Why it costs more to eat [Site]

2009 Aug 19
That is paradoxically full of new information (details on the resto buisness such as the proportion of labour costs) and uninformative (prices rise because of... inflation.) I don't know if there is much in terms of insightful commentary that could really be added.

Personally, I am a big fan of higher minimum wages. If it means I have to pay a token amount more for my luxury (eating out) in exchange for happy cooks who are able to pay rent and eat themselves, it is worth it.

2009 Aug 19
Does that mean that purchasers who use the Toronto Food Terminal (small groceries, etc) have an advantage over the big guys (Loblaws) who may be locked into long term supply contracts? I agree with Jagash that the story was not very enlightening.

2009 Aug 19
No, it wasn't :-) But I decided to post it anyway :-)

2009 Aug 19
PIO> no, large chains have a huge advantage over small users
they lock into "FUTURES" where they prepurchase lots and even whole farm and co-op production to gain what they hope is the best to be and at a considerable savings (TO THEM)...if it cost more for the farmers to produce so, be it...the farmer has to eat it
if it turns out other than how Loblaws had planned I am sure that they are insured but then again that is why things like basic produce are "lost leaders" and hope to catch you on their snazzy exotics and organics or better yet "oh we only received 12 cases and are out but can I interest you in similar product"

users of TFT, go to check on the skids of produce they hope to sell to me and they have to be meticilous as to the quality and if the pricing is high they pass it on to me hoping I will still buy it....if I don't and I might not, they are stuck with a highly perishable product that in a day or two must off at a loss or lose it altogether

as for restos, margins are thin and getting thinner but that is where a Chef or resto owner has to be proactive

I figure a "fudge factor" into my food cost

food cost basically includes cost of protiens, sides, sauces, bread and butter, blah blah blah blah

most places go for 22-35% food cost (cost of goods divided by plate charge)
personally I go for 25%(pretty fair) on most and 33% on higher end items (better to sell it than throw it out)

but in my factoring I add an extra 50 cents or so to cover market fluctuation of cost of goods

2009 Aug 20
chef Obi - Those futures work both ways though. In a rising market, the power of the large chains is magnified, as they are more able to purchase blocks of futures. But in a declining market, large blocks of rising futures are liabilities. And farmers do not normally, or habitually sell at a loss or they go out of business. You have to be a bit of a futures guru to be a farmer these days. If you, as a farmer, sold last years (2008) crop of corn or wheat in the winter before you grew it ( as futures), you made a killing.. if you waited till harvest time, you were barely scratching by as the recession had hit the commodities market.

As a side note, I have noticed the sides such as rice at some of the places I go getting bigger, and the proteins getting much much smaller... arrgh!