15 Chapter 15 Calculating Accounts
Translator: 549690339
Shopkeeper He stared at Qiao Xiaomai’s callused fingers without uttering a word of protest. Instead, he stroked his beard, took out his abacus, and started calculating Xiaomai’s account.

“As for this stir-fried cold jelly, I think we should set the price at five Wen per serving. Miss, you’re asking for fifty taels. One tael is a thousand Wen, so fifty taels would be fifty thousand Wen. If each serving costs five Wen, we would need to sell ten thousand servings to make fifty thousand Wen.”

“Taking all the miscellaneous costs into account, I estimate we’d need to sell twenty thousand servings to make fifty taels.”

After the sound of the abacus beads clicking ended, Shopkeeper He raised his head, showing a troubled look on his face. “Miss, we’re almost at the end of spring now. Every household’s stores of sweet potatoes aren’t sufficient. It’s going to be tough to earn those fifty taels back.”

Qiao Xiaomai, with her clear peach-blossom eyes, replied, “But there’s also the noodles. If we split the fifty-thousand goal between noodles and jelly, each would need to sell ten thousand servings. Spread that across the twenty-plus branches of Extreme Flavor Restaurant, each would only need to sell a little over five hundred servings.”

“Five hundred servings… considering the business of Extreme Flavor, it could be done in just one or two months.”

“Shopkeeper, in just one or two months we could gain a recipe that will bring in money indefinitely. It’s an important investment. If my family weren’t in urgent need of silver, I wouldn’t dream of letting it go.”

Shopkeeper He stared at Xiaomai’s expressive face and was momentarily stunned. Then, he burst out laughing.

He had deliberately inflated the numbers to highlight the difficulty of profit, intending to lower the price.

However, Xiaomai had managed to reduce his lofty fifty-thousand figure to just a month or two. Interesting, she was interesting.

“Miss, let’s settle on fifty taels then,” said Shopkeeper He.

At his words, Xiaomai felt her heart finally drop. But seeing the smile on Shopkeeper He’s face, she couldn’t help feeling vexed again. Had she asked for too little?

Recouping fifty taels in just one or two months felt like too much of a bargain and she was indeed losing out.

Noticing her disgruntled look, Shopkeeper He stroked his beard again and said, “Miss, by the time I spread the news to the other branches, we’ll probably have run out of sweet potatoes. If we want to make a profit, we’ll have to wait until winter after the sweet potato harvest.”

“Throughout this time, we have to ensure the recipe doesn’t leak out. Plus, there are all the costs of ingredients and labor. Trust me, earning money is not that easy.”

Listenting to his words, Xiaomai showed a shy smile.

For a restaurant chain with over twenty branches nationwide, how could earning fifty taels be difficult? His words were nothing but nonsense and held no convincing power at all.

However, if she were to set up her own stall, who knows when she would make fifty taels? Considering her family’s poverty back home and the spring tax due in a month, her frustration lessened somewhat.

On thinking it through, she realized that she could also make tofu. And with the money, they could settle the urgent matters at hand, hence the fifty taels would suffice as spring tax and startup capital. All good.

“Let’s draft a contract. It should state you won’t resell this recipe on how to make starch cold jelly noodles to anyone else, and you also can’t sell the food for profit.”

“Of course, I will only make it for my family,” Xiaomai agreed without objection, then added after a moment, “I might give some to my neighbors to try.”

“As long as you are not doing it for commercial profit and on a large scale, that’s fine,” nodded Shopkeeper He in understanding. “We’ll get Tong Sanlang, who is literate. He can witness this.”

“Sure,” Xiaomai promptly agreed.

As the original owner could not read, she would need Tong Sanlang, the grandson of the Village Chief, to review this contract.

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