101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost – Part 9

Setting Menu Prices:

Change your menu to accommodate large price shifts 

When the price of beef soars, consider raising your main menu prices to accommodate. Change your menu items to use pork, chicken or another meat with an acceptable price level.

Related: 101 Ways to Deal with Food Cost – The Menu, Pricing & Standardized RecipesRestaurant-Food

Menu costs:

Produce reports 

Many restaurants have computerized cash registers, so getting a report on what items sold nightly, weekly or monthly is easy. If your restaurant does not have a computerized register, you can track a period of time and get this information by pulling it off guest checks.

Now what to do with this information once you have it? 

What does this information tell you about how you can reduce costs? Looking at your table, you see that your pork tenderloin is almost as popular as your shrimp dinner, but it costs a good deal less to make. You can summarize that by focusing on such lower-cost items. You can also increase your profit margin by decreasing your food cost.

Keep in mind, however, that by only focusing on low-cost items you will lower you guest check average and this will lower profits. To reduce costs and remain profitable, you should emphasize a mix of high and low-cost food items on your menu.

Standardized Recipes:

Cut kitchen waste 

One of the major culprits in high food costs is waste. Put a new garbage can in the kitchen. This can is for wasted product only such as wrong orders, dropped food, etc. By giving your staff this visual aid, you can reinforce the amount of money that gets spent on such product waste.

Related: Portion Control and Food Cost

Portion Control:

Established recipes 

Restaurant recipes have two purposes: to ensure consistency and control costs. Following these practices will keep food costs from getting out of control. Also, having a consistent quality for all your meals won’t hurt the way your establishment is perceived by customers.

No “free handling it” 

Be sure your staff is using scales, measuring cups, measuring spoons and appropriate ladles. Often cooks will “free hand it” after a while. This usually results in over-portioning.


For more info on Ideal Software’s Inventory Management system for controlling food cost IdealStockControl


To view Part 1 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” 33 Possible Food Cost Problem Areas

To view Part 2 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Back to Basics

To view Part 3 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” The Menu & Standardized Recipes

To view Part 4 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Purchasing & Receiving

To view Part 5 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Safety & Security

To view Part 6 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Technology

To view Part 7 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Budgeting & Organizational

To view Part 8 in our series “101 Ways to deal with Food Cost” Energy Tips


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