Food Cost

Managing food cost in the kitchen consists of many elements including having good purchasing practices, excellent inventory control, having a good system for maintaining, determining and reporting both theoretical and actual food cost; team awareness and supervision. It also involves, from the marketing side of your business, maintaining correct pricing on your menus and implementing strategies to achieve a product mix of item sales that maximizes your profitability. There are additional elements to controlling food cost that may be considered after analysis of your current situation. We can help you install the tools and processes to achieve all of the above - customized to your operation. 

Achieving a favorable food cost is attainable no matter the size of your operation. We can help you get set up and coach you through the process until you are at the point where you know you are getting accurate information. Contact us for more details on the complete process we would use to help you get your food cost in line.


One almost instant benefit of the process is that it usually establishes a new kind of awareness throughout of your staff. Many times this awareness results in an immediate improvement in some areas that may have been producing negative results in your overall food cost. 

Purchasing - Vendor Relations

Sound purchasing practices are one element of successful Food Cost Management. Many operators focus on the prices they are quoted - sometimes on a weekly basis – in deciding which vendors they will be purchasing from in any given week. This is sometimes referred to as spreadsheeting. While periodic price checking is certainly a useful activity as part of food cost management, as a single effort it is hardly a guarantee that you are getting the best for your buck in dealing with your vendors. A strong multi-benefit purchasing program includes a lot more, depending on the volume of your operation. Some of our team have over 14 years of experience working in foodservice sales for large broad-line distributors. We can teach you how developing strong relationships with various vendors can have some very positive effects on your business. Some of the things we can provide you include the following:

  • Analysis of current purchasing practices and report on opportunities.
  • Determination of your Purchasing Power, and advice on leveraging it.
  • How to Seek and Create More Profitable Partnerships - Better understand how large and small vendors work. 
  • Identifying additional vendor benefits to operators- management tools being one example.
  • Bid creation (and management) 

ROI - Maintaining sound in house processes like inventory management can have a value of multiple points in better results, than a similar operation with no system just by more focused awareness resulting in the accurate ordering of product (less over-ordering, less waste). Maintaining excellent Purchasing Practices and Vendor Relationships can improve operations as well as increase profit to the bottom line.

On projects which involve food service kitchen design and layout as well as the related dining flow and proximity relationships, I often begin the process by connecting with Mark. His experience with both the front and back of the house, marketing, delivery, and budget, provides invaluable design assistance. We bring in consultants in the areas of Structure, HVAC and Electrical. In similar fashion I see Mark’s expertise as an integral member of the design team. Mark is open to exploring options as issues of space, character, regulations, and budget come into play. He is a professional’s Professional.
Jay Ancel
Founding Partner, Black River Design Architects