Here’s how much it actually costs to make the ‘nduja sausage pizza at Pizzeria Libretto

Here’s how much it actually costs to make the ‘nduja sausage pizza at Pizzeria Libretto

Plate by Numbers

Pizza, if you can make and sell a lot of it, is a good business. Even when using the best flour and tomatoes, dough and sauce are still cheap. Cheese and meat, however, are luxury goods, and the $18 ’nduja sausage pizza at Pizzeria Libretto certainly is no slouch in that regard. But when you order any restaurant dish, you’re paying for more than just what’s on your plate: You’re also paying for the plate itself, and a whole bunch of other stuff, too. Here’s every cent that goes into serving this Neapolitan creation.

Ingredients: $4.95. The cheese—fior di latte, stracciatella and grated parm—accounts for a full 60 per cent of the food cost. Niagara ’nduja sausage adds another $1.44. The Caputo 00 flour for the crust ($0.24) and the San Marzano tomato sauce ($0.13) barely register, along with fresh basil ($0.06) and oregano ($0.01).

Labour: $8.10. Libretto’s high volume demands a lot of skilled labour. There are never fewer than five people in the kitchen: two pizza makers, the chef, one cook on the hot station and another expediting—calling orders and coordinating between cooks and servers. “I need a bare minimum of people in the kitchen, whether we do one cover or 100 covers,” says co-owner Max Rimaldi. “If we’re not busy, we’re kinda screwed.”

Overhead: $3.60. Rent at the five Libretto locations ranges from $13,000 to $30,000 per month, and once utilities (gas, hydro, water), property tax and other niceties—gratis house-made focaccia, olive oil and filtered or sparkling water—are accounted for, overhead accounts for about 20 per cent of the pizza’s price.

Profit: $1.35  The cost to prepare every ’nduja sausage pizza is $16.65, leaving a profit margin of 7.5 per cent. That’s slightly below Libretto’s overall margin of about 10 per cent. Even so, with the average restaurant margin at 4.2 per cent nationally, it’s still a reliable moneymaker for one of the places that changed the way Toronto does pizza.