These Are Things You're Overpaying for at Restaurants
If you think that extra guac is the only thing setting you and your wallet back, think again: A new study from Plate IQ shows—with horrifying detail—just how much you're being overcharged by restaurants. And it's a lot.
For just one slice of cheese on your burger, you pay an average of 417 percent more than if you'd simply brought your own cheese from home. Each slice of cheese costs a restaurant an average of 29 cents. But since a cheeseburger costs an average of $1.50 more than a regular burger, there's your 417 percent markup.
Think that's crazy? Extra cheese is one of the least troublesome offenders, actually. Eating omelettes at restaurants, too, will take a bigger-than-expected bite out of your paycheck. A spinach omelette, which typically costs around $8 but only costs $1.40 to make, has a 471 percent markup.
It doesn't end there, though. When you order a veggie-lovers pizza, you're paying a 525 percent markup, according to the study. Paying up by a few bucks for a few mushrooms and some pepper slices may not seem like a lot. But remember: It only cost the restaurant 32 cents to add those veggies to your serving.
Meanwhile, a margherita pizza allegedly has a 580 percent markup. And meat pizzas are marked up by a whopping 636 percent.
As for the item for which everyone's happy to pay up? Well, even guacamole is more "extra" than you thought it was. It typically costs around $2 to add extra guac to your Chipotle order, but it only costs the restaurant 52 cents to do so.
Still, it's important to take all the non-food factors into consideration here. You're not just paying for extra guac or meat or veggies, after all; you're paying for overhead (30 percent) and labor costs (30 percent), too. Those ingredients are 30 percent of the price, too, but they're not all of it. In order to make ends meet, then, it makes sense that almost all restaurants need to mark up those special toppings by an average of 300 percent.
If you're not a fantastic cook, you may not be happier making these same meals at home (and they might not turn out quite as deliciously). Plus, there's so, so much about the restaurant experience that's worth having. But it's good to be aware that that restaurant habit of yours is bound to add up in a big, big way.