30% 30% 30%!!!
I know that that magic 30% keeps popping out of everyones mouth, but where did it come from? The owners know it, the managers know it, and your teachers knew it even the textbooks talk about it. Well let me tell you one thing that you absolutely have to know about that 30% number that keeps getting thrown up in your face; its wrong! Thats right, I said it, and to drill it into your head so you can spread the news Ill tell you again; its just wrong!
I cant tell you how many misguided soles at their business trying to find out where they are losing their money when the numbers for the period come in and they find out they are running a 36% product cost. First thought, whos stealing from me, then the focus shifts to waste and then to where's the product. So many have to jump on the defense and start a no win argument with half of the staff creating a hostile environment. They never seem to look at the number and smile, but maybe there is a good reason for them to do just that!
Lets take a look at a fictitious full service restaurant and we will take a couple of their entrée selections. First we have a chicken pasta dish which is on the menu for $13.95, next a rib eye steak for $18.95 and a live main lobster for $29.95. The cost of the chicken dish is $4.00 giving it a 29% cost. The rib eye costs $7.00 to produce giving it a 37% cost. The lobster tops the list costing $12.00 to put out giving it a whopping 40% cost.
Well, I guess its a pretty simple fix for all of you that want to get to that magic 30% standard; train your servers to push the chicken!!!! Right? If you sell the chicken dish all day long you will get those numbers down! But oh how wrong you would be. Taking a closer look no one will benefit from down selling! Yes, you should run a better cost, but not only will the servers be short selling their tips but the establishment will be hurt too. Why? Well if you look at the same examples in a different light youll see that the chicken dish costs you $4.00 and sells for $13.95 leaving the restaurant a profit of $9.95 per plate. The rib eye costs $7.00 and sells for $18.95 profiting $11.95 per dish, and the lobster at a cost of $12.00 and selling for $29.95 leaves a whopping $18.00 to the restaurant.
|# Sold||$ Product||Menu Price||Food Cost||Profit|
Having been in the business for over a quarter of a century I think I have seen it all, but the one thing I still havent come across is the bank that lets you deposit percentage points instead of dollars. As an owner I would take the $18.00 per plate profit and just smile from ear to ear when someone looks at me like Im an idiot when I feel proud of being able to run that 36% cost.
Need to compare
Im certainly not telling you that when your costs trends up that you shouldnt be all over it like a wet blanket, but I am telling each and every one of you that running an ideal food cost for every period and comparing it to your actual food cost should be your first step. Running an ideal food cost is a simple process. The ideal food cost in the above example would be 37%. To run your ideal cost on a spread sheet like the one above simply go to our resources section find our restaurant essentials and download the ideal food cost spreadsheet (our resource spreadsheets are no frills, straight to the point resource for you to use as you desire and are completely free.)
Now you need to take a good look at that number and compare it to the actual food cost you came up with for the period. The difference between those numbers is your problem that needs to be worked on, not some imaginary number the industry seems to have stuck in their heads!Go from Kitchen Prep List to Reducing Food Coat
Kitchen Prep List
30% Food Cost?
Reducing Food Cost
Restaurant Research - Menu
History of Mexican Cuisine
Traditional Mexican Foods
More Nicaragua Food
Adding Menu Items
Choosing a Culinary School
Top Culinary Arts Schools
Top Online Culinary Schools
Do's Finding the Best Culinary Schools
Dont's Finding Culinary Arts Schools
Vegetatian Culinary Schools
Sous Chef Definition
Cooking Filet Mignon
Filet Mignon Cooking Time
Growing Culinary Herbs
Cooking Fresh Shrimp
Cooking Pasta for a Crowd