At a fancy steak house, what is my $60-$100+ per steak paying for?

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Quality meat? Quality cooking? Staff and other overhead costs? Etc.

In: Economics

44 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

The same thing any price for any food pays for anywhere.

Raw material, staff, rent & other overhead, risk and profit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A high quality cut of steak can easily fetch half that in food cost alone. Check out [Snake River Farms](

Anonymous 0 Comments

For any item at all you are paying for: cost of the ingredients + cost of the labor + markup (as much money as they can add on and still believe that someone will buy it). This is as true for a high end steak as it is for kraft mac & cheese served at Apple Bees.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is a combination of high cost of ingredients and pure capitalism. You charge the highest price you can that won’t reduce demand to an unacceptable level.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The actual meat, the skill of the chef to cook it exactly like you ask, and getting rid of the stress you’d have of ruining a $30 steak at home. Worth it. 

Edit: if you’re going to comment “actually coming a steak is easy” plz don’t, it’s embarrassing, but I’m happy for u.

Anonymous 0 Comments

All of the above really.

They are likely getting better beef, fresh, not frozen. Their cooks are likely better trained and not some teenager or early 20something stoner. Their staff is going to be paid better than some chain restaurant.

Anonymous 0 Comments

All of that -?

I cook a lot of steak. Ribeye to be specific. I don’t even bother with strip or T-bone. I go straight for the gold. I am meticulous in how I season it, and I use a thermometer instead of guessing. 135°F all day long. Sometimes I’ll even make a garlic butter topper, or sautéed mushrooms to pile on top.

It’s good, but still not as good as a real steakhouse 🤷‍♀️

Now add the overhead. Cost of the building, raw goods, insurance, utilities, employee pay and any health benefits, and of course some profit.

Anonymous 0 Comments

As everyone else has said, ingredients, the quality of said ingredients, the labor, the skill of said labor, overhead like rent/utilities/cleaning/maintenance, and finally, profit.

For example, at a fancy steak house, you’re more likely to get a USDA Prime rated steak. Most grocery stores only sell the next level down – USDA Choice. Thus, it’s a superior quality cut of meat which means it has a higher price point. Also consider the skill of the staff. They’re generally not going to bring in a head chef fresh out of culinary school to build a menu, but will want someone with experience. That experience means they can command a higher salary which translates into higher menu prices.

Generally, the adage of “you get what you pay for” will apply. And if a restaurant starts to cut corners and go for the cheaper cuts, the less experienced staff, the lower quality cleaning services, the reviews and resulting business will reflect that change over time.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You are paying for the “fancy” of it all. Obviously.

You can get a quality steak for well under half that cost. And well prepared too! That’s not what you are paying for.

You are paying for the overhead of the fancy restaurant in the fancy location, you are paying for the service/experience, and you are literally just paying for the “status symbol” of being able to eat at an “exclusive/expensive spot”

If that doesn’t sound good to you, don’t go! If that does… go! Some people get off on status symbols. It’s the same with cars, watches, clothing, certain zipcodes/neighborhoods/buildings, etc.

If you don’t get off on status symbols and clout, then skip the expensive restaurant. Get a solid steak from a nice butcher and cook it yourself at home for 1/4th the price! Or go to a nice restaurant for 1/2 the price. But if you want to get that res at Dorsia, you’ll have to pay for that status symbol.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The real answer, aside from the actual meal, is getting to enjoy it in a setting that excludes people. No-one will stink of weed, there won’t be babies crying, no old men listening to radios, no 20 person birthday parties being rude and unruly. and on and on. You go casual dining, you get all of that.