What goes in your food cost

Joined Jun 19, 2018
So we have a new kitchen manager. The one was let go because supposedly he had a 50 percent food cost although owners didn't like him but whatever. I know he order heavy and many things so it was high I'm sure.

One of the owners just does a simple food cost, looks at the amount spent each week or month and divides it by the total food sales. We costed it out this week and it was like 34 percent so not bad. But does he factor in other non related food items. Should I factor in the dish soap and chemicals, napkins, olives and cherries for the bar that the kitchen do not use or even the cocktail napkins we order that bar strictly uses. If I factor in everything I order then my cost is high. So please tell me should how you guys go about it. Thank you.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Generally you take out chemicals and paper- food cost should just be food and consumables as a rule. It's also vital to take inventory to see what's on hand. After all, you purchased X amount of food and had Y amount of sales, but not all of the food was used. You need to subtract ending inventory out to get true cost of food.
Joined Feb 8, 2017
Dish soap and napkinds are not food. Food cost is simply the cost of ingredients to make a dish (or all your dishes and the cost of each dish is then added up). Those other items are considered part of operating costs. Both food cost and operating cost will help you determine how to price your food for customers.

Joined Oct 10, 2005
Re: Bar cherries and bar olives. If those items go directly to the bar, and the kitchen does not use them, you should get a credit for them, or not put them on the kitchen inventory. Same with limes and lemons. In a perfect world the bar would order them separately. Bar sales are not food food sales.
Joined Apr 11, 2018
There are many ways to build a restaurant P&L but factoring non-food items into food cost is not a best practice.

One way, for Cost of Sales you have food cost (/ food sales for cost%) and bar cost (/ liquor, beer, and wine sales for cost%), total CoS = food+bar cost (/total revenue for cost%).

Then Labor Cost, you have BOH, FOH, Training, Payroll Taxes / total revenue for cost%. Total revenue - CoS - Labor Cost = gross revenue.

Then you have controllable expenses and fixed expenses. Things like paper and cleaning supplies, office expenses, linen, replacements, repairs and maintenance, and utilities fall under controllable expenses because the amount you spend varies and can be managed to one degree or another. While fixed expenses would be things like rent, insurance, equipment lease, and depreciation.

Gross income - controllable expenses - fixed expenses = taxable profit or loss.
Joined Apr 11, 2018
Also, to be more specific on the thread title question, we calculated food cost from purchases of meat, seafood, produce, bakery, dairy, dry goods, and non-alcoholic beverages. (Formula is beginning inventory + purchases - ending inventory)

"Bar food" i.e. cherries, olives, sweet&sour, grenadine etc would go under bar cost. But something like limes which were heavily used by both the kitchen and the bar we didn't bother to divvy up, they just went under produce and into food cost.
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