If you thought you bagged a bargain by skipping the $29, slow-cooked, burgundy-braised beef short ribs and opting for the $18 baked ziti with mushrooms, marinara sauce and chicken, you’d be wrong. With food costs only accounting for about 18 percent of the menu price, the pasta dish is where the restaurant is making the most profit. Believe it or not, the beef is actually the better deal, since it costs nearly half the menu price to source and prepare it.
Despite inflated prices in the appetizer sections, there are still parts of the menu where diners can find good value. Red meat and seafood dishes will get more bang for your buck—and don’t forget the dessert list. “Dessert used to be a low-cost, money-maker until the ambitions of the modern day pastry chef got in the way,” says Pennette. Nowadays, indulging in elaborate, luxurious desserts is reason alone to eat out. Go on, order that triple-layered chocolate torte. You owe it to your wallet.
(Lawrence Lucier/Getty Images) More From Forbes: 10 Foods To Skip In Public 10 Secrets About Store Brands Foods To Make Your Skin Glow The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.