You know food costing is important BUT how do you impress that on your kitchen staff?

How To Do Food Costing for your kitchen staff?

You know why food costing is important:

  • It’s the best way to manage profits
  • Food costing protects your inventory against over plating, theft, spoilage and waste
  • Actual vs. theoretical. You know it in your head but what are the real numbers
  • Keeps on top of your vendors, watches their pricing
  • Accurately prices your recipes to reflect any price creep

You already know the answer to that if you’re looking at food costing software. It gives you a handle on what you spend and what you should be spending.

The real question is why is it important for your kitchen staff to understand the principles behind food costing? Yes, I’m sure your chef understands the concept but unless you are the chef/owner and you watch every ingredient with an eagle eye…

  1. Kitchen staff are proud of the plated food they produce.
  2. They want it to impress the customer.
  3. And sometimes, in an effort to please, they over plate.

If your chef is proud of what s/he’s sending out of the kitchen in an effort to make the plate look bountiful they may add a bit here and there. They’re thinking it’s not a real issue. But you know that over time EVERY LITTLE BIT adds up to MORE MONEY SPENT.

So how do you make your chef understand the implications?

With food costing software the answer is right in front of them:

Here is our original serving recipe. The Actual and Target food costs align beautifully at about 33% and your sales price at $22 for salmon and sides is reasonable for your area:

Now the chef thinks the plate looks skimpy so s/he ups the salmon from 8 oz to 12 oz. Hey, what’s 4 oz of fish? And another 2 oz of greens. That can’t cause too much trouble, right? WRONG!!

Our Yield Cost is up almost $3. And our food cost percentage is up more than 10%!! Gee Whiz. And there’s no way you can raise the selling price to the target of $31.88.

Multiply that cost loss by the number of servings you sell a year. Now multiply that by all the other items that are overplated.

Put reciProfity in front of the chef and let the chef play with it. It’s like a game. Change the amount of an item and watch the price, yield and food cost percentage rise and fall.

Trust me, a few minutes with the software and your chef will get the message!