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Topic: ? on calculating number of servings needed.......and slight rant :)
selina13 10/05/2012 4:05 PM
Ever say yes to a cake and then wish you hadn't? My friends niece is getting married next August and being the nice person (push-over) that I am, I told her I would make the cake when she asked me. The design she picked is horrible for a wedding, it looks like a child's birthday cake and getting her to answer my questions is like pulling teeth!
Any how....
She keeps asking how to make the price cheaper so I asked how many people she's inviting. I vaguely remember reading somewhere to typically plan on 60% of the number of invites sent out when calculating number of servings. Is there a formula for this, or do we just wait till she has a final head count. When I asked how many she invited she told me "Make the cake for 150"
I don't even think I have the right size pans to make a cake that big, and I don't plan on buying any. :p
Thanks in advance for any help and for letting me vent!

selina13 10/05/2012 4:18 PM
And, I just found out the reception is a half hour drive from here. How do I nicely tell her she needs to pay for delivery?
gmoakes01 10/05/2012 5:04 PM
Write up a contract spelling out exactly what she wants as far as the design, agreed size and price per serving. Also include a delivery fee ($25-50, depending on what you feel is fair). Make sure she reads the contract and if she agrees to it all, you both sign and date it, getting at least a 50% cash deposit. Get your balance at least 2 weeks before the wedding? You may be able to find a cake store in your area that rents cake pans, I know there is one available to me. If she doesn't like your contract, she can always try to go to another baker/bakery and see what they tell her. Good luck.
CollectorEJ 10/05/2012 10:08 PM
If you can't find any pans to rent in your area I rent out my pans. Where are you located? My email is
becamico 10/06/2012 12:13 AM
To the left on your screen here, click on "cakes" then "Making cakes". It gives you options for wedding servings and party servings and once you click on one of those options, you'll see the servings for each size pan.

Good luck!
sweetgrandma 10/06/2012 4:09 AM
You could suggest making a sheet cake along with the wedding cake to increase the servings. Serve it from the kitchen when you run out of wedding cake.
I tell brides to count on half and as a rule it works out well although for the last wedding I did I was told 90% of the guests showed spite of rain! Luckily the cake was big enough.
selina13 10/11/2012 2:22 PM
So, now she wants buttercream to make it cheaper and when I mentioned having to charge for delivery "oh, I wouldn't make you drive all that way. I'm sure my grandma would pick it up or I'll probably be in town" I know her grandma and would be slightly less worried if she picked it up, but should I tell her I won't do it unless I am the one to deliver?
My hubby says let her worry about getting it there and if it's a disaster it won't be my fault don't worry about it. But I just know, if something happenson the way there or while they are setting it up, the blame would somehow get put on me.

cakedujour 10/11/2012 2:29 PM
Make sure she understands that the second it leaves your home the cake is HER responsibility, NOT YOURS. And make her sign off on that. And make whoever picks up the cake sign that the cake is in good condition leaving your home. You should make sure that the cake is well supported and doweled with a support system such as stress free supports, the pipe/flange assembly, or two central dowels (at the very least.) Give the cake a fighting chance since it will be in the hands of amateurs.
ginnyl 10/11/2012 3:04 PM
A contract is discussed and signed with all my cakes..friends, family and clients..It is all down in black and white and it makes it clear for everyone who is responsible for what..
cakes06 10/11/2012 7:48 PM
So, what size pans do you have and are they round or square? That makes a difference in no. of servings. I would just do a small three tier and then make up the difference with sheet cakes. I won't let anyone pick up a cake that's three tiered or largr. If it's a two tier, then probably. Too much risk involved otherwise.
vogt51 10/16/2012 11:56 AM
Everyone wants an awesome cake from the "cake lady", but a lot of people don't want to pay the price. I think most people have no idea how much work and time actually goes into making a decorated cake. For some reason, they think it should be cheaper to buy a cake from someone they know than to buy one from the supermarket. Sometimes I feel guilty when I quote a price and see their reaction over how high it is. Then I look over the figures again and realize I have every right to charge that price and I probably should be charging even more. My time and my skill are worth every penny and if they end up going somewhere else because they didn't want to pay me what I was worth, then so be it. I won't have a successful business if I can't make a profit.

It's okay to work with her to try to bring the price down a little. Give her options and tell her you need to have her decision by a certain date and of course, have her sign a contract. If you're giving her a deal of any kind, make sure she knows it. Make sure she knows that delivering a cake is no easy task (They even struggle with that on professional cake shows such as cake boss and ace of cakes!) and ask if she really wants to take on that responsibility. I mean, if she's spending a ton of money for a cake, would it be better to add another $25 for delivery of that cake or pick it up herself and take the chance that the cake that she spent all that money on won't arrive in one piece?

Be firm, be confident and don't let anyone take advantage of you.