Restaurant Math

Restaurant Math
Submitted by: Whitney Ward

School:  John Rolfe Middle School

Summary: Students, collaborating with a partner, use online versions of local restaurant menus to research  a meal since they are taking a friend out for his or her birthday. Without the use of a calculator, the students total the cost of the entire meal, since they are paying for their friend too. They must calculate tax on the total of the meal. After adding the price of tax to their meal, they then determine the tip that needs to be left to their server if they plan to tip 20%.  The students determine their total cost for the meal including tax and tip.  They give the waiter a $100 bill and must determine their change in dollars and cents. The students also cite the website used to find the necessary information used in this activity.

 TIPC Ratings

Developing: Students searched using teacher-provided sites and chose the restaurant based on price and selection of entrees. They cited their source and used the gathered information to plan the meal and calculate the total cost including tax and tip.

Developing: Students worked with a partner of their choosing and decided together which restaurant to select for their hypothetical meal. They each chose entrees, drinks, and deserts but had to communicate and compromise to make sure their total bill stayed within the predetermined budget. They checked each other’s math work and submitted one collaborative product.

Approaching: The students solved an authentic problem–how to satisfy their need for a delicious meal to celebrate a special occassion while staying within budget constraints. They had to calculate tip and tax and check to make sure they received the correct amount of change. There were many elements of student choice–they picked the restaurant after researching several options and selected their preferred menu items.

Developing: The students completed a PDF form as their guide for the Restaurant Math project. They were able to choose their restaurant and menu items, so each student product was unique and used original combinations of food items. If the students had followed up by creating their own menu and prices and then had their classmates “eat” at their created restaurants, this would have made the project more innovative and given the students insight into the decisions restauranteers make when deciding on a menu, decor, and other aspects of business entrepreneurship.

Student Artifact

Download Files


  • Lesson Plan with Rubric
  • Blank PDF Guide/Worksheet
  • Completed Student Example of Digital Worksheet

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