Cost Out A Menu

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by jwood, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. jwood

    jwood

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    Costing out a menu Do I include bread and butter that we serve

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Do you pay for it?  If so of course
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    All the way down to the salt you use in the pasta water.

    A 10 cent roll is 1% on a $10 entree.  Might not seem like much but it's pretty huge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  4. greg

    greg

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    Exactly. That's $50 worth of rolls alone on a 500 cover night.

    Out of curiosity and no offense meant, how exactly did you get a chef position without knowing this already?
     
  5. prairiechef

    prairiechef

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    Everything.

    EVERYTHING.

    The dinner mints at the podium.

    The PC sugar.

    The lemon wedge for water.

    The butter, the buns, the crackers for soup... EVERYTHING.

    Hide it, bury it, piggyback it on your other items.

    If you buy it, and it's not an "expense" in accouting terms, then you charge for it.
     
  6. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    Add up EVERYTHING you buy for a dish/recipe/menu item, that is your food cost.

    Note: I did NOT say what you used, I said what you BOUGHT!

    The "waste" (trimmings, cores, whatever) is part of your "food cost".

    Example: Potatoes, on average, probably, ehat, 5 % goes to waste as skins? That means that $0.59/lb AP is actually $0.62 EP.

    Oh, what is AP? That's As Purchased, and EP, that's Edible portion, something you should have learned as an apprentice or as a "Culinary student".

    Now, you want the "easy way out"?  Buy "Chef-Tec" (for a couple of thousand) or get yourself a copy of MasterCook 11, or an earlier version, for about $20 plus shipping.

    Need help wit MasterCook? Email or PM me.
     
  7. jwood

    jwood

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    I have worked for a few places that didn't include the bread and butter, because to them it was nothing. That is why I am asking the question. I have worked under a few chef who didn't want to show numbers side of the business so now im learning on my own.From being a sous Chef and now entering the Chef roll I want to make sure I understand everything there is correctly. For those of you who cant just leave an answer please don't respond.
     
  8. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    FWIW, some places use a "Q" factor for costing menu items. What the h3ll is a "Q" factor you ask?

    Well, think for a minute, say, for example, dinner service: EVERYBODY gets a breadbasket, butter, salt, pepper, water, glasses, silverware, whatever, the restaurant figure out the "cost" for all those items and comes up with a "number", say oh for example, $0.63/cover. That's the "Q" factor" (and it VARIES with each place and the service they provide!)

    Now, add up the protein, starch, veggie, and everything else that goes into the dish AND ADD ON THE "Q" FACTOR, there is your total "food cost" to serve a "cover"!

    If you're real lazy and don't care whether you stay in business or not, simply divide by your "planned food cost percentage" (normally somewhere between 20% and 40%, generally around 30%-35%) to get your menu price.

    If you really want to stay in business and make money, KNOW what your competition is charging, understand what your customers want, and figure out the gross possible profit from each and every dish on your menu as well as the sales volume (# of orders) based on what the "market will bear".

    "Food Cost", IMHO, should NOT dictate "menu price", but should be used as a "management tool" for controlling costs. Just because a majority of successful restaurants have a food cost between 30%-35% does NOT mean that those restaurants set their menu prices  by dividing food cost by .3 or .35!

    Which would you rather serve, a hamburger plate that costs $3.00 for $10.00 (30% cost of food and a $7.00 gross profit) or a New York Strip dinner for $35.00 that cost you, say, $15.00 (43% cot of food and a $20.00 gross profit)?
     
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  9. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Overall cost also depends on monthly inventory.Reason being this gives a much more accurate account of overall totals. Example if your per plate average is y amount, yet at end of month your cost are high then  waste, pilferage, or spillage could be a factor. Determining true cost is almost a full time job as well as it should be.Why wait till end of month to find out your losing on a daily basis.? Times the daily loss by 30 and it's quite a lot of money. I have worked in places where at the end of each day I knew my cost of goods sold. Takes time but well worth it.
     
  10. greg

    greg

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    You're getting answers for free here for things you should have known with certainty before you accepted a chef role. Given that, I'm sorry but you don't get to set the terms under which people reply.
     
  11. gunnar

    gunnar

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    lol, 3 posts in and making up rules cause he defensive. You said that a lot nicer then I would have, Greg. Good on you.
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Hey Greg !

    You and I have been around long enough to know that anyone who can cook something is a chef and if you wear a White Toque same applies. Thats what gets me mad about these TV programs that refer to everyone as Chef ? or the schools that graduate the chefs.? EDB
     
  13. jessie mcnerney

    jessie mcnerney

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    Eveing I am a culinary student in my first year I am having trouble with costing out a menu i am a little confused help
     
  14. thetincook

    thetincook

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    Can't help you without knowing the specific problems you're having.
     
  15. duckfat

    duckfat

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    Start with gross cost for each product in a dish, subtract waste or bi-product, divide by number of portions for each ingredient to get your net cost per portion.  Add up the cost of all the ingredients to get a total cost per dish. Calculate a plug figure or average cost per person for bread, butter etc based on what you plan to serve as discussed up thread. Add that expense to your cost. Divide your total cost per dish by the selling price and then you will have your food cost %. If you want to average your menu to a specific cost % you don't need to price every item exactly at X%. You may want to have some items like grilled cheese with a very low food cost or an item like steak & Lobster with a higher food cost. The goal is to have an average menu food cost %.  Just remember that your house specials or featured items should be profitable as well as priced favoribly for your target demographic and they should be the center of focus on your menu so you sell more of those items.

    Dave
     
  16. jessie mcnerney

    jessie mcnerney

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    What is the converison fatcor wold be used to change the broccoli timbale recipe so that it yields 24 servings of 5-oz each? a jar of base $6.30

    Broccoli timbale yield 8 servings portion size 6 oz.

    cleaned broccoli 1 1/2 pound. AP .49 yield %? EP ? recipe cost?

    Butter 2tbs 1.91lb

    stock 2 cups

    salt to taste

    pepper to taste

    nutmeg 1/2tsp .53oz

    eggs 4 .68oz

    cream 6 tbs 3.20 qt
     
  17. thetincook

    thetincook

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    To get that kind of conversion factor, you need to first figure out the total yield of your recipe, and the total yield you want to end up with. Then you divide your desired yield by the original yield to get your conversion factor. NB Scaling up and down isn't always as easy as straight multiplication. A good example is rice and the amount of liquid to cook it in.

    As for the rest, your cut n paste got so garbled, I can't really help.
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Total cost of ALL ingredients.  Divided by Final yield amout of total portions= Cost per single portion. If you want to go further, the  whole thing can be broken down to final cost per ounce  then simply total ounces of portion desired for each person  and there is your cost per portion

    In other words can be done many ways..
     
  19. stinkys chili

    stinkys chili

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    I own a small take out place- we are in the process of moving to a larger sit- down location. I have many people trying to come in and work for me. they call themselves- cooks- chefs-sous chefs- etc, etc.... I grew up in and around the restaurant business. Recently the role of chef has changed- dramatically- as far as I can see. I am not so sure I like it.

    I won't hire a "chef" in the future who holds a degree in accounting. From the posts I read here- everyone seems to think that figuring out food costs is part of the chef's job. It isn't and shouldn't be. Probably it is the main reason all of these chains put out bland, uncreative factory foods. A chef- should be scientist and artist. Businesslike in his/her devotion to handing out THE BEST product. Not in figuring out whether it is cost effective to use margarine instead of butter, cracker crumbs instead of meat. (obviously both choices here are CHEAPER and therefore better on the bottom line- temporarily)

    A chef should run the kitchen, not the cash register. In my case I do everything- and my name signs all of the checks. I don't know if I like the meals now being referred to and broken up into proteins and starches, etc. This is maybe the way that the modern chef is taught to do things- or maybe I am just a cook.

    Cooking is a science- presentation is an art. Accounting is needed in the back office. Not at the oven.

    Have a great holiday all. Yes- do cost out my food... but wouldn't expect anyone i hire as a chef/cook to have to worry about anything other than putting out a product that I can be proud of.
     
  20. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    For me, there is a BIG difference between a Chef (manager) and a cook (producer) and a chef must not only understand and have a passion for producing enticing food, the same as a cook, but also understand the fact that a Chef runs a business and a business, to survive, must bring in more income than expenses.

    How? By knowing what the expenses are for, food, labor, or overhead.

    If you "sign the checks" (read approve expenditures), then you are the "Chef" in my book and you hire cooks.
     
     
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