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Free Meal Cost Calculator


To control food costs accurately, it is necessary to understand food costs thoroughly. No operator wants to face problematic cost calculations.

There are many factors that can affect food costs, including the cost of ingredients, labor, and overhead. You need to be effectively proficient in all of these factors to control food costs. You should negotiate with suppliers for better prices, streamline production processes to reduce labor costs, or find ways to reduce overhead. It is also important to regularly review and analyze food costs to identify cost-saving opportunities and ensure that prices are set at a sustainable level for the business.

However, it is very normal for a person to get lost in dozens of calculations and make mistakes. That's why you can calculate your food costs quickly and accurately with a food cost calculator. From this point on, the task is to develop strategies to reduce costs. For example, you can make better deals with suppliers, increase production process efficiency, and reduce costs that exceed your budget.

Food Cost Calculator:

Starting inventory in dollars

The dollar value of all the materials and physical inventory you have at the beginning of the week.

Purchases in dollars

Dollar amount of your remaining inventory at the end of the week.

Total food sales in dollars

Your weekly gross sales.

Cost of goods sold (COGS) =

Food Cost Percentage =

How is Food Cost Percentage Calculated?

The food cost percentage is the ratio between the ingredient cost and the revenue earned per dish. This ratio can be used to understand which menu items are the most profitable and the most expensive. So, what is the right ratio for a restaurant? The optimal average food cost percentage for full-service or quick-service restaurants is about 30%.

Step 1:COGS, which determines the dollar value of the items you have on hand during a specific period, shows the cost of goods sold.

  • Subtract the value of everything in your inventory at the beginning of the month (35,000 TL)
  • Subtract the expenses you incurred this month, such as material, equipment, and tool purchases (5,000 TL)
  • Subtract the ending inventory value for the month (30,000 TL)
Starting inventory 35,000 TL + Purchases 5,000 TL - Ending inventory 30,000 TL = 10,000 TL COGS

Step 2: Find the food cost percentage as a percentage of revenue earned for a menu item.
  • Divide COGS (10,000 TL) by total sales made in that month (20,000 TL).
  • Multiply by 100 and this will give you a 50% food cost percentage.
(COGS 10,000 TL / Total Sales 20,000 TL) = 50% Food Cost Percentage

Restaurant Profit Margin and Food Cost Percentage

To see how much a restaurant is making or losing, one must look at its profit margin and costs. The food cost percentage shows how much a meal costs as a percentage of its ingredients. Since the price of ingredients and menu items changes dynamically every week, calculating the individual profit margin of each meal would be time-consuming.

Gross profit, is the difference between the price at which you sell the meal and the cost of the goods sold (COGS).
Gross Profit = Total Sales - Cost of Goods Sold

Net profit , is calculated by subtracting operating expenses such as salaries, utilities, rent, and equipment from gross profit.
Net Profit Margin = (Revenue - Costs) / Revenue

Why Are Industry Averages Variable?

The food cost percentage varies depending on the customer base and type of work being done. Pizza places that cook meals in bulk with the same ingredients may see food cost percentages as high as 40/50%. On the other hand, businesses that offer a variety of different meals in their menu may have a food cost percentage of around 10%. With many different variables from location to personnel, you need to decide if this ratio is a success for you. Of course, there is no single percentage that applies to all restaurants.

Why Should You Use a Food Cost Calculator?

Reduce Human Error
Restaurant management is a profession that is busy throughout the day. During this intensity, there is a high probability of making mistakes while entering a few numbers. Incorrect calculations can lead to wrong decisions. You can eliminate human errors by utilizing technology.

Inventory Count is Not a Food Cost Calculation
Inventory counting is not the same as manually calculating food cost. With Qapera's Inventory Management Software, you can automatically do this on a single device.

Forecast Cost Variability and Seasonal Fluctuations
Suppliers can change their ingredient prices daily. Keeping track of these price changes every day is a time-consuming and extra responsibility. Additionally, some ingredients may not be available every season or may be expensive even if they are available. However, with our application, you can instantly compare prices.

Get Real-Time Cost Alerts
When your supplier charges you more for a particular ingredient, food cost updates will automatically notify you. When content prices change, it alerts you and dynamically recalculates the cost of a meal so you can access the most accurate data.

Save Time
Calculating food costs manually takes hours. By using Qapera's application, you can use this time for other tasks.

Facilitate Menu Profitability Calculations
In addition to calculating the cost of each meal on your menu, you also need to know which items on your menu are unprofitable or bestsellers. You can simplify this entire process by using technology.

Calculate Everything from A to Z Accurately and Completely
When making manual calculations, it may seem normal to overlook small details that seem insignificant, such as salt and sugar, at the moment. However, the total sum of costs is important. You can learn the total amounts automatically by entering the invoice of each item into the application.

Benefits of Regularly Calculating Food Costs

You Can Reduce Your Costs
An accurate food cost calculation tool can show you how much each meal really costs. Based on these reports, you can clearly see which item's cost needs to be reduced.

You Can Create Better Menu Items
If you run a steakhouse, the cost you spend on using the highest quality meats will be higher than that of a fast food restaurant. Knowing your customers' expectations and prices can help you evaluate new potential menu items. Therefore, evaluate the costs of the items you will add to the menu by using a food cost calculator to see if they are compatible with your menu list.

You Can Confidently Make More Intelligent Decisions Based on Data
A food cost tool allows you to see the overall profit potential of your restaurant. With this tool, you can avoid unreasonable menu items and keep items that bring in more customers (although not as profitable). Regardless, accurate data will help you make smarter business decisions.

How Can You Optimize Your Menu?

Step 1: COGS, which determines the dollar value of the items you have on hand during a certain period, shows the cost of goods sold.

Step 1: COGS, which determines the dollar value of the items you have on hand during a certain period, shows the cost of goods sold.

  • Contact your food supplier and negotiate prices.
  • Use less of the mentioned ingredient.
  • Find an alternative, cheaper ingredient.
  • Increase the menu price.

Market the Most Profitable Foods

Of course, strategic steps should be taken to increase profit. You can increase your profits not only by offering quality food but also by designing the menu according to human psychology. For example; emphasize the most profitable menu items in the middle, top right, and top left corners of the menu using the "golden triangle" methodology. When people open a menu, they look at these points first. Also, introduce your most cost-effective meals as the chef's specialty and constantly change these meals to make them more attractive. Make sure your serving staff is knowledgeable about selling not only the day's specials but also your other high-profit meals.

Are you ready to run your restaurant more profitably by automating it? Do it now.