top of page

Three Easy Steps to Calculate Your Menu Cost And Make Your Food Cost Calculation Easier

Updated: Jun 7, 2022

Food Cost Calculation

We get it..... when it comes to calculating your menu cost and managing your restaurant's food cost, initially, it can be a little intimidating and you probably hated math in school which is why you got into the restaurant business.

Here are our three quick tips, all designed to help take away the anxiety of building your menu and calculating your cost.


When measuring out your ingredients, keep in mind that 99% of all your ingredients will be delivered as a weight or unit so you'll want to convert all your recipes ingredients from a volume to weight or unit based on the vendors' invoice. For example, if your recipe uses a cup of sugar and the vendors' invoice is billed in pounds, you'll want to weigh the cup of sugar and note the weight of your recipe calculation which could be lbs, ounces, or grams, just so long as the unit is a weight.

  1. For example, 25lbs of sugar cost $25 and your recipe calls for a cup of sugar which you weighed at 7oz. Since my recipe is in ounces and I can easily convert my lbs to ounces, then I know that each ounce costs me .0625 cents, this means that the cost of my 7 ounces of sugar is .44 cents.


When creating your recipes, in quite a few situations you may need to calculate the cost of an item that has unusable parts such as an apple or brisket. Calculating your yield is only required when you sell an item based on weight or volume. If your recipe requires a full unit of an item, such as 1/2 apple, then there is no need to calculate the yield. If your recipe requires 1/2 cup of apples or 6oz of apples then you'll need to calculate the yield.

  1. For example: let's say that you purchase 20lbs of brisket for $100 or $5 per lbs. Now let's say that you have a recipe that requires 8oz of brisket. Prior to serving the brisket, you will need to discard roughly 50% of the brisket because the 50% represents an unhealthy level of fat that your customers don't like. After trimming the fat you are left with just 10lbs of brisket for the same cost of $100. This means that your new cost for brisket is $10 per lbs instead of $5 per lbs. Now we record that our 8oz of brisket cost us $5


When calculating your menu cost you want to be sure to include detailed cooking instructions such as how long to cook each ingredient, how to cook each ingredient, portioning, and prep time. These factors aren't typically included in your basic food cost however they should be considered when deciding to place an item on your menu.

Calculating your food and menu cost is essential but it's also a constantly changing situation. For this reason, many restaurants will invest in inventory software like CooksTime that helps to manage the change.

CooksTime is a new and innovative way of helping restaurants to manage their inventory cost, streamline operations, implement procedures and save thousands on waste and excess spending.

43 views0 comments
bottom of page