Enter the total labor cost ($) and the number of meals served into the Calculator. The calculator will evaluate the Labor Cost Per Meal. 

Labor Cost Per Meal Formula

LCM = LC / M


  • LCM is the Labor Cost Per Meal ($/meal)
  • LC is the total labor cost ($)
  • M is the number of meals served

To calculate Labor Cost Per Meal, divide the total labor cost by the number of meals served.

How to Calculate Labor Cost Per Meal?

The following steps outline how to calculate the Labor Cost Per Meal.

  1. First, determine the total labor cost ($). 
  2. Next, determine the number of meals served. 
  3. Next, gather the formula from above = LCM = LC / M.
  4. Finally, calculate the Labor Cost Per Meal.
  5. After inserting the variables and calculating the result, check your answer with the calculator above.

Example Problem : 

Use the following variables as an example problem to test your knowledge.

total labor cost ($) = 3400

number of meals served = 300

FAQ – Labor Cost Per Meal

What factors can affect the total labor cost in a restaurant?

Labor costs in a restaurant can be influenced by several factors including wages, benefits, training, overtime, and employee turnover. Seasonal variations and the efficiency of the staff also play a significant role.

How can a restaurant reduce its labor cost per meal?

To reduce labor cost per meal, a restaurant can improve staff training, optimize scheduling, invest in labor-saving technology, and focus on retaining employees to reduce turnover and associated costs.

Why is it important to calculate the Labor Cost Per Meal?

Calculating the Labor Cost Per Meal is crucial for understanding the cost structure of a restaurant. It helps in pricing menu items correctly, improving profit margins, and making informed decisions about staffing and operational efficiency.

Can the Labor Cost Per Meal calculation be used in other industries?

Yes, while this calculation is particularly relevant for the food service industry, it can be adapted for any business that needs to understand the labor costs associated with producing a unit of product or service, such as manufacturing or service industries.