The 10 Most Overpriced Foods You’ll Find on Restaurant Menus
You know cooking at home is cheaper, but eating out is all about the experience. Still, these markups will change how you think about your next food order.
A Denver omelet made with ham, cheese, onions and peppers, costs just $1.35 inraw ingredients, according to an ingredient cost analysis from Plate IQ. None of the items cost more than 50 cents, yet you’re likely paying about $9 for your breakfast, meaning you pay 566 percent more. The restaurant will likely charge $1 less for a vegetarian option made with spinach, mushrooms and Brie cheese, bringing the markup down to 471 percent. Not that every supermarket item is cheap—don’t miss these ways to save while grocery shopping.
Cheese pizza: 580%
Ingredients in pizza crust average about 50 cents per pizza. The toppings add up a bit more, but a Margherita pizza would still cost the restaurant about $1.77 according to PlateIQ, even though you’re shelling out closer to $12.
Pizza toppings: 636%
If your pizzeria charges a few bucks for meat or a couple dollars for veggies, that’s an extra 525 percent markup on each topping. Get all the works on a supreme pizza, and you could be looking at paying an extra 636 percent.
Yes, you know guac is extra—but did you realize just how much more? Making guacamole from scratch would end up costing 52 cents per serving. With a scoop of guacamole costing up to $2 at burrito joints, though, you’re getting served a 285 percent markup.
Try your hand at making homemade guacamole with the 10 secrets for making a perfect bowl of guac.
A serving of dry pasta only costs about 25 cents, and even with a homemade sauce, each serving will only cost about $1.43. Unless a restaurant is going through the labor of making its pasta from scratch, a $13 pasta dish is marked up more than 800 percent.
Using the brewing instructions from Starbucks ground coffee, you’ll end up paying about 20 cents per serving. Buy a tall brewed coffee from the store, and you’re paying 825 percent more than you would by making your own. To make the most of your cafe coffee, learn 13 things Starbucks employees with you knew.
Homemade chicken noodle soup only costs a restaurant about 30 cents to make, though a big bowl can cost $4.95, according to Forbes, making it one of the most overpriced things on a menu. If you’re concerned about “wasting” money on something you can make yourself, opt for thick soups like gumbo or chowder, which are more expensive to make but the same price for the customer, Forbes recommends. Just learn why you should never order these certain fish at restaurants—and what to get instead.
A pound of potatoes costs about 70 cents, meaning an individual spud is worth about 35 cents. On a menu, though, you’ll end up paying $2 to get one as a side, meaning you’re paying 471 percent more than you would baking your own white potato. Don’t miss these other foods that you should never order at a restaurant.
A bottle priced at $15 at a wine shop might only cost the restaurant $10 on wholesale, but they’ll charge you $25 to $30. (That’s particularly overpriced considering some of the best wine in the world costs just $10-15 retail.) Plus, paying $8 a glass—even with their bigger-than-average pours—means you’re paying more than twice as much as you would at a BYOB restaurant. Oddly enough, you’ll often end up being less overcharged (though still, of course, paying more) for the most expensive bottles on the menu, because the biggest markups are on the cheapest bottles, according to Wine Enthusiast.