Fundraising > Food & Beverages

Cake Stall & Bake Sale

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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.

Bake Sales

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Financial Considerations

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.

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Promotion

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:

  • Flyers
  • Club Noticeboard
  • Club Website
  • Club Newsletter
  • Club facebook and twitter
  • Revenue Opportunities

    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.

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    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

    Storage

    Storage requirements – depending on food type, either chilled or constant temperature or regulated storage, needs to be considered.

    Sanitization

    Food handling gloves, hand washing facilities and appropriate cleaning aids for spills and wipe downs.

    Cash/Card Handling

    Clubs 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 free

    It 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.

    Pricing

    Be 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 shop

    If 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.

    Disclaimer

    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.

    Case Study - How to run a Cake Stall

  • A nice big table
  • A nice big table cloth. Paper will do or even a plain coloured cotton sheet
  • Paper plates, bags, labels, tongs, rubbish bag, lots of small change, (Your first customer will buy one muffin for $1 and offer you $20 note, they probably hope you will just give them the cake to go away), pot for money - the margarine container you emptied whilst making the cakes is good but a till would be better. An apron to wear (optional) but make sure you have clean and easily washable clothes on. Hair tidy and clean hands of course
  • Customers! Advertise your stall at least a week in advance. Posters, flyers, newsletter, club website and social media, etc
  • Get as many people as you can to bake a cake(s) ensuring a wide selection. Try and get some idea of what people plan on making so that you can plan accordingly - i.e. if the day is forecast to be warm then ice-cream cakes or cakes with a lot of icing are not a good idea.
  • Think about what sells well. Some cakes sell better at different times of year, sponges in the summer and fruitcake in winter.
  • Pricing, always a thorny problem. From a practical point of view, only price in round amounts e.g. $1.50, $2.00 etc. Don't undersell yourself; you can always reduce prices if items don't sell.
  • Ready? GO! You will be swamped with customers and everything will have gone in 30 mins, 40 max.
  • Finally, beware of a) small children with sticky fingers who will paw everything and b) people who say: "oooohh that's dear I'll give you a $1 (for a $2.50 cake), you won't sell that at that price" be polite and say, "Come back at the end and we'll see", they won't and you won't have any thing left anyway (they are probably the owners of the children with the

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