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Jan 16, 2009 02:19 PM

Cava Money, Money, Money, Money.......

Im interested in peoples opinions of Cava.
My girlfriend and I eat there and I found it to be SO expensive!

As an example the steak (Flat Iron 4.99 a lbs.) with white puree was 16 dollars.
While it was good, the portion size was far to small for that price point!
I know what some is going to say "its Tapas" fine, make the price half.

Some simple math.

If this dish had a 30% food cost (Industry standard) that would give the house 4.80 to work with, fair. That amount of money could purchase almost 1 pound of Flat Iron (Whole Sale price 4.99) The plate being tapas has only 2 maybe 3 oz. at which equals a cost of .93 cents.
Let say, the white puree (Celery Root & Heavy Cream) cost the same as the Beef to make it simple another .93 cents.

Total cost 1.87
Food Cost about 12%

Wheres the Value?

Am I Crazy?

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  1. Is this a rhetorical question?

    1. Isn't it understood by diners that we aren't just paying for the ingredients?

      My general principle is, if I don't feel like I'm getting value for my money, then I just don't go. Vote with your feet and if enough people feel the same way, then they will get the message soon enough.

      1 Reply
      1. re: pinkprimp

        That's not exactly a fair comment, pinkprimp - klaret simply used an industry benchmark as a way to assess value for money, but in no way suggested that we're only paying for the ingredients.

        I had the same dish and the same reaction - in comparison to other restaurants with similar quality of food and dining experience, Cava is more costly. And as much as we liked the food at Cava, my wife and I have indeed voted with our feet.

        I would take no pleasure in seeing Cava close, though - ideally I'd like to go back if the value for money equation changed.

        The question is not whether it's our loss or the restaurant's - the beauty of sites like chowhound is that owners don't have to wonder why people aren't coming back, they can see our feedback and (if they so choose) adjust accordingly.

      2. Firstly, I enjoyed my meal there. All the dishes that I had certainly met my expectations (the desserts exceeded them, warm chocolate cake, ridiculous).

        In terms of value, I would say Cava is priced reasonably well considering the quality of the food. Since I'd assume the average person would order 3-4 dishes, they'd spend about 40$ which is on par for an entree and app at other similar restaurants (and perhaps a similar quantity of food as well).

        Could it be cheaper? Sure. Would I like it to be cheaper? Ofcourse. But I assume like most restaurants, they price the dishes at what they think they can sell them for and they might not necessarily use a constant restaurant wide markup on items. Also, lets not forget hidden costs like labour and overhead.

        Compare the input costs of a fountain drink to what they sell them for. It's the highest margin item in the business if I'm not mistaken. Also, liquor markups vary from restaurant to restaurant. Perhaps taking into account those hidden costs (staff, rent, utilities, etc.).

        If you find yourself questioning the cost of the item, then perhaps to your perferences, you found the price to be greater than the enjoyment of the dish. Others may disagree. Such is life (and why Sassafraz still stands... sigh)

        1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

          1. re: JamieK

            My point is this is this restaurant is a Wolf in Sheep's clothing.
            This is not Tapas, just a cash grab.
            Look at the location. ( If you can even find it!) This is not high cost.
            Some food for thought, where did Avalon go?
            Looks like some people voted with there feet.

            Thank you for you interest.

            1. re: klaret

              Agree! Been there twice. Not at all impressed by the food and price. Never returned since!

              BYW, one of the worse meal I had in TO was at Avalon! Fishy smelling and mushy texture grilled sardines as well as sweet bread on some watery sauce that had been left under the heating lamp for sooooo long. ( A film actually formed on top of the sauce! )

          2. You may be surprised, but menus are not exactly priced according to the price of ingredients. Not all restaurants are based around "value." Extreme value is to be had at many places though. Where else can you get a double cheeseburger for $1.39, other than McDonald's? I couldn't make it for that price if I bought the beef, buns and cheese!