# standard food cost percent for catering?

#### amy

i was wondering if there was a general food cost percentage for catering? i recently got a job for a catering company in san francisco and wanted to know if there was an average food cost rule i should be following? We are a high end catering company with corporate clients as our market, does anyone have any ideas? Would love to hear your feedback, ChefAmy

#### cape chef

In it's simplest form.

Cost of food divided by sales from that food.

If food costs are \$1.000 and sales are \$3.000, the percentage would be \$1.000 over \$3.000, or 33.3 %.

My basic formula is,

Value of opening inventory
+ food purchases
= total available
- closing inventory
= value of food consumed during period
- employee meals
= cost of food sold during period.

Hope this helps.

#### shroomgirl

Labor is a big deal for me, also buying local (aka expensive) foods....so if something is labor intensive I upcharge, or make the whole even out so that the whole event is not crazy prep.
I cannot price myself out of a market so it's important to look at the volume....
long way of saying that at the end of the night there's a profit, it comes from rentals, staff and food.

#### yanick

Well Cape has the perfect number to make money
In my kitchen i try to swim between 26% and 35%.
on the labor i keep it low (15-20%) during high season and medium-high (25-33%) during the low season. There's a good reason for that, I don't want to lose a part of my staff
when you find a good cook, you have to pay him well to keep him! there's a lack of cooks in the industrie now and 1 of 20 will be a good one!

#### erick nc

Well Cape has the perfect number to make money
In my kitchen i try to swim between 26% and 35%.
on the labor i keep it low (15-20%) during high season and medium-high (25-33%) during the low season. There's a good reason for that, I don't want to lose a part of my staff
when you find a good cook, you have to pay him well to keep him! there's a lack of cooks in the industrie now and 1 of 20 will be a good one!
thats a great answer 1 tou of 20