Food cost is determined by four elements – plate cost, retail pricing, sales mix and waste. Getting all of these to work together to deliver the desired overall food cost is a complex exercise and it is crucial that you know not only what you are achieving according to your weekly or monthly inventory, but also to know where you should be. Once you know the gap between these two numbers, that’s a very objective way to approach your employees and look for answers. Without giving them the right information, just asking chef to improve food cost will result in under-portioning, purchase of cheaper ingredients and a request to raise prices.
We can help you get to these numbers very quickly and establish a plan for maximizing your food profit in a sustainable way. Our methods will permanently educate your kitchen management about control of food cost.
Theoretical Food Cost vs Actual
Take a look at the Theoretical Food Cost worksheet shown here. It lists the individual food cost on every item within this menu so that ownership and management know not only which items provide the greatest profit, but also how sales mix influences the overall food cost. If you do not know these costs, then almost unquestionably you are not making as much money as you should.
There’s lots of software available for you to provide a solution to managing food cost, but be careful that you buy wisely. Very often, if you are a single operator, the time involved in setting up the databases and maintaining them can be very challenging. It is recommended that you start with some basic MS Excel spreadsheets that will provide quite a sophisticated if simple way of controlling this part of your business.