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Restaurant Costing


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This a project to help someone who owns a restaurant precisely cost his menus. You create a database of the items on the menus giving the precise amounts of each ingredient, the labour and the amount of electricity used.

You create a database of the bulk ingredients, such a case of canned peas, an hour of chef labour, a kilowatt of electricty and their current prices. You track how many grams, ccs, cups, seconds of blender time etc., minutes of stovetop time, each bulk item represents so its price can be converted to recipe costs.

You can then calculate the precise cost today of each menu item. When the cost of a case of canned peas or electcity changes, you change that entry and recompute the costs of all the menu items, apply the markup and print new menus.

This information also helps you create new menu items that don’t cost much to make. It automatically rewards customers for buying items in season.

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