. & if people aren't willing to pay for a better product then I don't want them as my customer.
post #14 of 25
In my experience customers looking for smaller party cakes are more used to flat prices instead of per-serving prices. If you are targeting midmarket customers $95 for a simple BC 10" cake would be pretty high, our starting price for a 10" is $54 and that price point is quite profitable even with the additional overhead of a rented commercial kitchen.

Calculate how much a simple 10" cake costs you in ingredients, labor, and allocated overhead, you might be surprised.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
So if a customer orders a wedding cake that includes a 10" tier, I would then charge per serving not a flat rate?
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