Costing and estimating an "all you can eat" special.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by rc88, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. rc88


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    Professional Chef

    I have often come upon these forums while browsing for one thing or another, but never posted.  I have recently taken the helm of a very large non chain family restaurant, which during the summer seats more than 400 and reliably flips that 3 times at dinner.  The owners of my restaurant have recently expressed their interest to me in having an "all you can eat ribs" night.  My training was mainly in Mediterranean and modern fine dining, so I have never encountered anything like this before.  I have been using a St. Louis rib for our standard menu ribs, which I'm purchasing @ 40-44's for $2.46 a pound. 

    I have started mathing this out, and there are local restaurants that offer similar specials for $15-18, though I haven't investigated the rib they are using.  However, with my current rib, I can't see that being feasible at all at a price-point that is comparable.  Having never done any sort of buffet or all you can eat like this before, I am really just not sure what sort of food requirements to estimate, or Food cost point to shoot for.  If I am still trying to aim for a FC of under 35, I don't know how these places do it. 

    Any advice would be appreciated. 
  2. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Culinary Instructor
    If it increases your total volume and boost your liquor and bar sales it could be good. Based on that much volume of ribs you should be able to get a better price from purveyors, shop around. Up your coca cola and ice tea charges to like $2.49  all the chains do it.
  3. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    "All you can eat" events typically include sides like at any meal. This slows people down so you are not feeding everyone just ribs. Most people will not eat any more than a normal meal. I wouldn't cost according to anyone else by the way. Price out a normal rib dinner with a couple extra ribs per person and price accordingly. And as Ed has mentioned, sales of other things will go up as well.