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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Q Factor

Chefs love to see a recipe model come together in the final stages. Sole proprietor owners love this stage even more if possible. What's the lure? They see how much it costs to produce the actual menu items with all the trimmings.

The most frequently asked question at this stage goes something like "How do we tell the system our cover costs? Is there a way to enter a Q factor?"

I let them know they should enter all applicable costs to properly cost the menu. The follow up question is actually a lengthy discussion of complimentary items, starch choices depending on the entree choice, most popular options, etc.

I like to create a setup recipe which may be used over and over in every entree selection. My Q factor includes all complimentary items (rolls, butter, ketchup, mustard, soy sauce, salt & pepper, Tabasco sauce, etc.), salad portion, most popular dressing choice, most popular starch choice and the most popular side choice.

The POS system will keep track of the guest selections. If the most popular salad dressing is Blue Cheese and the POS modifier is Ranch, I like to make the recipe for the Ranch modifier equal to 1 portion of Ranch minus 1 portion of Blue Cheese. Since the Q factor already accounted for the Blue Cheese, the reduction of 1 Blue Cheese portion brings the count in line.

What's a typical Q factor in a high end dining room offering rolls, butter, salad, baked potato, more butter, and sour cream? About $3 if you use fresh baked rolls.

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