This Is How Your Overpriced Restaurant Meal Can Get Even More Expensive

It’s no secret that restaurants markup their meals. But could you be doing something to make that pizza or burrito cost even more?

One move that will decrease the value of your meal is by actually not going for the deluxe, loaded or fancier version of a meal, according to research by PlateIQ. Of course you are going to pay more no matter what when you eat out, but researchers showed how you are actually losing out in value on that overpriced meal when you don’t treat yourself. However, in some cases (hint page 4) you may be better off going without the extras.

1. Order this type of burrito for more value

two mexican steak burritos with beer

Opt for the deluxe burrito. | Rez Art/iStock/Getty Images

  • Standard burrito markup: 326%
  • Deluxe burrito markup: 158%

The value differential between a standard ($9) versus a deluxe meat burrito ($11) is considerable, PlateIQ found. You only pay an extra $2 for a deluxe burrito but purchase an item that has far more ingredients than what’s included with the standard version.

Next: Think farm to table is more expensive?

2. The healthier version of this salad is a better deal

cobb salad

The farm-to-table version of this salad is actually the better deal. | Bonchan/iStock/Getty Images

  • Standard Cobb salad markup: 248%
  • Farm to table Cobb salad markup: 130%

You get more bang for your buck when you opt for the farm to table version of a Cobb salad for $18 over the standard version for $12. The farm to table version includes organic chicken and avocado, plus a far longer list of ingredients.

Next: Treat yourself with the burger.

3. Burger markups are close but the extras are still worth it


Go for the upscale burger. | Dizelen/iStock/Getty Images

  • Standard burger markup: 384%
  • Upscale burger markup: 355%

How about an egg and grass-fed beef on a brioche bun? While it costs about $5 more for the upscale burger ($14 versus $9 for standard), the markup is still better with the more expensive version.

Next: Sometimes simpler is better.

4. Hold the meat on the pizza

Hot pizza

Skip the pepperoni. | PhotoAllel/iStock/Getty Images

  • Margherita pizza markup: 580%
  • Meat pizza markup: 636%

More ingredients and two kinds of meat make this meat pizza sample for $14 a higher markup than the standard cheese or margherita pizza for $12. Meat is one of the highest marked up add-ons.

Next: Meat foils the meal again but…

5. Opting for a Denver omelette isn’t a terrible idea


You’ll only pay $1 more for the Denver omelette, but you’ll get more ingredients. | Plateresca/iStock/Getty Images

  • Spinach omelette markup: 471%
  • Denver omelette markup: 566%

While the markup for the Denver version is considerably higher, you’ll only pay about a buck more. The spinach omelette is about $8, whereas the Denver omelette is $9. Plus you get more ingredients going with the Denver so there’s more value.

Next: These are the items that have the highest markups.

6. Add-on markups for meat, cheese, and vegetables are ridiculous


The markup on some extras is more than 500%. | Id Arts/iStock/Getty Images

Restaurants mark up some add-on items like meat, cheese, and even vegetables by up to 525%. Want cheese on that burger? Expect to pay an extra $1.50 for a slice of cheese when the restaurant is only paying a meager $0.29. Pizza with meat is marked up 525% and so are vegetables.

Next: Even toppings will cost you.

7. Even the toppings will get you

Three bowls filled with salsa guacamole and sour cream, close-up

Think twice about ordering extra sour cream. | Jack Hollingsworth/iStock/Getty Images

Adding some guacamole to your burrito is an extra $2 when the restaurant is only paying a little more than $0.50. Sour cream could be an extra $1 when the restaurant only paid $0.19.

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