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Calculating Food Costs

CA-ICA-5c: Identify procedures used

to calculate the cost of a standardized
recipe and cost per portion and
perform calculations.

Portion Control
Customers expect food to be uniform


consistent every time

Serving consistent portions is essential to
the success of a restaurant

How to Control Portions

Purchase items according to standard

Follow standardized recipes
Use portioning tools

Calculating Unit Cost

In order to determine the cost of a recipe,

you must first determine how much the

ingredients cost
Most foodservice facilities purchase food
in bulk

50 lb bag of flour

Calculating Unit Cost

The Unit Cost

is the cost of each

individual item
As purchased price is the cost you paid
for the item
Example: a 50-lb bag of sugar costs $22.00. A
marinated mushroom recipe call for several
ounces of sugar. Therefore, the unit for the recipe
is ounces. You must convert AP unit (lb) to

50 lb. x 16 oz. = 800 oz.

Calculating Unit Cost

To find out how much each ounce costs,

divide $22.00 by 800 oz.

$22.00 / 800 oz. = $0.03 per ounce (unit cost)

Food Waste and Product Yields

Some foods, such as

deli meats, are used
completely as they as

Other foods that

require trimming or
deboning result in
food waste

Chicken, fruit, etc.

The product yield is

the usable portion of
food product
Many times foods
lose volume or weight
as they are prepared

Ex. A roast can shrink

up to 1/3 of its original
size when it is cooked

As-Served and Edible Portion

The actual weight of

food product that is
served to customers
is called the
as-served portion

Expressed by weight

The amount of
consumable food
product that remains
after preparation is
called the edible

Expressed in a %

Edible Portion Yield Percentage

Yield % = EP / amount of food purchased

Two red bell peppers

are used to prepare a
mushroom salad.
The two peppers
together weigh 11 oz.
A trimming, you have
3 oz. of trim loss.

AP Weight = 11 oz.
Trim Loss = 3 oz.
Yield Wt = 8 oz.
Yield % = 8 oz. / 11 oz.
Yield % = .73 or 73%

Costing Recipes
Determining the cost of a standardized

recipe is an important part of cost control

Once a recipe cost is calculated, the
operation can determine:

How much each portion costs

Menu prices

The Q Factor

Questionable Ingredient
Covers the cost of
ingredients that are
difficult to measure.
Foodservice operations
have a preset Q factor
usually 1% - 5%

Multiply the total cost of

ingredients by the Q factor

Use the Q Factor:

For small amounts of

ingredients (1/4 tsp)
Measurements such as to
Covers costs resulting in
seasonal changes in food
Covers condiments

Cost Per Portion

The amount you would serve to an

individual customer
Recipe Cost / # of Portions = Cost Per Portion
Ingredients Cost $7.20
Serves 10 portions
Cost per Portion = $0.72



A 25 lb. bag sugar costs $28.95. What is the

unit cost per ounce of sugar?
A 10 gallon bucket of buttercream icing costs
$15.25. What is the unit cost per cup of icing?
The AP weight of a watermelon is 7 lb. The
trim loss = 5 lb. What is the EP yield % for the
Total cost of ingredients for a recipe that
serves 8 portions is $12.96. With a Q factor of
3%, what is the cost per serving?


25 lb x 16 oz. = 400 oz (400 oz. = 25 lb.)

$28.95 / 400 = .07 => $0.07 per ounce of sugar


10 gal x 16 c = 160 cups (160 c = 10 gal)

$15.25 / 160 = .095 => $0.10 per cup of icing


7.5 lb. 5 lb. = 2.5 lb.

2.5 lb. / 7.5 lb. = .333 => 33% EP


$12.96 x .03 = .39 => $0.39

$0.39 + $12.96 = $13.35
$13.35 / 8 portions = $1.67 per portion