To effectively abstract out a restaurant menu, you must first understand what you pay for the ingredients, then and only then can you price your menu item according to your food cost guidelines. Here is the tool I’ve refined over the years that tracks current price, vendor and breaks down cost per unit and can serve as your monthly inventory tools.
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Now that you are equipped with with the cost of each ingredient item for your recipes, you can begin the costing process of building each entree, salad, sandwich, dessert, etc. The only way to properly know what to use after you’ve determined what your food cost should be is to use a tool such as this one to consistently produce your menu items by recipe with the proper ingredient proportions.
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Now that you have properly costed out menu items, you need a comprehensive, attractive looking menu to present. Over time I have gained an appreciation to create menus in-house. That way, updating often with specials can be done without sending your menus out for printing. The best service I have found and used at my last several properties is: musthavemenus.com. At $20 / month, it is terrific bargain.
Over my career, I’ve been asked about how to properly cost out a wine list. I refined the process over years and came up with this Excel spreadsheet model that accomplishes a few tasks at the same time. All you need is your wine inventory and be willing to do a little research and voila, you’ll have a professional looking wine list properly priced. It also has provisions for conducting timely inventory and logging the results. See the screen shots for what the inventory sheet and the final wine list look like.
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