Food Cost Calculator: How to Calculate Food Cost in a Restaurant

Food Cost Calculator: How to Calculate Food Cost in a Restaurant

When running a restaurant chain, sometimes there’s too much on your plate. Seriously, things can get overwhelming. Between making sure customers are satisfied, choosing the right menu, high turnover rates, and a pace that can really get out of control you need to make things as easy as possible. One factor that is integral is how to calculate food cost in a restaurant chain or franchise. We’ll show you a starter guide on what to do so that is one thing off of your mind and you can focus on other important matters. Calculating food costs may seem difficult but with some easy explanations, it doesn’t have to be.

What is Food Cost Calculation?

According to one expert, Blue Cart:

“Food Cost” is the ratio of the cost of ingredients (inventory) and the revenue that those ingredients generate when dishes are sold (food sales).

Food Cost is always presented as a percentage.

Here are some definitions to make it easier to understand.

Recipe Cost

This is pretty simple; it’s what it costs for the ingredients that go on each plate of food.

Ideal Food Cost

This is the cost of ingredients similar to recipe cost but it includes all plates of food as in the total cost.

Actual Food Cost

This is the ideal food cost minus the inventory that is lost

Recipe Sale Price

This one is easy; it is what your customer pays for a plate of food at your restaurant.

Ideal Food Cost Per Serving

This is the recipe cost/recipe sale price.

Actual Food Cost Per Serving

This is when you take your ideal food cost and subtract the inventory lost per serving.

Why is it Important?

In order to make sure your restaurant chain or franchise is profitable, you must have a visual of the food cost. It just takes a minor percentage to change your bottom line. Some claim it is as low as 3 to 5 percent! Food costs range around 20 percent and up to 35 percent so knowing that number allows you do to a few important things such as:

  • Change products
  • Change prices (decrease or increase)
  • Change purchase quantities

How is it Calculated?

Here comes the easy part of calculating food cost. Really, it’s not that difficult at all. Simply put, it is the cost of goods sold (COGS) divided by your sales. See? That’s not so hard at all. Here’s how to get started.

Use Your Weekly Inventory

Starting with your weekly inventory is how you get the food cost. On average, most food cost percentages run between 28 and 32 percent.

List Your Supplies

If you have an inventory management system, this may be an easier task. Take all of the food supplies received at the start of the week and check them on this list.

Add Up the Value

Take the cost of each item and add it up. If you paid for a box of potatoes or a case of gourmet nut butter, you’d count those costs.

Keep Up With Additional Costs

Throughout the week, if you had additional purchases, make sure that you track them along with your list.

Do Inventory Again

At the start of the next week, take your inventory again. You will need to do this each and every week and if you have something like a shelf-to-sheet system, this is helpful. What you do is when taking inventory you look at what’s on the shelf and then find it on your Inventory Taking Sheets. This ensures that you do not miss things that were on the shelf. This has to be done for each restaurant in your franchise.

Add Together

At each shift, the total food sales should be calculated for each restaurant. Many POS systems do this for you automatically, which saves time.

Add Up Actual Food Cost

Last but not least, add up the actual food cost for the week with this handy formula:

Food Cost Percentage = (Beginning Inventory + Purchases – Ending Inventory) ÷ Food Sales

Here is an example of how that works in real life situations.

Sally’s Single Smoothie chain has a single menu item. Yeah, we know – just bear with us here. That item is an almond butter smoothie. While this is not a very extensive menu, hence the name, it is easy to share the example this way. To make it simple, we are only using two ingredients – gourmet almond butter and milk.

Sallie’s almond butter cost is $1 and the milk is 50 cents. Sallie sells each smoothie for $5 a glass. Remember that the ideal food cost is equal to recipe cost divided by recipe sales price. In this case, the ideal food cost is $1.50. So now we take the $1.50 cost of ingredients and divide it by the $5 smoothie sales price. What you get is a 30 percent ideal food cost.

What About Calculating Actual Food Cost?

We’re going to use Sallie’s numbers since it’s easier.

  • 14 cases of gourmet almond butter – $5/case = $70
  • 6 cases of milk – $2 a gallon = $12
  • Total Beginning Inventory = $82

The sales from smoothies for the week is $210, which is the food sales.

During the week, Sally buys seven cases of gourmet almond butter, which comes to $35. She also gets six cases of milk for $12. Now her purchases for this week equals $47.

Now she must take inventory at the end of the week and re-add the costs.

She had 12 cases of almond butter left at $60 and five cases of milk at $10. This gives her an ending inventory of $70.

Now we want her actual food cost. Actual Food Cost = (Beginning Inventory + Purchases – Ending Inventory) / Food Sales

The inventory at the beginning equaled $82 plus what she bought later which was $47 for a total of $59 since we had to take away her ending inventory.

We now take that number and divide her food sales and come up with the food cost percentage. So we take 59/210 = 28 percent.

Keep Calculating

While all of these calculations may seem difficult at first, they get easier as you keep doing them. And it is imperative to do this every week. After a while, this will become second nature and you’ll always have a better understanding of what you’re making, where you might be losing money, and which ingredients are the most cost effective. And while you’re buying for your restaurant, don’t forget the peanut butter.

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Bahama Mama Smoothie

Bahama Mama Smoothie

A cool and refreshing smoothie recipe, this Bahama Mama twist will have you thinking of sinking your feet in the sand and kicking back to relax under an umbrella.  The blend of pineapple, coconut, and strawberries will have you sipping away into the sunset! 

Smoothie Recipe Ingredients:

1 T Betsy’s Best Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter

1 c coconut milk

1/2 frozen banana

1/4 c frozen pineapple

5 frozen strawberries

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1 Tbsp unsweetened coconut (optional)

1 Tbsp white chocolate chips (optional)

pinch sea salt

Step By Step Bahama Mama Smoothie Recipe Directions:

Step 1: Add all ingredients into your blender.

Step 2: Blend until smmoth.

Step 3: Pour into your favorite smoothie glass and enjoy your Bahama Mama Smoothie!

To sustain a healthy eating plan it is super important that your meals taste great.  Trust Betsy! This Bahama Mama smoothie recipe will be a go to for both its nutrition and amazing flavors.

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Avoid Getting Bored of Healthy Foods That Taste Good

Avoid Getting Bored of Healthy Foods That Taste Good

As a registered Dietitian and foodie, I love healthy foods that taste good. I love eating, preparing, shopping and even looking at food. I often get questions about the best foods to eat and best diet plans to follow. The truth is there are some foods and diet plans that are better than others, but there is more to it than that. In order to make things simpler in my life and for all those who ask, I came up with 5 simple tips that I use in my life to keep my diet delicious and nutritious.

How To Make Sure Your Healthy Foods That Taste Good Don’t Get Boring

  1. Eat a Variety – Though it may sound like a broken record, eating a variety of foods – especially fruits and vegetables – keeps your taste buds and your body happy. Just as we get tired of listening to the same music or watching the same television show, healthy foods that initially taste good can get boring. Eating a variety of foods allows our bodies to reap the benefits of several different vitamins and minerals found in food.
  2. Practice Portion Control – Proper portions are something that many people struggle with, including myself. Sometimes the serving size found on nutrition labels is disregarded. A handy trick I like to do when in doubt is to pull out the measuring cups and spoons. After doing this frequently, you will be able to eyeball the proper portions, and the measuring cups and spoons can be returned to the drawer.
  3. Shop Smart – For me, going to the grocery store is an adventure. It is always my goal to see how colorful I can make my cart with fresh produce while limiting the number of packaged products. When I pick up a packaged product, I flip to the nutrition label and give it a thorough read. I strive to find items with the smallest ingredient list, minimal amounts of added sugar, sodium, saturated fat and absolutely no trans-fat. If it passes my inspection, it earns the privilege of getting into my cart.
  4. 4. Serve Up Some Seafood – The body thinks seafood is so yummy that it wants it to be in the tummy at least two times each week. The healthy omega-3 fats seafood has to offer in addition to several other nutrients is why the body needs seafood at least twice a week. An easy way to incorporate seafood is by swapping pork, beef or processed meat for salmon, shrimp or crab in foods like tacos, salads or sandwiches.
  5. 5. Choose Healthy Fats – Unsaturated fats and more specifically monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the body’s most beneficial fats. Keeping our heart healthy is their primary goal despite their delicious taste. Some of my favorite healthy fats are avocados, chia seeds, olive oil, nuts and dark chocolate. Nuts are my favorite because they are so NUTritious. Try topping salads with nuts, adding nuts to smoothies and desserts, eating nuts as a snack and of course eating nut butters, especially if they are gourmet..

So, as you can see, finding those healthy foods that taste good is only part of the solution.  If you stay limited to just a few types of food your body and taste buds will get bored.  You will start to crave less healthy foods.  In today’s world there is a huge variety of healthy, tasty products on the market.  From fruits and veggies, animal and plant-based proteins, to nut and seeds, with a little research at the grocery store your fridge and pantry can be well-stocked to keep you on a healthy and interesting meal plan.

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Toasted Coconut Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Toasted Coconut Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Is there a better way to start off a summer morning than with a toasted coconut orange creamsicle smoothie? If it is made with Betsy’s Best Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter the undisputed answer is “no.”  This tropical smoothie recipe features a delicious and creamy coconut taste combined with amazing flavors of orange and banana.  Add in some tumeric and the health benefits abound,  Trust Betsy! It is possible to to turn health food into a gourmet treat you will crave.

Recipe Ingredients:

Coconut Cream Mixture:

1 T Betsy’s Best Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 frozen banana

4 cubes frozen coconut chunks (Trader Joe’s)

Pinch sea salt

Orange Mixture

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp turmeric

1 orange, peeled

Step By Step Toasted Coconut Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe Directions:

Step 1: Place the Toasted Coconut Cashew Butter, coconut milk, frozen banana, frozen coconut chunks, and sea salt into your blender. 

Step 2: Blend and then remove 1/2 cup and set aside.

Step 3: Add the vanilla, tumeric, and peeled orange to the mixture remaing in the blender.

Step 4: Blend until smooth or to your desired consistency.

Step 5: In an empty glass add the coconut cream mixture and the orange mixture at the same time.

Step 6: Enjoy your toasted coconut orange creamsicle smoothie!

We have lot’s of fans who rave about Betsy’s smoothies. After all, they feature her healthy, gourmet nut and seed butters. Even with so many great smoothie recipes already featured on our website, we think this toasted coconut orange creamsicle smoothie recipe will climb quickly up the list of favorites. 

Please let us know, which Betsy’s Best smoothie recipes are your favorites?  Also, why do you love Betsy’s Best Nut and Seed Butters in your smoothies?

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Things To Grill: 10 Best Things to Grill This Summer

Things To Grill: 10 Best Things to Grill This Summer

Now that the warmer months are finally upon us, most of us are just pining for some tasty food fresh off the grill. Especially for those of us who live in cooler climates, the spring, and summer months are the only chance you have to throw barbecues and enjoy that freshly grilled taste. Nevertheless, by conducting a quick Google search, you quickly realize that finding innovative suggestions for grilling can be a tad challenging. That said, the following is a list of the 10 best things to grill this summer

Meat Lover’s Options

While vegans seem poised to take over the dietary world as we know it, we have not yet arrived at this point in the future. This means you will likely be cooking many meaty items on your grill this summer. The following is a few tasty options for meat to throw on the grill:

1. Boneless Chicken Breasts– Chicken breasts are a great option for grilling because they are lean and are often tasty additions to a variety of recipes, such as those found on Betsy’s Best. While you may get different tips for grilling chicken breasts depending on who you ask, some of the more common tips are as follows: for more tender meat, pound the meat before grilling; brine the chicken to add moisture; make sure your grill is clean and well-oiled; use a medium-high fire; use a thermometer to check for doneness.

2. Game Birds– Yet another lean option for meat lovers, game birds are particularly tasty when prepared on the grill. For instance, quail, ostrich, and pheasants are fairly popular options for those who prefer healthier meats. However, grilling game birdsis a tad trickier than tradition meats. For instance, larding (or wrapping the bird in bacon) is common when cooking game birds as this prevents them from drying out.

3. Steak– Grilling steak can be one of your more flavorful choices for your next cookout. You can choose virtually any type of steak, just be sure to take heed to the grilling instructions for each. Begin with room temperature steaks and be sure to salt the meat approximately 30-minutes before placing it on the grill. Also, remember that searing makes for great flavor; sear and slide thicker steaks to avoid overcooking the outer layers.

4. Fish– There are plenty of types of fish that will taste yummy fresh off the grill. Some of the most popular options are salmon, tuna, snapper, mahi-mahi, and swordfish. All fish requires different instructions for grilling. Either way, keep in mind that fish is one of the fastest meats to cook and therefore, you need to follow your recipe exactly.

Vegan-Friendly Options

You can hardly call it a trend. However, the amount of people who are seeking out vegan-friendly meal options has grown exponentially in recent years. In fact, statistics show that there has been a 60% increase in those who identify as vegan in the past 3 years alone. However, there is no need to jump on the bandwagon. You can still try these treats whether you are vegan or not. If you are planning a vegan-friendly barbecue, consider the following options:

5. Veggie Burgers– Veggie burgers are a delicious option for those seeking healthy options to throw on the grill this summer. Although you can cook these almost anywhere (stove-top, ovens, microwaves, hot-plates, and more), they are especially tasty when cooked on the grill. Additionally, there is a large variety of veggie burgers to choose from (they also make veggie dogs as well), and you can even mix it up with a Betsy’s Best recipe and make your own! However, before you start up the grill, take heed of the following tips: Thawing is not necessary, veggie burgers need to go straight from the box to the grill; Set the grill to medium, preheat for 10-minutes, and do not oil the grates; Follow the instructions for grilling on the box, if there are no instructions, the general rule is to cook each side for 5 minutes; Flip burgers only once, halfway through, otherwise they may fall apart.

6. Vegetables– Vegetables are another vegan-friendly option for the grill. No matter if you are strictly vegan or are simply trying to add some extra nutrition into your diet, vegetables are an excellent source of a variety of vitamins and nutrients, among other things. Some of the more flavorful options are cabbage, corn on the cob, potatoes, okra, artichokes, plantains, edamame, parsnips, kale, beets, and more. Either way, keep in mind that grilling vegetables is vastly different from grilling meats and other items. If you need assistance, be sure to visit the gourmet recipe experts at Betsy’s Best to find a yummy recipe or have received tips from someone who has experience grilling your vegetables of choice.

7. Fruit– While it may not seem like a likely pairing at first glance, there are actually quite a few fruits that are tasty fresh off the grill. Mangoes, pineapples, figs, watermelons, bananas, peaches, and more, all taste amazing as a snack or you can be add them to your favorite recipes.

Some Unique Treats

If you need some unique treat to try, consider the following options:

8. Kebobs– One of the most creative options for grilling, kebobs are a combination of meat, vegetables, and/or fruits on a skewer. The grilling instructions vary based on the ingredients chosen but these can be fun to make and tasty!

9. Pizza– A fun alternative to traditional pizza, grilled pizzas are like having a gourmet meal in your own backyard. Some tips for grilling pizza: grill one side of the dough for a few minutes, when you flip the dough over, quickly (and neatly) add your ingredients and grill the pizza for a few more minutes.

10. Nachos– Using a foil pan (coated with cooking spray), combine all your nacho ingredients. Place the pan on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes, until cheese has melted.

Although finding fun, unique grill ideas can be challenging, it is well worth the tasty reward. Speaking of which, did you know Betsy’s Best can be used to create a tasty marinade to add flavor to meats and many other things? Offering terrific-tasting gourmet nut/ seed butters, be sure to try this recipe as well as other tasty options from Betsy’s Best: one of your best bets for making yummy recipes on the grill all summer long!

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