Bob’s Big Burger Trouble: Estimating The Revenue and Profit of Bob’s Burgers

By Hunter Joyner
Apr. 11, 2017

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One of the running jokes throughout Bob’s Burgers is the family’s (really Bob’s) fight to turn the family restaurant into a profitable business. Bob’s employees consist of his three children (Tina, Louise, and Gene) and his lovely wife Linda.

And this is where his problems originate.

It always seems to us like there’s just no way Bob could stay in business. They’ve had how many grand re-openings at this point?

So we set out to determine exactly how painful Bob’s annual revenue would be if it were a real business. And, as it turns out, Bob’s Burgers makes around $6,000 dollars in revenue each month.

That’s being generous and doesn’t account for costs. Imagine trying to live in New Jersey with a crazy high cost of living with 3 children with only ~$4,000 a month in profit.

So follow along as we go on a journey to understand how Bob barely manages to keep his burger joint alive.

The Menu

First things first, what’s Bob selling in his restaurant? And how much does everything cost?

Here’s a look at the chalkboard menu displayed in the first episode of the show, “Human Flesh”:


Bob also offers a special each day. It’s always priced at $5.95.

So, those are the prices and all of the items that Bob’s selling. Now, how many paying customers visit Bob’s Burgers each month?

How We Calculated The # Of Paying Customers Each Month:

We looked at the first season of Bob’s Burgers to figure out the numbers. For the sake of this article, let’s say that one season is equal to one month of real time.

The restaurant has 10 bar stools and four booths (or tables). Each stool accommodates only one person, and each booth can accommodate up to four.

So, the max capacity of Bob’s Burgers is 26 people—another huge problem. They simply can’t seat a ton of customers.

We’ll say that there are 31 days in every month, and twelve months in a year, just to help Bob out here.

Throughout the first thirteen episodes (that’s how many are in the first season) Bob’s children miraculously create three different surges in the restaurant’s business. Three miracles take place.

For the other 28 days, however, business is atrocious.

1. Number Of Paying Customers For 28 Days:

Business is much, much slower for the 28 days that miracles don’t occur—partly because the children are making fart noises come out of a microphone in front of the store.

To calculate the number of paying customers for these 28 days we took into account that Teddy and Mort would show up for one meal a day. That’s two people each day to start off.

While viewing the episodes where those three miracles don’t take place, we gathered that Bob’s receives anywhere from four to ten people for each meal (lunch and dinner).

We’re trying really hard to help Bob out here, so we took the average of those numbers — seven.

So, with seven people attending Bob’s Burgers at lunch plus nine people at dinner (we’re throwing Teddy and Mort in here) that’s a total of 16 people each day, for 28 days out of the month.

2. Number of Paying Customers on Those Three Miracle Days:

We figured out how many customers Bob’s Burgers receives for 28 days out of the month, but what about those three miracle days?

The first of these miracles, or surges, happens when word spreads throughout the city that Bob’s Burgers actually uses human meat from the crematorium located directly beside them.

This rumor comes to fruition thanks to Louise announcing the made up information in front of her class at school one afternoon. Well done Louise.

The rumor hurts business bad. But, at the very end of the episode an “adventure eating club” rolls up to the restaurant and they all want to try the supposed human flesh burgers.

Twenty-six people end up dining at Bob’s Burgers that day thanks to Louise’s foul, yet interesting rumor.

Two more miracles, created by Bob’s lovely children, happen in the first season, and they each generate a packed-out restaurant for Bob.

The family hosts an insane robbery skit in the restaurant for the second miracle, and then they befriend a cow named Moolissa that stands directly outside of their shop for the third miracle.

For each of these outlying miracles, the restaurant is filled with 26 people and there’s generally a line out the door of about five people.

Teddy and Mort are two family friends that seemingly dine at Bob’s every day, so we’ll add them to the number of paying customers Bob’s burgers receives on the three miracle days.

That means that three days out of the month, Bob’s Burgers has 26 paying customers show up plus five people in line and Teddy and Mort. We’ll also say that seven additional customers pop in for whatever meal the surge isn’t happening during.

26 + 5 + 2 + 7 = 40 paying customers for three days out of the month.

3. Total Number Of Paying Customers Each Month:

Three days out of the month Bob’s insane, raucous children actually attract paying customers. Those three days, Bob’s Burgers has 40 paying customers visit the restaurant.

For the other 28 days in the month business is creeping, and almost non existent, with only 16 people showing up throughout the entire day. Poor, poor Bob.

Total paying customers each month= 568

The next question is—what are those customers eating off of the chalkboard menu?

What The Customers Ate:

It’s almost impossible to tell exactly what the customers are eating throughout, but for the most part it looks like cheeseburgers, fries, and a drink dominate the sales.

There are 568 paying customers each month, so let’s say that the majority are getting a cheeseburger, fries, and a drink.

We’ll say the majority equals 300 customers since we’re trying our best to help Bob out.

Using the chalkboard menu, a cheeseburger is $5.50, fries are $2.00, and a drink is $2.00.

That means 300 of the customers are spending a total of $9.50 each.

Louise is usually desecrating the special of the day board, so we’ll say that less people get the special than those that get the cheeseburger, but it’s still way more than the number of people that get a salad.

To aid Bob further, let’s say that everyone who gets a special also gets a beer instead of a soft drink.

Less than the 300 people that got a cheeseburger get a special, but it’s still a large chunk of the 554, so we settled on 200 people getting the special of the day, and one beer.

That’s 200 people spending $5.95 for the special + $4.00 for a beer.

Two hundred people are spending a total of $9.95 each.

That leaves 68 people left, and we’ll say those 68 get a side salad, a side of fries, and a water to drink.

That’s $2.50 for the salad + $2.00 for the fries + a free water. That equals 68 people spending a total of $4.50.

300($9.50) + 200($9.95) + 68($4.50) = $5,146 in revenue each month.

Bob’s Total Annual Revenue:

Bob is in deep shit. His monthly revenue is absolutely horrible at $5,146. No wonder he’s balding and stressing out on the daily.

If the restaurant makes $5,146 each month for a year, his total annual revenue would equal $61,752 before tips are applied.

After adding an additional 15% to the revenue for tips, the final annual revenue would be $71,014 dollars.

What about Bob’s profit?

At the end of the day we concluded that Bob’s Burgers total annual revenue is $71,014.

We won’t calculate the exact restaurant expenditures for Bob’s Burgers, for the sake of keeping this article a readable length, but let’s take a quick look at what a typical restaurant’s expenditures look like according to Forbes:

  • The cost of goods sold (food in this case) usually costs about 25% to 40% of revenues.
  • Payroll is non existent for Bob, seeing as he (illegally) employs his children and his wife, and no one else.
  • Rent is typically around 8% of revenues.
  • Marketing is almost non-existent for Bob’s Burgers, as the children do whatever they choose to try and draw attention to the restaurant, and none of their terrifying methods actually cost anything.
  • There are taxes to consider, but we’ll calculate the profit pre-tax for Bob’s sake.

For Bob’s Burgers:

30% of total revenue for cost of goods = $21,304

8% of total revenue for restaurant rent = $5,681

So to calculate the profit we subtract the total costs (expenditures) from the total revenue. $69,710 – $26,489 = $44,029

That means Bob’s Burgers makes a profit of $44,029…

It’s A Hard Knock Life…For Bob…And His Family

If Bob’s Burgers was a real restaurant, with a total annual revenue of $69,710, and an annual profit of $43,221 each year, it would be hard to get by in his New Jersey location.

He’s looking at something like $20k year in just rent for his apartment. Even feeding a 2D family of five in New Jersey on the remaining $23,000 wouldn’t be easy.

So some final advice to Bob — remember this is purely business — you took a good stab at your dream of delivering burgers to the great people of New Jersey, but it’s time to consider another occupation.

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Hunter Joyner

A graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Earned a BFA majoring in Creative Writing and a minor in English.

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