Running a Restaurant/help!


I have to have a project done today for my GM and I need help badly. It has me so nervous I am in tears. I can figure out the food cost for say a chicken breast, but how do I do the sides? baked potato, veg, salad and bread. I have no clue how to figure it out and she wants me to give her all pricing for the menu to see what perecentage we are coming in at.
I surely can't afford to buy software and can't find an easy free program to use.
Easy formular? and how to put a cost on the sides?
Thanks much!   Sheila or email

Shelia, Thanks for the question. Usually, I try and give well thought out answers - but because of your time crunch & tears I'm going to provide links -- as answers to your questions. This is the fastest way to get you the "in depth" info you need. There are a few variations to costing food and all are covered in these links.

Chef’s Resources – Plate cost explained -  
Wikihow another “how 2” explanation –  
Step by step food cost calculations -  
Free software trial at Shop ’n cook
Download a calculator

Happy costing & Best of luck,


Running a Restaurant

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Chase LeBlanc


I am the author of the new book, HIGH IMPACT HOSPITALITY: Upgrade Your Purpose, Performance and Profits! I am also the founder and CEO of Leadagers LLC (leaders who manage, managers who lead, "leed/i/jers") a hospitality industry consultancy. Our primary focus is in upgrading the purpose, performance and profits of restaurants, bars, food & beverage outlets and/or nightclubs. We have expertise in operations, start-ups, training, in-house leadership development and positive customer service experiences. 720.269.9537


My 30+ year hospitality career started as owner/operator of a nightclub development and management company. After successfully selling that business, I led within a variety of national and global operations as General Manager and multi-unit Regional Manager and I have also served corporations as Vice President and President. My extremely broad range of experiences includes leading training stores, entertainment complexes, fine dining establishments, high-volume theme restaurants, quick-service restaurants, dance/night clubs, comedy clubs, college taverns, dueling piano bars, pizzerias, high-volume sport’s bars, live music showrooms, retail stores and gift shops, fast-food concessions, catering/banquet facilities and high-volume arcades.

"Staffing Doctor" columnist for Hotel F&B Magazine Top 10 - Core Hospitality - Quick Serve Leader - Wise Words - Inside F&B And have been a featured blogger for In addition to my new book High Impact Hospitality, I have been a contributing writer for and/or my properties have been featured in Cheers, F&B, Food Service News, Hot Spots America, Military Club & Hospitality, Nation’s Restaurant News, Night Club & Bar and Top Shelf.

Attended the University of Colorado for three years and left to open my first nightclub at the age of 21.

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