Food Costing

Food Costing Template for Restaurant Operators

Purpose: To calculate the cost of ingredients for a single menu item, helping you price your dishes profitably. CLICK HERE to Download the Word Document

Step 1: List All Ingredients for One Dish

  1. Ingredient Name: What you use in the recipe (e.g., chicken breast, olive oil).
  2. Purchase Quantity: The amount you buy (e.g., 1 lb, 1 gallon).
  3. Purchase Price: How much you pay for the purchase quantity.
  4. Recipe Quantity: How much of the ingredient you use in one dish (e.g., 2 oz, 1 tsp).
  5. Unit of Measurement: The measurement for your recipe quantity (e.g., oz, tsp).
Ingredient Name Purchase Quantity Purchase Price Recipe Quantity Unit of Measurement
Example: Chicken 1 lb $5.00 4 oz oz

Step 2: Calculate the Cost of Each Ingredient Per Dish

  1. Cost Per Unit: Divide the purchase price by the purchase quantity to find the cost per smallest unit (e.g., per oz, per tsp).
  2. Ingredient Cost Per Dish: Multiply the cost per unit by the recipe quantity used in the dish.
Ingredient Name Cost Per Unit Ingredient Cost Per Dish
Example: Chicken $1.25/oz $5.00

Step 3: Calculate Total Cost of the Dish

  • Total Cost: Add all the ‘Ingredient Cost Per Dish’ amounts.
mathematical equation

Total Dish Cost = Sum of all Ingredient Costs Per Dish

  • Example: If your dish uses chicken, rice, and vegetables, and their costs per dish are $5.00, $1.00, and $0.50 respectively, then:

Total Dish Cost = $5.00 (chicken) + $1.00 (rice) + $0.50 (vegetables) = $6.50

Step 4: Determine Your Selling Price

  • To make a profit, you need to sell your dish for more than it costs to make. A common approach is to aim for a food cost percentage of 30% to 35%.

Selling Price = Total Dish Cost / Desired Food Cost Percentage

Example: If your total dish cost is $6.50 and you aim for a 30% food cost percentage:

Selling Price = $6.50 / 0.30 = $21.67

  • Round up or adjust to make sense for your customers and market.

This template guides you through calculating the cost of making a dish, helping you price it profitably while keeping the math straightforward. Always remember to update the costs regularly to reflect changes in ingredient prices!


Here is a very indepth description of food costing from Penn State University that goes into more detail about yields, waste and true portion costs. Chapter 7 – Recipe and Menu Costing

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