Recipe & Menu Costing
You've written the perfect menu and worked long and hard to research, design and test every dish. It is creative and has a wonderful combination of fresh new ideas filled with interesting food combinations with a strong balance of flavors, colors and cooking techniques. You put great thought into the presentation and have meticulously detailed the recipes for the staff so it is consistent in flavors and presentation every time the dish is prepared. Now comes the big question, “What do I charge?”
For some, it may just be a guess of what they think people will pay for the dish or what they determine is a fair market price. For others, it may be a comparison of what other establishments are charging for like products. This may be the easiest way to determine your menu prices, but it is also easiest way to fail. Determining an accurate selling price for a dish is not difficult, but it can be time consuming.
While the steps of costing a recipe and the steps of determining the selling price for a menu item follow the same basic steps, there are some significant differences between the two. Properly costing a recipe is the first step in properly determining the selling price on a menu.
The process of costing out a recipe will be used as the base to determine the menu price. Recipe costing will tell you how much it cost to produce a recipe while menu costing will tell you what you need to sell that dish for to make an acceptable profit. Recipe costing will only include the ingredients of a dish while menu costing will include all of the recipe cost for the dish (Entrée, Starch, and Vegetable) and any other items that may be included with the dish r served as part of the meal.
Additionally, the menu cost will include the cost of such items as packaging, linens or paper products, depending on the type of service. We will further explain as we look at both recipe and menu costing.