News & Politics

How Much Does a Night at Restaurant Eve Really Cost?

It's not just culinary artistry and great ingredients you're paying for--it's linens, heat, and taxes too.

December 2005

What are you paying for, exactly, when you foot the bill for a really nice dinner at a really nice restaurant? We asked Cathal Armstrong, chef/owner of Restaurant Eve–where dinner for two in the Tasting Room averages $250–to open his books and break down the check for a typical night at the restaurant.

Food cost: $52.35

Wine cost: $20.40

Labor cost: $81.50

Payroll tax: $7.50

Employee benefits: $13

Rent and real-estate tax: $16.75

Utilities: $4.25

Repairs and maintenance: $6

Promotions and discounts: $4.25

Advertising: $3.25

General supplies: $2

Credit-card fees: $7

Decorations: $1

Linens and uniforms: $4.25

Tableware: $1.25

Equipment: $1

Menus and licenses: $2.75

Accounting: $2

Liability insurance: $2.25

Bank-loan interest: $4

Total: $236.75

Restaurant's net profit: $13.25

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.