Is Paper Cost Part of Recipe Cost

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Food Costs, The Numbers, Video Blog

Paper cost is a real restaurant cost. Have you ever wondered if the cost of your paper products belong in a recipe costing card? After all, if it could be part of the recipe and its presentation, shouldn’t it? First, I get asked this question all the time, especially when I’m teaching a session on recipe costing cards.

Recipe costing cards are critical to your success. They have the power to re-engineer your menu to save you 307 percent. Without them, you are throwing your profitability to dumb-ass luck.

So, does paper cost belong in your recipe costing cards?

You’re going to love this – the answer is yes and no.

Here is how to determine whether it’s a yes or a no.

If you use the paper product 100 percent of the time in your recipe, then the answer is yes. An example would be if you sell street tacos from a taco truck. You can’t hand tacos over in the palm of your hand. You probably have paper to wrap those tacos. That paper cost is included in your recipe costing card.

What about a pizza place? Fifty percent of your pizzas are carryout or for leftovers. Well, although it might pain you to hand out a pizza box for half a pizza, you don’t build that paper cost into your recipe costing card because it’s not part of the recipe. If you include that, it’s like padding your recipe to give you a higher ideal food cost. When you are collecting that money in that recipe, it’s hiding any kind of theft, waste or spoilage that might be happening.

So, it’s a yes/no answer. Paper cost should only be included in your recipe costing card if you use paper 100% of the time with that recipe.

If you would like to learn more about systems for food cost controls and achieving your target cost of goods sold, read our free special report, Breaking Away from the Insanity: How to easily take control of your restaurant and make more money. Download it here. Be sure to visit our YouTube channel for more helpful restaurant business management video tips. 

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