This Is How Much Restaurants Mark Up The Price Of Your Food

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Have you ever wondered how much restaurants are marking up the price of ingredients in your food?

Plate IQ, which processes invoices for thousands of restaurants, analyzed data to find out how much restaurants are marking up the price of popular menu items, such as hamburgers, burritos and pizza. The answer might surprise you—the markup for common restaurant food items ranges from 155 percent to a whopping 636 percent!

Of course, when you eat at a restaurant, you’re paying for way more than just the food you eat. You’re also paying for customer service, the wait staff, rent and other overhead costs, insurance and more. Even so, these numbers are pretty astounding if you eat out regularly.

So, should you get cheese on that plain burger or spring for guacamole on your burrito? The answer depends on how much of a markup you’re willing to pay.

Take a look at this nifty chart Plate IQ created to help you see just how much extra you’re paying for that sour cream on your burrito or that meat on your pizza.


When restaurant chefs make a hamburger, it typically costs them about $1.86. But they typically charge consumers about $9 for a burger, on average, which represents a markup of 384 percent. For fancier burgers, the markup was a little less, coming in around 355 percent.


They also analyzed burritos (yum!) and found that it costs restaurants just $2.02 to make a standard burrito with meat, while you’re stuck paying $9, a markup of 346 percent. A deluxe burrito, which uses a more expensive meat such as steak, has a smaller markup at 158 percent.


When Plate IQ analyzed the cost of making an omelette at a restaurant, they got some very different results. The markup on an omelette was much higher than the markup on a hamburger or a burrito, they found.

In fact, the markup on a Denver omelette, with ham, monterey jack cheese and red bell pepper, was 566 percent. On a spinach omelette, the markup was 471 percent.


According to Plate IQ, pizza was the worst for markups.

It costs a restaurant just $1.90 to make a meat pizza with pepperoni, italian sausage and a bunch of veggies. The price you’ll pay? Around $14 per pizza, which is a markup of 636 percent!

The markup was slightly smaller (but not by much) for the simpler margherita pizza, which includes cheese, basil and tomato salt. This pizza costs a restaurant roughly $1.77 to make, while you’ll pay around $12, a markup of 580 percent.

About the Author

Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta is an award-winning writer and editor based in Colorado. She writes regularly about how to find deals, save money and find side gigs. Reach her at More.

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