Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tell Me About Those Serving Sizes Again?

It kind of drives me crazy when I see people online asking about how much to charge for party servings as opposed to wedding servings. The cake is the same ingredient cost size regardless of how big you cut the pieces, so why are you charging a different amount?

If Kelloggs suddenly started charging different prices for the same size box of cornflakes because they said that this box was for people who only wanted a small bowlful and this box was for people who wanted more cereal in the morning, would that make any sense?

I made pizza for dinner the other night, and it gave me another way to explain why I price cakes by the cake, not by the serving.

I had the two different pizzas for the picky eaters on the counter and told my kids to go ahead and cut them to serve themselves. My son cut the one that he likes, and my daughter cut the other one. Well, apparently a teenaged boy thinks that you cut a pizza in quarters and that counts as four servings. However, a teenaged girl cuts a pizza in eighths, which is more reasonable to me. Two pizzas, same size, different serving counts.

So imagine this conversation between you and a customer:

Customer: I need a cake for about ten people.
You: That would be about a 6" round.
C: That's way too small! We eat bigger pieces than that.
Y: That's a 1"x2"x4" wedding cake standard serving size, so that's what we use to determine the size cake you'd need.
C: Well, another bakery said that a 6" would give me about 6 party servings, what is that?
Y: Party servings are 1 1/2"x2"x4".
C: But I thought you said the standard serving was 1x2x4.
Y: It is for wedding cakes. But how much you get out of it will depend on how you cut it, too.
C: What if I want to cut it into 4 pieces, and eat that size serving?
Y: You could do that, but you'd be eating more than one serving for each serving you're cutting.
C: But if I'm cutting it for party servings or wedding servings it's different anyway?
Y: uhm, yes...
C: So if your cake is $4 a serving, and I only cut 4 servings out of it it will only cost $16?
Y: No, it would be $40 for the standard serving.
C: Well, I want to buy party servings, so that would only be $24, right?
Y: ......................

Too complicated. So I will stick by my method of averaging out all of the serving charts and charging a flat price per cake with a range of what the bride can expect to get out of it serving-wise. I'm still using a serving average to get to the price of the cake, but it allows for a range of servings instead of saying "this will serve this many."It's actually closer to how they used to charge per pound instead of per serving, but it simplifies things.

Check out this link for a more detailed explanation:

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at and


Eva Farragher said...

My questions to the client is how many people are they serving, and are they serving it as dessert or with tea and coffee. THEN I work out the size of the tier(s) they should buy. Not the other way around.

This eliminates any pointless discussions about tier sizes and yield.

Me: how many guests are you inviting?
Client: around 80
Me: is the cake going to be the only dessert, or are you serving it after dessert, with tea and coffee?
Client: just with coffee and tea
Me: Right, so in the round tiers you can have x, or xy or xyz tier sizes to serve 80 people coffee portions...

The client can then choose which orientation of tiers they would like their cake to look like, with enough cake to serve everyone (or 75% of everyone if that's how you do your calcs).

Kara Buntin said...

Eva, that sounds exactly what I say to people! Just get that out of the way at the beginning and you don't need to worry about it after that.