Cake stalls and bake sales are a traditional favourite of Australian community club culture. Unfortunately, there has been a tendency of late for clubs to avoid this type of event due to food & safety regulation concerns. This is sad because the public love this type of event and the rules and regulations are not as bad as people think. In essence, the regulations are fair and reasonable and with some preparation and a few phone calls clubs can make excellent funds from a cake stall.
The Potential profit of this event is limited only by the supply and quality of goods from your members. More bakers and a better quality of the baked goods equals better revenue. With a zero cost base, the only challenges are attracting a crowd and ensuring you have enough volunteers to bake the cakes and man the stalls.
Cake stalls normally run as part of a bigger event, for example, your club may be having a registration day and a cake stall may be part of the fund raising strategy for that day. Typically, clubs promote the day and include references to the cake stall using the normal tools for promotion:
Revenue from cake stalls comes primarily from sales but clubs can also seek sponsorship for the stall from local businesses or club sponsors offering the sponsor the opportunity to erect signs or place flyers at the stall to promote their business in return for a sponsorship contribution. Sale of club merchandise and memberships from the stall is also another potential revenue stream.
Licences and Permits
Council or local statutory authority approval is required to ensure compliance with food safety regulations. Whilst this is often an obstacle for clubs, it needn’t be; local councils readily work with clubs, if clubs approach them, so the key is to work with the authorities when planning your cake stall.
There are also various online food safety courses available to clubs and we strongly recommend club members dealing with food preparation and sale complete these courses at the very least, as they will help avoid mistakes that will endanger the health of others.
Factors to Consider
StorageStorage requirements – depending on food type, either chilled or constant temperature or regulated storage, needs to be considered.
SanitizationFood handling gloves, hand washing facilities and appropriate cleaning aids for spills and wipe downs.
Cash/Card HandlingClubs need to consider how they will handle and account for sales from the cake stall. If card payment is desired then card readers will need to be made available. If cash is involved, then clubs will need to avoid having large sums of cash in open areas and should consider periodic emptying of the till into a holding safe until the funds can be banked. It is vital that whatever payment system is employed, accurate records are kept so that the success or otherwise of the event can be properly evaluated.
Ingredient list/ Vegan/Gluten freeIt is important to display an ingredient list for each product being sold so that those with food allergies are aware of what they are purchasing. Consider Vegan, Gluten free and Dairy free options, to cater for a wider customer base.
PricingBe sure to have plenty of price tags on hand so that all items can be priced. And DON'T undersell your items or buckle under bargaining pressure from those more interested in grabbing bargains than supporting your club. You can always reduce prices if sales are slow.
Involve a local cake shopIf you're having trouble getting enough club volunteers to bake then consider approaching your local cake shop and offering them opportunities to promote their business in return for cakes. Most will happily oblige.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.