When we are going to sell a cake or any other kitchen preparation, how much should we charge? That’s what the pricing. It is not adding the value of the ingredients and adding a random percentage.
Everything has a cost and we spend specific resources and equipment for each preparation. This would be enough argument to forget this idea that the final price is equal to ingredients + profit. There are quick and easy preparations, but they take relatively expensive ingredients, as is the example of a good whipped cream, made with fresh cream and vanilla bean. A puff pastry is made with cheaper ingredients, but it requires much more work.
PREPARATION OF A THOUSAND LEAVES WITH CARAMEL AND NUTS CROCANT – photo: Paulo Cuenca / ICKFD – cover photo: The Glitter Guide
I will make the approach as complete and simple as possible. Perhaps some points are amazing, but I guarantee it: it is worth every second of reading.
The first thing that has to be clear is the difference between variable cost and fixed cost. Essentially, variable costs are all those whose values change with the volume of production (not just the ingredients).
Variable cost example:
To make three cakes, we use a certain amount of ingredients. This value grows when I make more cakes and, of course, decreases when I make less. However, we also use oven gas, electric power for a mixer, cleaning materials for washing, molds and tools in general, disposable packaging for transportation … All of this varies according to the volume of production.
NAKED CAKE OF COCONUT AND RASPBERRY CREAM – photo: Paulo Cuenca / ICKFD
Your hour worked is a variable cost which you must honestly define how much it is worth. Then, just multiply that amount by the time you need to do the production. Your profit should be just that amount of hour worked.
When we make one or two units of cake, or even a relatively small amount of brigadeiro (60 units), we do not even take these costs into account. It is difficult to quantify how much gas, electricity, cleaning supplies you spend to make each type of product, but you should take this seriously, otherwise you end up charging less than you actually spent to do.
Whoever has a separate kitchen, exclusive for production (without domestic use) is easier to quantify gas. The tip is to start counting the time that a gas takes to finish. Every time you use it, write down the time of use in a pad. For example: “I baked a cake in an hour and a half” – add the time of everything you do, so that when this gas runs out you have the following information: cost of buying the gas and how long it will last, according with your type of use.
So, if you buy gas for R $ 50.00 and it lasts, hypothetically, 200 hours, just divide the value of the gas by the number of hours and, in this specific example, the hour of gas costs R $ 0.25.
DEVIL’S CAKE – photo: Paulo Cuenca / ICKFD
- When you are putting on paper how much gas you use to bake a cake, you should consider it from the time it preheats, not just the time of baking.
- You should take the time to bake a cake to bake others at the same time and, if you have other productions that depend on a preheated oven, plan to use the already heated oven from the batch that came out. Thus, you save resources and time.
The fixed costs are those that do not vary directly with the quantity of production. Example: rental of equipment and property, city taxes, business cards, fuel to deliver. It is usually fixed costs that make food from restaurants and buffets more expensive in some neighborhoods than in others in the same city.
- It is very important to have the highest possible accuracy, such as weighing the ingredients with a precision scale to know what and how much you have spent.
- Optimize working time to handle everything;
- Do not mix order ingredients with those for household use.
- Get organized: the money you received from the client is not yours, it is your company. Its share is equivalent to that of labor.
- Knowing how much the whole process costs from the purchase of ingredients to the delivery of the product is a key step. Constantly evaluating the details is a matter of management, it will help you to be more competitive, Tue less waste is higher productivity.
- Is it worth it to go to several stores to buy all the cheapest ingredients? Assess locomotion and time spent.
- Try to suggest changes of flavors to the customer, using seasonal fruits or some ingredient that you already have available.
- Do not be the crazy of the roles or the dictator of the numbers, but periodically study your recipes and ask yourself what can be improved, what new equipment would be really good investments.
- Separate a folder to keep the purchase invoices and another for the receipts. Be organized, otherwise it can cost you dearly.