# Actual Food Cost of Menu Items (?)

#### cbaxter

##### New member
when setting menu prices is there a simple way to determine what an item will cost to produce? example: Large 1-topping or a calzone? inlcuding the box.

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The only way is to break each ingredient down to cost per unit . . . sauce cost per ounce . . . cheese cost per ounce . . . dough cost per skin . . . pepperoni cost per ounce . . . etc. I use Excel to break it out. Dough is broken down by cost to run a batch (flour, yeast, salt, sugar, oil, etc), then per ounce, then per skin.

Then you build you pizza and on each ingredient line you put number of units used . . . price per unit . . .then multiply the two together. Spreadsheet, again, makes this WAYYYY simple. But, you gotta sit down with invoices and case prices and do lots of math, or setting up the spreadsheets. Once you do it one time, you can just change the case price as it changes, and the whole thing automatically calculates for you.

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what is the ideal percentage of the sales price to food production cost?

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cbaxter:
what is the ideal percentage of the sales price to food production cost?
We would all love to be at 25% but reality is around the 30% for a low and 35% for a high. Each menu item should be looked at for what it carries to the bottom line. Would you sell 6 burgers and make \$10 or one steak and make the same money?

There is a good article on food cost accounting here http://www.restaurantreport.com/feature … ntory.html

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cbaxter:
what is the ideal percentage of the sales price to food production cost?
Overall, I aim at an aggregate of 30% to 32% for my shop. I check at monthly and weekly interval. Some individual items hit 25%, and some hit closer to 40%. I usually run around 32% all told for a month.

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Your menu cost will need to be around 25% if you want to stay under 30% for food cost. The difference is waste, spoilage, mistakes, over portioning etc.

I prefer that items that require a lot of prep (doug making, cheese grinding, veggie slicing, sauce making etc etc) have a menu cost in the low 20s. Food items that require assembly (salads, wings, poppers, mozz sticks) but not much prep can be a little higher. Items that are grab and go add-ons like soda and ice cream are what the market will bear and I don’t worry about it much. We have 26% cost on soda and 45% cost on Ben and Jerry’s pints.

We bundle food, supplies, paper etc. If we use it up, it is in the number. Total cost for last year was 29.5%

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