My organization redid their menu 2 months ago without doing a menu costing. It is my understanding that it has been a year or more since a menu costing was done. I found one set of menu costing files on the computer that was either old or erroneous from the start. Two crabcakes with garnish for $2.56? When was that? 1986?
No problems. Only solutions.
It can be a hair-raising experience for a kitchen manager to realize after a menu costing has been entered into the P-mix to find his goal of 25% is an impossible dream. The first positive point is that he now knows what his true best target is. The first part of getting well is knowing how sick one is in the first place. You’d be surprised how many managers have lost their jobs because they couldn’t attain food costs that no one in the organization knew were impossible! Once the cat is out of the bag, you can get to work.
Clearly the goal is to be able to blend the higher cost items with the lower cost ones to attain a 25% food cost. In order to do that with our Spin Dip/Seafood Platter axis, we’ll have to bring down the cost of the platter/spin dip 9%. [Note: I’m using these two examples because together they show the cost dynamic of the whole menu.]
So I recommend going with a reduced price Mahi portion at 5 ounces, reducing by one shrimp and one scallop, and beefing up the accompaniments by 3 ounces to make up the weight differential. So our $9.71 albatross is now a manageable $6.25!
Update: One last point here. Using a “blend” of costs to reach your goal is really a last resort. Notice how we brought the cost of the Seafood Platter in line with our 25% goal for EACH item. That won’t be as easy with the Prime Ribs, the Babyback Ribs, and other high-cost dishes. In the event it’s just going to be a high-cost item, I recommend taking it off the menu if it isn’t helping drive sales.