How & why you should calculate your menu and dishes

If you are not calculating the cost prices and sales prices of your menus at the moment, then it is maybe a good idea to begin calculating.

There may be reasons why not all restaurants perform this practice. It can be time consuming to set it all up, but if it is done right, you will get valid and usable data that can be an important basis for your future decisions! 

Create a healthier business

Calculations on menus are essential to making sure you run a healthy business, though many restaurants not do so. But if you ask yourself; What is more basic in a business than researching what it costs to produce the product you are selling? It does not matter if you sell houses, cars or lawn mowers. It should be no different for restaurant owners.

Restaurant owners and chefs who commit to this ongoing and accurate discipline in this field gain far more insight and valuable knowledge to make the right decisions that require a better and healthier business.

Highlight the dishes with the greatest profit

Before you start creating a new food concept, changing the whole menu and setting the new menu card into production, it is a good idea to let others test your menu. Invite some of your guests or friends / family for a tasting in the restaurant. It is always a good idea to get some constructive feedback from others, even if you are in love with all your own dishes! Find the dishes that exactly hit your current or new target audience. They are the ones who have to pay for your dishes.

A good piece of advice for you is to promote the most profitable dishes. Put it e.g. in the front of your menu, website, outdoor signs and at the desk with a catchy graphic layout and text. A profitable dish will e.g. be a dish with low cost raw materials, which is still possible to sell at a higher price and still with the highest value for the customer. Win-win!

Know the prices on your products

While pricing your menu it is extremely important to know the purchase prices of the raw materials used to produce the menus. Restaurant owners and chefs who know the purchase price of the ingredients used in each menu or recipe can at any time make a decision to replace a ingredient if it has become too expensive. The decision is made on the basis of factual data.

Calculations on your menus are a must in addition to decide which dishes to market and promote. This decision can be made based on which dishes generate the most profit and are the best-selling. Restaurant owners and chefs who calculate their dishes know the excact earning percentage and have the opportunity to decide correctly and exactly which dishes should be highlighted.

Train your staff to create profitable dishes

If you know which dishes and menus that are most profitable and which are not, it is easy to design your menu. Once this has been done, it is also easier to train your staff to streamline the production of the dishes in the kitchen, as you will be able to improve your skills in all phases of the production.

When the profitable dishes are determined and written down in a menu, this usually also means that you as the owner and Head Chef have much more control over which ingredients are in stock. This is because you have typically become better at selling the dishes that are most profitable and then often only the same kinds of ingredients are used. The trick is just to avoid offering everything to everyone, but instead offer a little to many!

Total calculation of the restaurant's ideal food costs as well as total costs give you extremely useful information because it provides management with a way to accurately evaluate current food/ menu prices, based on the factors that exist in the period that affected those costs. This information can make it easy for management to make the right decisions in the future.

How to calculate earnings per. menu

Example of eg. a Chicken burger menu:

Chicken burger: 90 cent
Brioche burger bun: 0,50 cent
Bacon: - 0,10 cent
Onion: 5 cent
Salad: 10 cent
Cheese: 10 cent
French fries 0,80 cent
Tomato: 0,20 cent
= Total costs per. menu: 2,75 euros

Sales price per serving: 12 euros.

Profit: Sales price - Costs = 9,75 euros

You have then earned 9,75 euros per. menu. It is super important that you know the excact costs on each menu and dish. Also in cents. It can be a bit time consuming to review all of your dishes, but it will definitely benefit your restaurant's earnings in the long run! 

Need help for the menu? 

Our consultants have many ideas for how you can easily turn your products into tasty and popular dishes and at the same time focus on a healthy business.

Contact your local consultant today and get inspiration for your fast food menu! Otherwise you can see our poultry products here.