Calculate and Monitor Your Food Truck's Weekly Food Costs - dummies

Calculate and Monitor Your Food Truck’s Weekly Food Costs

By Richard Myrick

When you’re running a food truck business, to make sure you’re keeping up on your food costs, you need to calculate them every week. If your monthly profit and loss (P&L) statement shows that your food costs have increased, it may be too late to correct the problem because you’re probably four to six weeks beyond the point that the problem surfaced.

By reviewing your costs weekly, you’re able to find the problem and eliminate it as soon as possible.

An easy way to monitor your food costs every week doesn’t need to take much time, either. Here is a simple form you can put together in a spreadsheet to record and keep track of daily purchases. To use this log, list each of your food invoices in the left-hand column and add their totals into the appropriate subsection on the right.


At the end of the week, you simply total the food column to get your total food purchases for the week. You can then use a form similar to the following to list your daily sales figures, food purchases, and the beginning and ending inventory for the week. First, place your daily sales numbers in the top row of the worksheet; add them up and put the sum in the Total column on the right side.


Then, take your total food purchases total fand place it in the Purchases column in the Food row in the Cost of Sales section. Add your inventory figures to the Beginning Inventory and Ending Inventory spaces. Add your beginning inventory to your purchases; subtract your ending inventory from this number. Now, divide this total by your weekly sales and you’re left with a percentage that represents your cost of goods.

Prepare this report every Monday morning so you can see your food cost from the previous week. If something is out of line, such as a huge spike in your beef cost from the previous week, you’ll know about it right away and will be able to act on it for the current week.