Thank you for using the J.E.S. Restaurant Equipment Food Cost Calculator. This guide will help walk you through the process of using the calculator to estimate your food cost percentage for each item on your menu.
The J.E.S. Food Cost Calculator simplifies the food cost process by breaking your menu down into individual meals or menu items. Each item is stored automatically in your browser’s local memory and can be accessed from the same computer when returning to the site. Be sure to enable cookies in your browser’s privacy settings before using the food cost calculator in order to save your meals for later.
To enter a meal into the food cost calculator, simply click the “new” button in the upper right-hand corner of the calculator window. Enter the name of the meal and the desired price (in U.S. dollars) into the “Meal Information” field. Once you have given your meal a name and price, click the “Add Ingredient” bar to continue to the next step.
If you have used the food cost calculator before, your previously used ingredients will appear on this screen. If you are a first time user, or if you need to add another ingredient to you list, click the “New” button in the upper right-hand corner of the window. On this screen, enter the name of the new ingredient and select the purchasing method (purchased by case, bag, pound, etc.) from the drop down menu. Then enter the cost of each unit, as well as the serving size for that ingredient (such as slices from a block of cheese) and the number of servings that one purchasing unit of the ingredient will yield (i.e. 20 slices per pound of cheese).
Once the Create Ingredient field has been completed, finish the ingredient by clicking the “submit” button. Repeat this process until all of the ingredients needed for your meal have been entered into the calculator. Repeat ingredients that are used for multiple menu items (such as sandwich rolls or slices of cheese) can be shared between meals by clicking “Add More Ingredients” below the recipe in the “Edit Meal” menu.
Ingredients can be edited or deleted using the buttons located on the right of each ingredient. When all the ingredients have been added, click “back” to return to the “Edit Meal” screen. From here, the quantity of each ingredient can be adjusted to fit the recipe of the meal. Using the plus and minus icons on the right of the window, increment or decrement the quantity of each ingredient until the proper portions are reached.
As you adjust your ingredients, the food cost percentage in the upper right hand of the screen will automatically recalculate to match your changes. The striped bar at the top of the screen represents your food cost percentage, as well: green means that your food cost is within the generally accepted “profitable average” of 30 percent, meaning that you are charging your customers approximately three times the cost of the ingredients. However, this is just a guideline: your restaurant’s acceptable food cost will vary depending on the specifics of your establishment’s day-to-day operation.
After you have finished calculating your first meal, click the back button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen to return to the meal listing. Repeat this process until all items from your menu have been calculated. Meals may be deleted from your menu by selecting a meal and clicking “Erase” in the Edit Meal screen.
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