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Estimating Meal Costs


Some rough estimates

Provisions (food costs) is about 20% of overall campsite expenditure
Labour cost is normally 45% of total meal cost.
(See below how these can be used if you don’t know the actual meal costs.)

Calculating per meal costs from overall figures

Calculate the number of camper nights:

= gross revenue ÷ daily rate

(e.g., revenue of $300,000 annually divided by the typical daily fee for one night and three meals, say $30 = 10,000 camper nights.

Note: The daily fee used will vary depending upon the type of group; however, if you take the major user group and use that figure, it works out as a good average figure to use.)

Calculate the number of meals:

= camper nights x 3

(e.g., 10,000 x 3 = 30,000 meals)

Calculate total meal costs:

= the cost of provisions ÷ the number of meals

(Cost of provisions is either the total of food supplier invoices or about 20% of overall expenditure of $300,000 = $60,000 for cost of provisions. Divide this by 30,000 number of meals = $2.00 for cost of provisions per meal.)

+ the cost of labour for food prep ÷ the number of meals

(Cost of labour is the known costs associated with catering staff such as wages, on-costs, etc. divided by the number of meals.)

If those labour costs are not known then use the generalisation that cost of labour is about 45% of total meal cost. Using the above example, if the food costs are $2 then multiply it by 1.82 (derived from the 45%) and the total meal costs will be $2.00 x 1.82 = $3.64