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Crunching the Numbers on Restaurant Markups

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In an industry famous for incredibly narrow margins, where do restaurants make their money? With booze, tea, green salads and, as Bay Area chef Adam Mali told the San Francisco Chronicle, "most of the carb dishes."

Wine sold by the bottle may be listed at two or three times its cost, whereas wine sold by the glass is even more profitable at a three or four hundred percent markup.

Food markups can be even higher: pizza can be priced at 6x the cost, and pastas prices can go as high as 10x the cost. And that's nothing compared to the markup on soda, at 20x its cost.

Not everything's marked up like crazy, though: dishes like ribeye and crab are at the other end of the spectrum. Both beef and seafood prices have risen dramatically, but restaurants are trying to keep prices low and in some cases barely break even on these dishes.

· Restaurant Markups Deconstructed [Chronicle]
[Illustration: Christopher T. Fong/The Chronicle]