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Samples, how to be a standout? - Page 2

post #31 of 38
Panini- Although the standards are pretty relaxed here for "home bakers" but you wouldn't believe how nasty some shop owners can be. Most which offer inferior product.

Wendy- The idea of pricing by the tier appeals to me because people have a problem shopping with an "apples to apples" comparison anyway. I have seen so many size charts it makes my head spin. It never occurs to many brides that Italian Meringue Buttercream is costlier than "Decorator Icing" that is just Crisco and powdered sugar. Or that some cakes have more layers of filling to offer, etc. I haven't done it yet, but am thinking about it.

As far as dummies and kitchen cakes go- I price exactly the same for dummies as I do for real ones. Panini's right- I don't know who made that rumor up but no one ever substantiates it. As for kitchen cakes: I will do these with the following guide lines: The display cake is at least for 100 servings, the kitchen cakes are exactly like the display cake (four layers of cake, three layers of filling)but plain iced with no decoration or border, and they save a whopping .25 cents a slice
because I can do it quickly, don't have to stack it or worry about transportation. The only time this usually saves them money is if they have a really elaborate display cake and a lot of people coming. In fact, with the simple cakes they realize they are only saving $25 for every 100 people and they go ahead with a big serving cake. I did have a bride who had 300 people coming and did an elaborate display cake for about 150 and the rest were kitchen cakes. She saved about $700 and I still made $1200. In my area they offer kitchen cakes a lot but most are just 2" high sheet cakes with frosting and no filling. I refuse to do that- I always explain to the bride that she would not want some of her guests to get the "good" cake and some to get the "other" cake. They all concur.
post #32 of 38

I nteresting thread

I usually don't read the posts concerning baking mainly because I leave it to the professionals, but I read this thread w/ alot of interest and while I don't bake I have afew ideas on the subject as a business owner.
We do a fair amount of wedding business so I see alot of cakes. Because we are one of the premier wedding sites in our area brides often book us before they book anybody else. We are free to recommend who we know works well. Do they set up on time, are their cakes pretty, do they taste good etc. Wendy, you have alot of good ideas. The sample box would go over well at our establishment. As for prices, I believe that (at least in our area) the price per tier works best along w/ a ballpark figure on how many portions you can expect from it. I can't tell you the nightmares my staff has dealt w/ trying to get 150 servings from a cake designed for 90. As for making a living on straight wedding cakes our favorite baker does quite well for herself and that is all she does. You really seem to have your act together and I'm sure you will do well. Also, on the supports and stuff If you want them back ask the caterer to set them aside they usually will. We do. I usually just give them back the next week when she comes back. She builds the price into her cakes though so if she doesn't get them back oh well bonus if she does. Having dealt w/ alot of brides the last thing they want to deal w/ is returning plastic plate cakes and supports. Another thing that would be great is if the cake is difficult to cut give the caterer a heads up on an easier way to do it if it's non-traditional it makes our job easier and we appreciate it alot and the cake gets to the guests in a presentable fashion. Prices on the brochure? Probably not, for the most part my experiance has been that usually for the same quality you are generally close to your competitors so it's the extra stuff that sets you apart. Just my opinion though.
BTW Panini, you have a nice shop. Although you weren't there it would have been fun to meet you. Love your passion and willingness to help others. My little brother lives in Bartonville just outside of big D and went for a visit about 6 weeks ago. Sorry I missed you. Next time I'll let you know but this was a spur of the moment trip.
Enjoy Life ~ Eat out more often
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Enjoy Life ~ Eat out more often
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post #33 of 38
Excellent thread ---definitely learning something on pricing issues and contracts.
Wendy, I wish I knew more about wedding cake contracts and such so I could help you out. I completely admire the guts you have to go for your own business. I'm still too chicken to venture out on my own--I'm still trying to learn a little more through people like you, momoreg and panini. I wish you the greatest success!
I'd say that I make about 50% of the wedding cakes when we book a wedding, and the other half clients usually like to order from a bakery called Rosebud's(they are featured a lot in Martha's magazine and a lot of the celebrities use them). They do really beautiful work but the taste is not so great. I will try to find out more info. on prices and such.
post #34 of 38
Thread Starter 
It's all just a matter of time Dana! Learn the decorating techniques she's doing and bake a better cake......
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #35 of 38
Thread Starter 
Well I just read in two places yesterday who's telling brides they can cut costs by serving cakes from the kitchen. Martha has it posted under her wedding cake section, online and the Brides magazine has that written under tips and things to consider (right on the pages that the decorators ads are on) teaching brides what to look for when they order their cakes.

Pricing>....again....

So fodigger you have a decorator you like and refer people to. I've just approached you with a tasting and left my brocure and cards. You'll give me a chance on a small job and check me out first...see how I am. Provided I pass judgement, now aren't you going to offer both cards to your clients?

Would you use me exclusively if I offered you $ per cake? For instance, I know everyone is selling starting at 3.75. But if you refer the bride to me, I do the consultation and write the contract. In my price I'm going to add $1. per person as my gift to you as a finders fee. When the wedding is paid for I'll mail you a copy of my contract I had with that bride and a check. Will you dirrect your clients to me exculsively with this added incentive?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #36 of 38
AGAIN! just my opinion. $ 1.00 pp is a large percentage to pay someone to refer to you. This might be something to consider when starting out, but I would not enter into anything like this long term.
I'm assuming it's just a referal and that the client is not obligated in any way to use you.
For bookkeeping and legal purposes I would have an expense classification for this, reimbursement or discount etc. You will need to expense it for this will help at year end.
Someone comes to fodigger for a reception and they refer you.
You price out the cake with them. They decide they are not going to use fodigger but still want you to do the cake. Do you tell them the price is different?
Pricing is sticky. We have found that pricing everyone the same is less likely to cause any problems.

Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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Never! Live To Work!:::::::Work To Live!::Life Is To Short!!
Paninicakes.com

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post #37 of 38
Wendy, here are my thoughts on the matter. While I find the whole idea of a finders fee foreign to me personally I do agree w/ Panini that $1.00 is too much. I've heard of 10 -15% before but I personally turn them down. I'm not saying don't because I don't know how they do things in your neck of the woods. My thoughts are that we are all in business to make money and be successful I know that by recommending you gratis that if the bride comes to you first and is still looking for a place, that if we have treated you fairly and our place fits what the bride is looking for you in turn will recommend us. I for the most part am into getting along with my venders and I feel that the money thing could ruin iit all.Also, I don't care for the exclusivity of having only one cake person. We all as consumers think we know what is the perfect cake and what we are looking for in a cake. And although there are some brides we do everything for we prefer that they pick their own cake person. We look at your cards as a road map in a since in that here are 2 ways to go both will get you to where you want to go and it's up to you to decide which road to take.

Hope this doesn't muddy your waters any.
Enjoy Life ~ Eat out more often
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Enjoy Life ~ Eat out more often
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post #38 of 38
Thread Starter 
O.k. maybe I mis-understood something......it doesn't make sense for a bride to pick a wedding cake baker until she has a site and knows if she CAN bring a cake in. There are many places that won't let her.

I was assuming she'd already have a contract with the facility.

As far as adding money....well I'm certain I won't really know what's happening until I get out there. In the past when I was catering the top party consultants around insisted on a cut under the table. But they brought in the 'right' money work and it was worth it to get the introduction to those clients. Once your 'in', they book you with-out the consultants.

I know that the cake designers working the 'nice' areas are pricing in the $6.00 range per person. I'd rather court the areas where this is the norm thru the party consultants. If I can get 6.00 per person, then 1.00 for the consultant is worth it...considering there's a chance of getting their freinds weddings down the line with-out the party consultant.

Yes, giving $1.00 for a 3.00 cake would kill me....I wouldn't do that. But entree to the right neighborhoods and the right people COULD be worth paying an admission fee....?

The problem then is my over all price will go up so I'm not charging different fees to different groups. That's bad business! SO then the % concept makes the most sense.........give the consultants a percent and figure I'll get the higher ticket cakes from them to compensate??
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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