How Much Does Online Culinary School Cost Ideal or Real Food Cost in the Restaurant Business

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Ideal or Real Food Cost in the Restaurant Business

Many culinary schools today still teach their students how to calculate the wrong cost of food. Of course the math is correct, but the money involved is destroying part of our food supply. The problem comes from separating percentages from dollars.

Banks Use Dollars, Not Percentages


One thing I am sure of is that banks do not accept interest as deposits, believe me I have tried! For some reason the person who told me just looked at me in surprise and then started laughing. Of course he was very happy with it, he showed the teller next to him who responded the same way. I didn’t find the humor in it as I had debts to pay, goods to buy, and employees looking for their money too. To correct the situation I panicked and was forced to create a revised slip using their dollar amount.

So if you can’t put percentages why do so many restaurants use this as their main goal? Shouldn’t businesses focus on dollars instead? Your right should.

The High Price of Food Does Not Mean Stealing or Wasting


It’s the end of your term and the accountant has just brought in the p&l. A quick scan shows your food cost is 35%. What! The first thought that crosses the minds of many workers and managers is that we have theft or the problem of waste products. This may be true, but before you go running to the staff and start ranting and raving you need to know if this is true. You can eat those words after finishing this article. Instead they should be praised.

So What Is the Best Price to Eat?


Well let’s see what the actual cost of food is and how it is distributed. To calculate the actual cost of food you take the cost of the product you need to make the food and divide it by the amount you sell. You can calculate the cost of food per dish, or over a period of time. For example if it costs you $3.50 for the product and you sell it for $12.00 your cost of food is $3.50/$12.00=0.2916 or 29.16%

29% Food, That’s Good


Yes, 29% food cost isn’t bad, but is it the best thing about a restaurant? Let’s look at the example of a full service restaurant. Looking at their several options we have the chicken plate that is on the menu for $15.00, the steak for $19.00 and the steak and lobster plate for $28.00. If we look at the price of the chicken is $4.00, the steak is $7.00 and the steak and lobster is $12.00. We buy our food on this to get chicken feed which has 27%, beef 37% and beef and lobster 43% feed value.

It makes sense, if you want to run under the magic price 30% food number, ell chicken! But, as I said when we started the bank they don’t like interest on deposits, so convert it to dollars. Well, since they sold a chicken dish for $15.00 and it cost them $4.00 it’s simple, $15.00 – $4.00 = $11.00. Are they happy now? They have 27% off their food price, and bank $11.00. All good until someone tells them their mistakes. Of course they bought a good price for food, but they could have banked more money. Why? When selling other dishes. The meat, which cost them $7.00 to make and sold for $19.00 would have saved them $12.00 and the meat and lobster would have brought in $16.00.

If I was going to the bank to make the money, I would have put $16.00 for the steak verses $11.00 for the chicken and I would have taken the 43% cost of the meal and smiled. So, next time your real food cost numbers come up with your ideal food cost numbers to compare before you fly with your staff. The difference between your actual and actual cost of food is when any related problems can be found in relation to theft or loss of goods.

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