How Much Extra to Charge For Hand-Cutting?

I hope this is where I post this question

 

I have been asked to make some cookies that I do not have a cutter for -I've tried to steer them towards something I do have or put their desired design on a simple circle or square . . . but they want a specific shape.

 

My question is how much extra would you charge for hand cutting? It obviously takes more time and I am wondering if people charge a set amount extra per dozen. I need to let them know but I want to be fair to them without short changing myself. Any insight??

Custom Cookies by Sally

Original Post

Hi Sally,

 

I do not know how much you can charge but maybe these options kan make your life easer and so cost effectiveness.

 

Option 1

Use another cookiecutter or 2 and adjust that for your design.

Option 2

Carve them by hand, make sure your dough is frozen for clean edges.

Option 3

See this link http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com...-diy-cookie-cutters/

Option 4

Here in Holland you can buy a DIY kit.

 

I use the kit for many cookies but if i only have to have like 5 cookies then i handcarve them.

 

Hope this help?

I would charge an extra $.25-$.50 per cookie for hand cutting. It is a lot more work when you factor in the time it takes to make a template and then cut each one. I find that working with very cold dough is the easiest. Cut with a very sharp knife and then smooth any rough edges with your finger before baking. 

You should absolutely charge extra for hand-cutting if that labor isn't already built into your price, as it can take substantially more time and time is money! Aymee VanDyke has an excellent series on this site about cookie costing/pricing, which is a good place to get grounded in basic pricing concepts. You can find it here: http://cookieconnection.juliau...rom-dough-to-dollars

 

But in a nutshell, here's how you figure this out: time how much longer it takes to cut each shape vs. a regular cookie and come up with a total (extra) time per # cookies. Apply your labor rate and a markup to that cost to cover overhead and make a profit; then divide by the number of cookies for a per unit price.

 

So, for example, if it takes you 2 more minutes per cookie to hand-cut, and you have 60 to make, then that's another 2 hours of time. If your standard labor rate (what you pay yourself or others is $10/hr), then the bare minimum you would charge (with no markup for profit or to cover overhead) would be $20/60 cookies or $.33/cookie. But depending on your mark-up and overhead, you may want to charge even more - up to $.50/cookie or more would be reasonable depending on the complexity of the shape.

 

I think it only serves you to be candid about the costs associated with the extra time, or you will eventually burn yourself out working for nothing. This info also forces the decision about cookie shape into the hands of the consumer. I betcha they opt for a simple cookie shape once they know the time and cost involved. But maybe not - and then everyone's happy!

Agree as well that if you have a lot to cut, you'd be better off turning that template for hand-cutting into a cutter. Depending on the cookie shape, it might take a few minutes to an hour to make the cutter. Compare that time (and the cost of a cutter kit amortized over many cookies) to the time required to hand-cut the needed amount of cookies, and the decision about which way to go (hand-cut or cutter) should be clear. Here's the link to the cutter-making kit that I have used: http://www.amazon.com/International-Design-Your-Cookie-Cutter/dp/B002WC8Y3O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388936980&sr=8-1&keywords=cookie+cutter+making+kit

I guess my question would be first is it a common cutter shape or a custom shape? If its a custom shape - like a clients logo, then yes I would charge for hand cutting. If its just a common shape that I happen to not have in my cutter collection, then no I wouldn't charge. 

I was assuming in my answer that it was an uncommon shape for which no cookie cutter was available. If a cutter could be found, then that would be the best option of course. I'd then buy it and not charge extra if that cutter was likely to be used over and over again in other orders.

Also if you are not comfortable making a cutter yourself there are a number of cookie cutter suppliers that will make custom cutters for you. I got a quote on one the other day and it was going to cost me $16 incl postage, very reasonable. So if its a large number of cookies as Julia says this might be worth the investment over the time it takes to hand cut. Also if it is a customers logo, then you have got them locked in for next time they want cookies as you will be the only one with 'their' cutter

Originally Posted by Julia M. Usher:

I was assuming in my answer that it was an uncommon shape for which no cookie cutter was available. If a cutter could be found, then that would be the best option of course. I'd then buy it and not charge extra if that cutter was likely to be used over and over again in other orders.

I assumed it was an uncommon shape too Julia, my reply was more on general terms I guess rather than specific to this instance Should have made that clear.

Thank you everyone for your insight and advice (with links)

I should have been more specific earlier

The cutter that they wanted is not uncommon -MINI teapot and tea cups

but I don't own them and if they were readily available to me I would just go buy them -no problem

but have to order them online and I'm sure I won't receive it in time for their event

 

I'm not sure about making my own cutters-Is it fairly straightforward and easy? Maybe I will try it for a different set because I can't imagine making my own MINI cutters

 

This must be the reason everyone owns hundreds of cutters! ...guess I have to go shopping!!

 

Originally Posted by Custom Cookies by Sally:

Thank you everyone for your insight and advice (with links)

I should have been more specific earlier

The cutter that they wanted is not uncommon -MINI teapot and tea cups

but I don't own them and if they were readily available to me I would just go buy them -no problem

but have to order them online and I'm sure I won't receive it in time for their event

 

I'm not sure about making my own cutters-Is it fairly straightforward and easy? Maybe I will try it for a different set because I can't imagine making my own MINI cutters

 

This must be the reason everyone owns hundreds of cutters! ...guess I have to go shopping!!

 

One of the reasons we all own so many cutters... the other is we are addicts lol

Making cutters yourself is easy IF it's a simple shape; a detailed mini might be hard to make. I've had Copper Gifts custom-make cutters for me VERY fast. You might get a quote from them and then ask the customer if they're willing to pay for that added expense. It can be costly, especially as their coppers are copper. But other places custom-make cutters from tin (much cheaper) as well; I just don't have any experience with their turnaround times. With Copper Gifts, I do.

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