F&B Business Management

How Food Cost Miscalculation Can Affect Your Restaurant Business

When running a restaurant business, food cost calculation, and control is one of the most important elements of running a successful establishment. Food cost miscalculation can lead to disastrous results for your business and should be avoided at all costs. In this article, we’ll look at why food cost calculation and control is important, how miscalculating your restaurant’s food cost can affect your business, and how Food Market Hub can help you optimise your food cost. 

Why is Food Cost Calculation and Control Important?

Food cost calculation and control is perhaps one of the most important elements of running a successful restaurant for several reasons:

1. Understanding Food Costs Helps Restaurants Manage Their Profit Margins

Running a successful restaurant requires careful budgeting and understanding the costs associated with running a restaurant in order to maximize profits. Calculating food costs is an essential step to understanding your restaurant’s profit margins. This helps you accurately forecast profitability and adjust menu items or pricing accordingly.

2. Knowing Your Food Costs Can Help Reduce Waste

Food waste is one of the biggest expenses for restaurants. Without understanding your food costs, it can be difficult to track how much food is being thrown away and how much money is being lost as a result. Accurately calculating food costs allows you to better estimate inventory needs and better manage waste levels.

3. Developing the Right Pricing Strategy 

Having an accurate understanding of food costs allows restaurants to better develop pricing strategies that are profitable while still appealing to customers. Knowing your costs makes it easier to adjust menu items or prices accordingly in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. 

4. Improving Menu Design 

By keeping track of food costs, restaurants can also analyze which menu items are more profitable than others. This helps them design menus that maximize profits while still providing their customers with the best possible dining experience. 

5. Staying On Top Of Ingredient Costs 

Manually tracking the prices of ingredients on paper or with an Excel spreadsheet can be particularly troublesome for restaurant owners because it requires ongoing manual effort. This can be time-consuming and introduce a potential for human error. It's important to stay on top of food cost by ensuring that the most current prices are being used. 

A procurement system like Food Market Hub that automatically tracks all purchases including the dates and prices can help restaurant owners keep their ingredient prices up-to-date and consistent. Since the system runs in the cloud, all purchase information is visible in real-time and managers can easily access reports such as cost analysis, stock levels, and supplier performance. This eliminates the manual effort of data entry and helps restaurant owners maintain a clear picture of their ingredient prices in order to reduce waste and increase profitability.

What Happens if You Miscalculate Your Restaurant’s Food Cost?

Miscalculating your restaurant’s food cost can have disastrous results for your business: 

  • Poor Profit Margins: When food costs are underestimated, it can lead to low profit margins or even negative margins. This will affect the overall profitability of the restaurant, leading to a decline in revenue.
  • High Food Prices: If food costs are miscalculated, the restaurant may have to raise prices to offset the higher food costs. This can drive customers away and have a negative impact on the overall business.
  • Wastage: When food costs are miscalculated and too much food is ordered, it leads to waste. This can result in a loss of money for the restaurant and will also damage the reputation of the restaurant with customers.
  • Salaries: Restaurants are labour-intensive businesses and pay significant wages. Inaccurate pricing may lead to insufficient revenue which can affect the ability of restaurants to pay their employees. 
  • Lack of Control: Calculating restaurant food costs accurately is essential for a restaurant to maintain control over their budget and bottom line. If food costs are miscalculated, it can lead to spending too much money and not having enough cash flow for operations.

What is the Link Between Actual Food Cost and Higher Profit?

The link between actual food cost and higher profit is simple: if the food cost for an item is calculated correctly, then the profitability will naturally follow suit due to the fact that it is priced competitively. However, if food costs are miscalculated and an item is priced too low, then the profitability will be significantly reduced as less profit will be made from its sale. Therefore, it’s essential that restaurateurs make sure their food costs are calculated accurately, as this will guarantee higher profits for their restaurants.  

Food Market Hub: How We Can Help Optimise Your Food Cost 

At Food Market Hub, our mission is to help restaurants optimise their food costs by monitoring prices and stock counts, identifying cost increases with purchase history logs; avoiding over-ordering; cutting down on wastage based on sales trends and historical data; tracking delivery dates; and more! 

Our easy-to-use platform makes it quick and easy to manage your costs while also keeping an eye on industry trends so that you are always up-to-date with the latest pricing information. 


Maintaining accurate food cost calculations is essential for any restaurant to ensure that its menu items are priced competitively, and its profit margins remain healthy. Miscalculating your restaurant’s food costs can have disastrous results for your business; therefore, care should be taken to avoid such mistakes. At Food Market Hub, we make it easy for restaurants to manage their costs with our easy-to-use platform. So don’t let miscalculated food costs ruin your business – be careful!