One of life’s joys is going out to eat in a restaurant. It doesn’t matter if it is a fast food shack or a ultra high end white tablecloth temple to the finest dining available. Each has it’s charms and differences.
But why is it so darn expensive?
Let’s take a look at what you are really paying for when you go out to eat:
First and foremost, one must remember that a restaurant is a business and, as such, much make a profit or it will close. So, remember that a profit needs to be tacked on to the following expense items.
The actual food used to be figured at about 33% of the menu cost. In many places that is trending toward 25%. Remember that restaurants buy their food wholesale, not retail as you and I do at the supermarket. So, maybe that isn’t all that bad.
Rent. This can be huge. When you go to a restaurant, you are not just buying food. You are also renting the space to eat it in. In some locations the cost of rent can be greater than the cost of the food! Ever wonder why tourist spots were so costly?
The decor. You loved the beauty of the restaurant. All those designs did not spring forth from nothing. They cost big dollars. Those flower arrangements get replaced on a regular basis, too!
The plates, silverware, tablecloths, etc. Each of these were expensive and need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Further, some people steal this stuff! The salt shaker was pretty, but do you need to drop it into your purse?
The government. You would not believe all the tax generating hoops a restaurant has to jump through before opening and staying open. Each costs big money. Then there is the liquor license. The fee is often expensive…every year. The first time often requires the aid of an attorney to get it approved. No wonder your G&T is so expensive.
Of course, taxes must be paid on any profit, too.
The staff. Of course, you tip some of the employees, but not all. Their pay is in the price of your meal, too. Honestly, you can expect tip and sales tax to add about 25% to your meal cost after menu prices!
Running a restaurant is one of the hardest jobs, ever. The costs are high and so much can go wrong. If you find a restaurant you like, understand that you are going there for more than just a meal and enjoy the experience.