Sunday, May 23, 2010

YamDaisy and the Budget! Fascinating!

When I was working out the viability of my YamDaisy Cafe structure I started with two different needs: affordable meals for customers, and a reasonable income for the chef/manager.

This was made trickier because the customers include the poorest people in the community.

With my housekeeping budget skills I pushed and pulled until I came up with something that I thought would work. In a housewifey way I figured that if we could get so many meals sold at so much each, and cover all the overheads we would end up with an amount for ingredients a week for ingredients. (You can look at my number crunching here. Feel free to comment!)

But then I read a chef friend talking about it a completely different way. He went from running a restaurant to working for a catering company.:
"The pricing scale was completely backwards to the way I was used to working out gross profit from a meal. In a restaurant you come up with an idea for a dish, then order in the food, cook a meal, tweak it a bit, then when it is good you cost up how much it costs to put that meal onto the plate then add 80 percent! simple... that gives you a price to charge for that dish... every one you sell ensures you that 80 percent profit!

Here I was given a capped chargeable price ... and had to make profit working backwards from that... the price was the starting point, not the finish point as it were!"

I remember Jamie Oliver complaining in a similar way under even more straightened circumstances trying to make school meals affordable, but also delicious and healthy. He talked about his usual practice of looking at wonderful ingredients and being inspired by them to cook something, rather than surveying the cheap ingredients and trying to work out something good that could be made from them!

My first thought was that family budgets are capped! The poorer you are, the more capped your budget is. The more you are stuck with the cheapest, saddest ingredients.
But the YamDaisy chef must not be like a stressed mum trying to cook good food with not enough money!

Yes, it will be topsy turvy thinking for a restaurant chef, but hopefully it will be good domestic economics for the YamDaisy Chef. There MUST be enough money to buy good, local, seasonal ingredients and to cook great, delicious meals with them. There must be room to be inspired!

This is another way the YamDaisy Chef must be like a great Mum Cook using the wonderful ingredients to hand and developing a community based menu of the best food. Not expensive, rare, food, but treasured local seasonal, loved food! .... and affordable!


  1. I have an urgent prayer request at arise 2 write.

  2. You've given this a great deal of thought. I'm sure you've puzzled through this and know where you want to be. I've seen some of the menus you prepared. Can you use those to cost by both of the models you discussed. I know you'll solve this dilemma. In the meantime have a great day. Blessings...MAry

  3. You are so right, Joy! You CAN eat like a king, even with the most basic of ingredients. I think you got it spot on when you wrote "local" and "seasonal". :)

  4. wow, what a wise post! i wish i were smart enought to make some budget as well.. need to start saving!
    thank you for great tips and wish you a sweet day!

  5. All this seems to be keeping you awake. I am hoping you are getting enough sleep... Have a nice week.

  6. Have a gorgeous and so inspiring week, dear Joy :)

  7. You're doing a wonderful job there Joy - good luck with everything! Lucie x

  8. Absolutely, local and season is the way to go! I find it to be quite economical....what costs the money is building up the staples in the kitchen. I have never thought of it from a restaurant point of view, although I have lived it from both angles....being on a tight budget and having to make good food from cheap stuff (when I was younger) and then now, letting the wonderful, exciting ingredients I find inspire me to cook new things.

    In any case, keep up the good work!

  9. Local, seasonal and affordable food sounds ideal. Keep up the good work and have a wonderful week!

  10. What an interesting post. I love that you mention Jamie Oliver.

  11. Hello again! I like your ideas on food that is not expensive. When my chickens lay their first egg I will let you know what I made it into!
    Lucy xx

  12. Yes! I agree with you! I have been on a budget too and have been enjoying great food, too.

  13. I don't buy fancy expensive ingredients or imported have some good points here.

  14. I agree with you! I have been on a budget this year too and have been enjoying delicious dishes, too.

  15. Very nice and interesting post. Thanks a lot for giving useful tips. In my opinion we should not buy such things which are very expensive but cheap and best quality product.