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In pure percentage terms, however, these offer poor returns because the raw ingredients cost so much.
A piece of fillet steak can easily cost as much as 40 per cent of the £25 menu price.
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But when enjoying a starter of artichoke hearts with ground lamb and goat’s curd priced at £8.50, you have little idea what relation this bears to the price of the ingredients. The standard policy is for the ingredients in each dish to cost about 25 to 35 per cent of the final price.
The secret of restaurant economics is that the mark-up on food is often greater than that on wine. The remaining 65 to 75 per cent of what you are charged has to cover everything from kitchen equipment to lighting to the chefs’ wages.
Diners are frequently annoyed by the mark-ups on restaurant wines.
It is not unusual for a bottle to be sold for 300 per cent more than you’d pay in a wine shop.