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Jimmy P
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Default Beef prices & Food costs

Here's a scenario many restaurant operators are no doubt facing:

I operate an Italian restaurant on the East Coast. The recent and
dramatic rise in beef prices has caused my food costs to also
increase. Now I'm feeling pressure from the higher-ups in my company
questioning why my food costs are going up (things are not out of
control - we are .16% above our budget in that area). When informing
them that part of the increase is due to escalating beef prices, they
responded that it was no excuse and that I should find other items on
the menu to emphasize. My menu items and prices are fixed by our
parent company and cannot be changed - that includes ingredients,
portion sizes, etc.

So, 2 questions:

1) Am I crazy in connecting the rise of beef prices to my food costs?
I don't think so.

2) What ways would you suggest to bring my costs down? In my opinion,
if someone heads out to dine and wants a steak, they're going to have
a steak.

Any input from anyone else in this situation would be greatly