Here’s how much it actually costs to make the pastrami sandwich at Rose and Sons Deli
The pastrami sandwich at Rose and Sons Deli is sold for $11, and with only three ingredients—six ounces of meat, two slices of bread and a schmear of mustard—it would be easy to think the restaurant makes a healthy margin on each one. But when you order any restaurant dish, you’re paying for more than just what’s on your plate. In fact, you’re paying for the plate itself, and a whole bunch of other stuff, too. Here’s every cent that goes into serving this otherwise simple-seeming sandwich.
Ingredients: $3.83. Rose and Sons buys pre-brined briskets, rubs them with brown sugar and spices and lets them dry overnight. Then, they’re smoked for up to six hours and steamed for an hour or two until they reach 185 degrees Celsius. Six ounces of sliced pastrami goes onto two slices of mustard-slathered rye, with a quartered pickle on the side.
Labour: $4.19. This includes the restaurant’s management and staffing costs, including chefs, servers, cooks, dishwashers and reservationists, who all need to be paid for any sandwiches to be made.
Overhead: $3.23. This is where all of the restaurant’s other expenses are paid: tableware and paper products; nightly cleaning; firewood and charcoal for smoking the pastrami; point-of-sale and security systems; and, of course, rent, taxes, gas, hydro and insurance.
Profit: -0.25. The cost to prepare every six-ounce pastrami sandwich is $11.25. It’s a loss leader for Rose and Sons, because most people will end up ordering it with fries ($6) or slaw ($5) for a few bucks more.