? for those with wedding cake business

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by anna w., Jun 6, 2002.

  1. anna w.

    anna w.

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    Looking over my books and it seems that 70%-75% of the consults I do go ahead and book. First of all, is this a decent percentage? My husband seems to think it's good but I'd like to see it higher than that (100% would be good but I guess that is a little unrealistic :) ). Second, I think the big hold back on the other 30% are my prices. I am not the most expensive one in my area but I am up there. I think my work is well worth the cost and have no plans on changing that. However, is there a way to weed out the people who can't afford me before the consult? I already market to the suburbs with the money. I have just been really frustrated lately with these customers who want the most complicated and labor intensive cakes on the planet and want to pay the base price. I even had a customer who was expecting about 200-250 people and wanted to spend $100!!! I would like to find a way to avoid these situations. Any suggestions?
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

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    You could ask them if they've done any research on cakes, or met with anybody before you. This will at least clue you into how much they know regarding work involved and price. Then if they seem interested in your style and price, you can delve further into it, or refer them to someone who is more their speed.
     
  3. m brown

    m brown

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    I am ten days away from closing on a turn key wedding cake emporium!(by appointment only)
    70-75% would be great! I found that as soon as the phrase "the florist is spray painting the flowers to match the center pieces and my nails." I know their will be no sale! :lol:
    I was thinking of having a minimum charge of $150 for all deliveries without delivery charge and minimum order of $50 also I was going to start my by the slice wedding cake prices at $4.00 and go up to $11.00 retail. Wholesale, I thought $2.50 and up was fair. Am I delusional? I am on Long Island, the highest priced place on the planet next to Japan!
    Any and all help is appreciated!
     
  4. momoreg

    momoreg

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    Not delusional at all. You will find lots of people willing and able to pay those prices. Now when are we going to hear more about this business? I know you must be crazy busy, Michele, but you can't tease us like this forever!:D
     
  5. anna w.

    anna w.

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    m- from what I understand those are very reasonable prices for NY. Good Luck and let us know how it goes!!!
     
  6. w.debord

    w.debord

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    The place I'm at right now is a average little bakery. Their prices are low but....anyway the owner charges people for consultations. She got frustrated with no shows after she'd bake a sample cake and waste her time. They charge 25.00 before she'll even look at her calender. That seems to work, I bet she gets about 95% bookings.

    (I'm doing wedding cakes for her. Next Sat. we have 8 wedding cakes and yesterday someone walked in and ordered cake for 900 people (business aniversary) for the same day, plus they have all their reg. business. Today we have 75 graduation cakes & 3 weddings....) NOT BAD! I'm starting to think bakeries can make it.....
     
  7. momoreg

    momoreg

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    75 graduations!!!???:eek:
    How many cake people do they have?
     
  8. w.debord

    w.debord

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    4 of us work on cakes. 1 women bakes them and pre-frosts, I assist prefrosting and do the more advanced cakes(wedding) and they have 2 that handle the bulk.

    The owner/lead decorator is really very gifted in decorating! I hope to learn alot from her.....

    They won't bake and do any freezing in advance (which is a big handicap). This next week will really be a struggle, they don't have enough equipment, space, etc....



    OH, want to hear a good one (actually a bad one)....yesterday when the owner went to deliver one of their wedding cakes, when he got there they told him they ordered their cake from another bakery. Specificly they said they recieved a phone call from our bakery this past week telling them our ovens weren't working and that they'd have to get their cake somewhere else!!!

    Well certainly that didn't happen! They'd never do that! The groom said, did you recently fire anyone (disgruntled empoyee)? No one's left or been fired, even if so... they wouldn't have the phone number to call the people and cancel.

    The weird thing is the bride spent alot of time on this cake. Left us photos, clips she couldn't replace. They had a large deposit on the cake and no one contacted us for a refund.

    So everyone use your contracts, protect your-selfs.
     
  9. momoreg

    momoreg

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    That's a new one. So, who's out the money? The bride or the bakery?
     
  10. anna w.

    anna w.

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    Wow- what a wierd dilemma. Wonder what the real truth is........

    Thanks for the ideas Memoreg, I'll try that.

    W- I wonder what would happen if I charged for a consult? I don't know of anyone around here who does that. On an interesting side note, I am doing a cake for a Chicago native who is getting married here. She picked a cake that I charge $8.00 a slice for. Now around here, that is a pretty expensive cake, she just sighed and said she was relieved that it was Under $10 per!! I really love Chicago. Wish they were all that grateful!:)