Achieving a Profitable Hotel Kitchen (or any other catering service) is often seen as the most significant responsibility for a Senior Chef and can be a difficult and confusing undertaking (carry on reading or watch the video).

Perhaps to begin with Chefs should not worry about their Sales – the amount of money taken from the customers – to begin with let us try just to ensure your Kitchen is Profitable by making regular and accurate Food Cost Calculations.

Food cost of sales relates to how much money your menu items cost to put on a plate – just the physical ingredients … Let us worry about other costs as time progresses.

There are 2 normal ways of carrying out Food Cost Calculations depending upon the culture of your Hotel.

Sometimes, Chefs are allowed to prepare any food they want as long as an accurate price is charged to the customers of the Business.

In businesses that I have worked in, the Food Cost has expected to have been about 30%:

So, for every 100 of the local currency that is taken for the food that is sold, that food can cost a Chef 30 of the local currency to prepare using ingredients.

(But I appreciate there could be very different targets out there. Some countries also have significant sales taxes that need to be considered as-well.)

If you are a Chef and are unsure about whether there is a sales tax and what your cost of sales targets are? Always ask to speak to your Hotel Manager or the Hotel Accounts Team.

For instance. Food Dish A.

So, if the food cost for the Dish with 4 ingredients is 8.5 (which tells you how much you can afford to spend when preparing it all of the time). The menu item has to be placed for sale for at least 28.33 to make the profit that is expected.

Alternatively, Chefs are given a Sales Price for a Menu Item or Fixed Price Menu and then are allowed to prepare what they can as long as a Profit Target is achieved that reflects the quality policies of the Hotel Business.

So back to the Food Profit calculation ….

If The menu is placed for sale for 29.50 to make the profit that is expected.

The food cost for the Menu can be 8.85 (which tells you how much you can afford to spend when preparing it).

Once again, I appreciate there could be very different targets out there …

Understanding and using Food Costing calculations and applying it on a strict basis will help you make any adjustments to ensure your Kitchen’s long-term success.

Achieving this Target is Not Easy every day, for tens of thousands of platters, along with all of the other considerations in a Hotel Chef’s life.

Maybe this is part of the reason they do not always have a smile on their faces?

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