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Monday, October 18, 2010

Calculating Average Food Cost for Multiple Meal Periods


Thank you for your article "Food cost basics" which is published in foodservice resources.

I have an inquiry related to food costing and I hope you could help me figure it out:

If I am serving 20 Breakfast, 30 lunch, 50 Dinner and 10 midnight meals for the same customer , how could I calculate the average food cost per person knowing that the cost of the meals are as follows : breakfast =1.50, lunch and dinner = 3.00 and midnight meal is 2.50?

I hope you can help me on that.

Thank you and best regards,


Let's take a look at the information you supplied. This information is essential to answering your question. To illustrate my first view, I have created a quick spreadsheet:

We have enough information to calculate the average cost per meal. The spreadsheet shows the process which involves 3 steps:
A. Multiply the cost of a meal by the meal count for each meal period.
B. Add the total meals and total costs.
C. Divide the total costs by the total meals to find your average cost per meal.

Food cost percentage involves relating the average cost per meal to a sales per meal. Since I don't have this data, I have used sales prices which would produce a food cost equal to one third (1/3) of my costs (33.3%). If I had the actual sales prices, I would have constructed a second spreadsheet:

Your food cost percentage depends on your sales and your costs. For each meal period, you need to multiply the price times the count to get your sales for each period. Add the sales and divide your total costs by your total sales.

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