Recipe Costing Cards

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Food Costs, Menu

There is one system your restaurant must have to survive and most independent restaurant owners are bypassing it completely: menu costing to develop recipe costing cards. Going through the process of menu costing will impact the bottom line in extraordinary ways.

I have worked with thousands of restaurant owners at this point in my career, on top of the 20 years I spent in restaurants. Through my experience I have seen one mistake repeated over and over again: menus developed without cost or profit consideration.

I see restaurant owners spend many months planning their new restaurant, what it looks like, the equipment needed, how many employees they need, their management team, down to every detail, so they can bring their dream restaurant to life.

Then they find themselves one month from opening their doors and quickly, without the same thought and care they gave to planning the new business, they literally throw a menu together.

The process is usually very subjective and involves the development of recipes and dishes, presentation and sampling, then a few quick judgments about what fits the restaurant’s mold. The decisions are based on presentation and taste alone, with complete disregard to whether or not they will make any money.

Want to know what’s missing from the picture?

Recipe costing cards!

The reality is most independent restaurant owners don’t even know what each dish they put on a plate costs to serve, forget about the side dishes and sauces.

I’m not exaggerating.

Why is this a huge mistake? Recipe costing cards tell you if your menu items are going to bring in any money – the lifeblood to any business.

If you’re a restaurant owner who doesn’t have recipe costing cards, you may say, “I’ve got all the costs in my head.”

You might not feel like you have to put them on paper because you inventory and place the order for every food item needed to produce the menu, so you think you’ve got a good idea of what things cost.

This can kill your restaurant. Because what you think the costs are and what they really are is usually very different.

I guarantee if you put recipe costing cards in place right now, you’ll cut your food and pour costs, positioning yourself to better ride this economic dip.

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