Cheese and pepperoni prices

Cheese and pepperoni prices are killing me.

For cheese, as much as I hate to leave my beloved Grande, I have to consider it. The trick is that they subsidize my menu mailers. If I leave Grande, I have to start using MailShark or similar and they definitely cost more. So, I really need to see a significant price drop to the cheese itself for it to be worth it to switch, but of course I don’t want to sacrifice quality.

For lay flat pepperoni, I used Ezzo when we first opened. When COVID hit, their price skyrocketed and I had to switch to a slightly lower quality (but still pretty good) product that is white labeled by my distributor. The guests accepted it. Now, the price of the white label product is approaching the cost of Ezzo. I taste tested some Hormel product and it was terrible.

Any suggestions?

I dont use lay flat so i cant help you there. As for cheese pricing , i never saw the grandeur of Grande, but you can mitigate that by blending in a less expensive cheese

What are your cheese and pep prices like right now?

I don’t use Grande but my supplier has it at $3.74 a lb for WM blocks and I DO use Ezzo and its about $5.25 a lb.

So I usually like to approach these quandaries in two ways. Is there another cheaper product that I still feel good about putting on my pizzas? Secondly I look at the math and see what cost saving would be and then further determine if I feel the product switch is worth it.

So I’m gonna do some math on a 14" pizza making some assumptions and using some of my numbers

8 oz cheese on 14" pizza is $1.87
2.5 oz pepperoni on a 14" pizza is $.82

ok so lets find some cheaper products

Cheapest block of mozz I can find doing a quick search is $2.75 /lb and for pepperoni I see one for $4.28 a lb

New prices for pizza with cheaper products

8 oz cheese $1.36
2.5 oz Pepperoni $.67

So If we go with these two products we can save $.66 a pizza but are we happy with the product afterwards? If the cheaper products are good and customers like them then perfect you have an easy decision. If not then the decision is much harder as we both know $.66 per pizza is easily thousands of dollars a year. If you don’t want to budge on your pizzas, you feel you have nailed the flavor and don’t want to compromise you can do two things. Wait it out a bit. The supply chain will eventually fix and prices will eventually come down. It may be a long time yet and if you decide to wait it out you are absorbing all those lost costs. Second option, raise your prices a bit. % based food cost is weird in that to maintain the same % food cost at $.66 a pizza you would have to raise that pizza price over $2 but also if we mostly want to maintain profit margins you can literally just raise your prices the difference in raw food cost, or in this hypothetical $.66

I think increasing my prices may be the only option, but am going to check out some other cheeses just the same. Never hurts to shop around.

MSG, I know it has been several days since you asked this question, and based on the prices you mentioned, we have very different pizza environments in our respective restaurants. However, if you have a level of quality that you prefer and can be proud of, a level of consistency that your guests have come to trust, then don’t change the quality of your recipes.

Every price in the world is going up right now. Although I always think hard before raising prices, the best answer in my view is to do just that: raise your prices. We just raised prices, again. We are an upscale restaurant and work hard at our recipes, quality, and guest experience, and as a result, our prices already reflect that— and we raised them anyway. Many of our pies went up 10%+, soda went up 50%, wings up 20%, we had to move our crab pizzas, pastas, and salads to market price as crab went from $31/lb, to $50/lb (and in the last five years our state’s minimum wage has gone up $5/hr and we’ve had to keep up with that, too).

Yes, you will likely get some pushback. But in my experience, your quality commitment will ultimately improve sales, and you’ll be consistent, and you’ll stay in business and be satisfied doing it while satisfying your community.

My 2¢ (which is probably more like a nickel, now).


I agree with Momenterry.

I don’t use Grande because we have our cheese custom blended. It is not as expencsive as Grande but it is close to it. I am paying $96.00 for a 25 pound case of pepperoni.

I have raised my prices 3 times since October. I have the most expensive pizza in town.

The cheese block price goes up every week, meat goes up, labor goes up. What’s not going up.

Why should we be the monority and not raise our prices when, what we offer is really good.

There will always be the fear of loosing customers. We just have to get past that. My wife told me FEAR is an acronym for (false evidence appearing real).

I am in the process of looking at customer counts and ticket averages since covid so I can make better decisions about raising my prices again.

We don’t need to sell ourselves short.