Choosing Menu Prices for Original Items

If you’ve got a restaurant, you want to serve good food. Obvious enough? Of course it is. Now, let’s say you’ve got a good chef who really wants to create new ideas, and he makes some good dishes, figuring the prices of your items is just the same as you would anything else on the menu. But first, you have to find out the cost of the meal itself. So this is what you do:

-Figure out the cost of the dish by breaking down the parts of it. Let’s say you’ve developed a pasta dish with marinara sauce (my favorite), first the price of eight ounces of pasta is probably 50 cents, the made-from-scratch marinara will be about 85 cents, and half an ounce of Parmesan cheese is 25 cents, so we’re looking at $1.60 per serving on this dish.

-You have to add garnishes too. Parsley is about 10 cents per dish. Also, include the complimentary items like bread and butter, which is about 50 cents, then take your total ($2.20) and add five to ten percent for things like foil, plastic wrap, and such. That takes us up to a total of $2.42.

-Now you can make your menu price. The typical menu price is about four times the amount of the food costs (which covers other expenses like payroll and bills), so that takes it up to about $9.68. It’s also a handy tip to round your amount up to the nearest 25-cent increment, so $9.75.

If you want your restaurant to really prosper, letting your chef try new things is a good way to do it. Let him play, try something new, and let him or her add another level of flair to the menu. And then let me know when you’re open because I am hungry.

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