Restaurant Food Cost Calculator
for Portion and Menu Costing

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The Restaurant Food Cost Calculator on this page will help you to calculate serving size costs and food cost percentage.

This free online recipe cost calculator will help you to quickly and easily break down bulk food purchase costs into portion costs.

You can either use the calculator for individual portion costing (say a 5-ounce portion of French fries), or you can use the calculator to cost a recipe or a menu item.

Plus, you can even enter the menu price and the calculator will calculate the food cost percentage for you!

Having owned a restaurant myself, I have a keen understanding of how important food and beverage cost control is when it comes to generating restaurant profits. In fact during the 6-years I owned my own restaurant I used a food cost spreadsheet similar to the restaurant food cost calculator on this page as a means of pricing my menu so as to achieve my food cost percentage goals.

In case you're not familiar with the manual method for determining food cost percentage, let's first take a look at the formula.

Food Cost Percentage Formula

To calculate the food cost percentage of an individual portion or menu item, you simply add up the cost of the ingredient(s) and divide that result by the menu price.

Total Cost of Ingredients ÷ Menu Price = Food Cost Percentage

Here's an example of the food cost percentage formula in action.

Suppose you want to know what your food cost percentage is for a 5-ounce side of French fries that you sell for $1.50. Here is how you take the bulk purchase price of a case of French fries (consisting of say, 6 5-pound bags) and break it down into the portion cost so you can calculate the food cost percentage:

Food Cost Percentage of 5-oz Serving of Fries Priced at $1.50
Cost of 1 case of French fries: $19.00
Cost per bag ($19.00 ÷ 6): $3.17
Cost per pound ($3.17 ÷ 5): $0.63
Cost per ounce ($0.63 ÷ 16): $0.04
5-ounce portion cost ($0.04 x 5): $0.20
Food cost percentage ($0.20 ÷ $1.50): 13.33%

Of course your target food cost percentage will depend on what type of restaurant you own and what your overhead and variable costs are. In my case I tried to keep my breakfast food costs below 23%, my lunch food costs under 28%, and my supper food costs below 38%.

With that, let's use the Restaurant Food Cost Calculator to calculate portion costs, menu items costs, and food cost percentage.

Restaurant Food Cost Calculator
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Instructions: Enter the name of the menu item and the menu price (both are optional).

Next, for each menu item ingredient, enter the description (column #1) and the lowest known lot cost (case, carton, tray, gallon, or whatever lot is priced on the purchase invoice) in column #2.

Then, from left to right, continue to enter quantities until the price gets broken down to the most basic component used in setting the serving size. In column #9 you can then enter the serving size of the ingredient.

Finally, once all ingredients are entered, click the "Menu Item Food Cost Percentage Report" button to create a summary listing the portion size and cost of each ingredient.

Mouse over the blue question marks for a further explanation of each entry field. More in-depth explanations can be found in the glossary of terms located beneath the Restaurant Food Cost Calculator.

Help Menu item name (optional):
Help Menu item price (optional):
Help <<< Common Conversions
Example $/Case Bags/Cs $/Bag Lbs/Bag $/Lb Oz/Lb $/Oz Oz/Serv $/Serv
Fries 19.00 6 3.17 5 0.63 16 .04 5-oz 0.20
Help Total food cost:
Help Food cost percentage:

Restaurant Food Cost Calculator Glossary of Terms

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Menu item name (optional): If you are costing a menu item and you would like the menu item name included in the food cost summary, enter it on this line.

Menu item price (optional): If you would like the restaurant food cost calculator to calculate the food cost percentage, enter the menu price on this line.

Column 1: Item Description: For each ingredient enter a description of what you are calculating the portion cost for. The description may be any length, but longer descriptions will distort the summary report.

Column 2: Lot Cost: Enter the lowest known lot cost of the ingredient. This is usually the cost per case, but may also be cost per: gallon, tray (bread), pound, etc. The restaurant food cost calculator calculates cost breakdowns from left to right and stops wherever you do -- using the last calculated cost as the serving-size unit (piece).

Column 3: Units Per Lot: Enter the quantity you want the price in the column 2 divided by.

Column 4: Unit Cost: This is the cost entered in column 2 divided by the quantity entered in column 3.

Column 5: Parts Per Unit: If a price is calculated in column 4, enter the quantity you want the cost divided by.

Column 6: Part Cost: This is the cost calculated in column 4 divided by the quantity entered in column 5.

Column 7: Pieces Per Part: If a cost is calculated in column 6, enter the quantity you want the cost divided by.

Column 8: Piece Cost: This is the cost calculated in column 6 divided by the quantity entered in column 7.

Column 9: Pieces Per Serving: Enter the serving size based on the right-most calculated cost. The restaurant food cost calculator uses the last calculated cost in each row as the amount to calculate the portion cost. Note that if you would like the calculator to add a description to the serving size in the summary, you can enter a dash (-) after the number (5-oz, 3-each, 3-slices, etc.).

Column 10: Serving Cost: This is the last calculated cost multiplied by the serving size in column 9. Note that you can enter an amount in this column without making any entries in the previous columns and it will be included in the food cost calculation.

Total food cost: This is the sum of all of the portion costs calculated or entered in column 10.

Food cost percentage: If you entered a menu price in the top section of the restaurant food cost calculator, this is the percentage of the price consumed by the cost of the ingredients.

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