It happens every day.
Someone will order a slice of pizza, pay for it, and sit down.
When we deliver the slice, they’ll say “Can I get a side of ranch?”
(first of all, no. you can’t. dipping your slice in ranch freaks me out. just eat your dang slice and stop covering its beautiful flavor with ranch for crimmeny’s sake.)
I’ve had the Great Ranch Debate before, claiming that dipping sauce should be free. This was before I owned a restaurant, of course, and realized just how much waste there is in food service.
Once you bring out the first free side of ranch, it’s a free-for-all and by the end of our high-school lunch rush, we’ve gone through a gallon of dressing.
Turns out, our charge of a measly 25-cents for a 3oz. side of dressing is the cheapest in town… including the grocery stores.
Here’s the best ranch dressing you can buy; Hidden Valley Ranch.
At 25-cents an ounce, we would break even by charging 75-cents for a side.
Wishbone makes a nice ranch dressing. Even on sale, it’s over 20-cents an ounce. Again, we’d have to charge 60-cents to break even.
And of course, that doesn’t include the 7-cent ramekin that we put the “free” dressing in.
Oh wait…. here’s another!
Generic ranch dressing for 12.4-cents an ounce. Even the lowest quality dressing would cost us 38-cents to serve.
Luckily, we buy in bulk so we get a slight discount for a premium quality of dressing. How much of a discount?
10-cents an ounce. We lose money by selling our sides of dressing for a quarter.
Why on earth would we give it away for free with a slice that costs less than three bucks? I have no problem bringing out free dressings if you’re in a large party, eating a large pizza — not a big deal at all and I don’t think twice about it.
But a $2.75 slice and a free side of ranch?
I know that some of you are thinking Jeez, really? It’s just a few dimes, Kina. Chill.
Those few dimes add up to quite a few dollars a day. This would average over $150 in lost sales per month.
Tell me a business that would willingly do that.
Certainly not McDonald’s…