Factors That Determine Restaurant Menu Prices

Factors That Determine Restaurant Menu Prices

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It is common when you go to different restaurants to find that they charge a different price for the same meal. The question one may ask is why you have to pay a different price for the same food you had in another restaurant. However, consumers should understand that every restaurant has to price its menus differently because of different factors. One of the many things restaurant owners have to do before opening their business is to price their food. The factors that determine restaurant menu prices are discussed below.

Cost of purchasing the food

 One will often find out that many restaurants have different sources where they get their raw foods and fruits. Some big restaurants go as far as importing produce from far away countries and this costs them a considerable amount. Such a factor will of course increase the prices of the food on the menu. One cannot therefore, compare the pricing of food in such a restaurant to one that sourced its food locally. Availability of some foods on the menu dictates what they will cost. A dish that has caviar, for example, will be priced highly on the menu compared to one that has chicken.

Location of restaurant

Most of the restaurants that are in the upmarket places often price their food menus higher, than those in the local downtown areas.  The reason for this could be that these classy restaurants have to pay a higher rent and they take advantage of the fact that their patrons do not complain about the price. Menu prices in these restaurants have also factored in, the level of service that you expect to receive while eating there. Many of them have also employed top chefs whose pay is considerably higher. Other restaurants in downtown areas may not have to pay as much rent and wages and therefore, can have lower menu prices.

Fluctuating prices of food

It may be very difficult to determine the price of food based on this factor due to changing weather conditions and seasons. One might have to do this every three or so week which might be time consuming. So, in order to have a balanced meal without going on a loss, balance those items that fluctuate easily with those that have reasonably stable prices. In this way, you will not have to keep changing the menu to cater for any price changes. One can do seasonal menu changes and not menu prices, to accommodate the readily available foods in that season.


It is essential that restaurant owners have an idea of how to set Restaurant Menu Prices. Some of the basics they should learn about are portion control and food costs.  This will help them keep costs down while driving profits up in their restaurants. The preferred restaurant menu price should help keep a satisfied customer and also ensure an affordable kitchen stock. One thing that restaurant owners need to be careful about is pricing the menus too high and therefore not get any customers. They should also avoid pricing the menus too low as they will only be making a loss.

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