Maintaining a specific food cost percentage is not always the goal for country clubs, but chefs still use creative ways to make dining profitable.
The food cost of any dining establishment is what determines its profitability. However, because member dining in a club usually operates as an amenity instead of focusing on profit, food costs usually run higher compared to those of a commercial restaurant. A typical food cost of a country club runs between 30-40%.
Largely due to initiation fees and monthly dues, most private clubs are able to offer pricing of products at a better value as well as unique strategies for controlling their food costs. Food cost percentage is calculated by taking the cost of ingredients and inventory in a given time period and dividing that by the revenue or sales generated from finished dishes. When calculating the food cost of a dish make sure every component on the plate is priced out, including sauces and garnishes.
While some club chefs use a strong banquet business to offset a la carte dining, there are still many ways to optimize your food cost percentage without sacrificing the quality of the member dining experience. Creativity and plate presentation are simple ways to make dishes appear more upscale no matter what ingredients are being used. Changing menus to use food items and products that are in season will help lower food costs. Using seasonal items that are trending will also increase popularity with members and profitability.
Cross-utilization of products, daily specials, and employee meals are all key ways of moving through inventory. Keep an eye on portion sizes and waste and compare products with multiple vendors to make sure you are getting the best prices on products.
Attaining a perfect food cost is not a priority for most country clubs, and while many clubs achieve their food costs in different ways, the one goal that always stays constant is making quality a priority for their members.