From Budget to Plate

Portion control, reducing food waste and maximising profit without raising menu prices are all part of a new EIT online short course aimed at chefs and restaurant managers.

The Food Costing micro-credential has seen EIT collaborate with eCampus NZ, one of New Zealand's largest online learning developers, to create the 20-week course, which has been designed so learners can complete at-home while working around their jobs and other commitments.

Mark Caves, Senior Lecturer and Chef Tutor in EIT’s School of Tourism and Hospitality noted that the course, which awards participants a digital badge on completion, addresses a need for chefs to upskill in food costing in order to improve gross profit margins.

Being an online course, EIT is hoping that chefs from around the country will take advantage of it.

“It is about learning portion control, reducing waste and maximising profit without raising menu prices,” said Caves, who is the course facilitator.

“This is especially true at the moment where there's a lot of competition out there and some businesses are struggling a little bit. This food costing course should help them gain a bit of an edge in terms of the overall profit that they make on their menus.”

Mark Caves and students

The students will be taught menu engineering, where they analyse their sales and cost data in a bid to engineer their menu to make the most amount of profit on the menu as a whole, as opposed to single dishes.

“I’m passionate about the industry and want all food outlets to do well. Sustainability is a big talking point at the moment, and for me, sustainability for the hospitality industry encompasses people, the planet and profit. If we do not embrace all three pillars of sustainability, we will struggle to succeed,” continued Caves.

“This micro-credential helps to address the profit part of sustainability. I have an intrinsic need for menu prices to stay low, so I can dine more regularly and, having been a head chef, I can relate to the pressure put on chefs to meet budgets.”

Teaming up with ECampus NZ makes the course accessible to all food establishments from hotels to food trucks.

“The learners will be able to enrol online and work at their own pace and will have about 6 months to complete it. I will be there alongside them to offer any assistance I can,” he concluded.

For more details about this short course, please visit the EIT website.