Inventory and Recipe SynchronizationAs a chef, I enjoy creating new recipes and working on an artistic presentation. I’ll add a little of this, a little of that, some more of the other, taste it, a few more tweaks, and then “Ahhh! That’s it!” But…writing (documenting) the recipe is always so damn tedious! “Was it 1 tsp or 2? How do I calculate the cost of 1 cup fresh corn kernels? How much does 2 Tbl of fresh tarragon cost?” It is an unfortunate yet necessary exercise. Keeping track of how you did these calculations can save you a huge amount of time and frustration the next time you need to use the same ingredient.

If your company doesn’t have a professional software package which synchronizes current pricing to recipes, then using Excel is a good alternative. The Excel Recipe Template with Inventory file below will allow you to add multiple recipes to one Excel workbook and link all the recipes to one master inventory sheet. To update the pricing on all your recipes, simply update the prices on the inventory tab and all your recipes will be updated with current prices. I suggest that you keep the number of recipes per workbook under about 100, otherwise the file can become so large that it may run slowly.

Some knowledge of using Excel, especially Excel formulas, is helpful. But, the video demo should give you the tools to be able to use the file even if you are unfamiliar with Excel. You will however have to have a copy of Microsoft Excel on your computer in order to open and use this file. But if you are searching for professional inventory software then here is some info to get you started.

Here is an index of what is covered in the Excel video below:

  • 1:44 using the recipe templates
  • 2:35 syncing recipe costs to inventory
  • 7:35 editing and working in the inventory list
  • 7:44 adding “quick commands” which make using Excel easier
  • 13:28 renaming tabs
  • 13:39 moving tabs
  • 14:10 creating an index with hyperlinks to the recipes

The Inventory and Recipe Template used in the tutorial below is available for free download,
simply click on the download button.
Note: Microsoft Excel Required (not included)




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To Change Currency

To change the currency from US dollars to any other currency follow this link to a short video.

To Unprotect the sheets:

Although the sheets are protected there is no actual password. On the Excel menu bar go to: Format/Unprotect Sheet and click on “Unprotect Sheet”. Leave it blank and just click. You’ll have to do this with each sheet which is protected.
Or, check-out my short video on how to unprotect an Excel sheet.

Click picture for a larger image.


Comments from before Site Migration

Add a Comment!

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Oct 15, 2015 ]

Hi Carrie – the download button is above the video. But here’s a link in case you can’t find it.

CARRIE []    [ Oct 15, 2015 ]

Hi Chef David,

how doi download this file, i cant find the link on your page.

MAT []    [ Oct 02, 2015 ]

Hi David,

Can you recommend any software for efficient control of food costs?

Thanks for all the information you have provided you should be proud, helping alot of people.

Cheers Mat

HOW []    [ Oct 01, 2015 ]

how to download it

PASSWORD []    [ Sep 25, 2015 ]

Hi chef David what is the password to unprotect the cell it will not let me change the tax of food cost amout with out   the password and the macros ?

CHEF RUSS []    [ Sep 25, 2015 ]

Hey Chef David   great from/ tool  I only have one question ? how do you add a sub recipe price/ cost to  the line recipe ? IE   say you make a tomato sauce  and add it as a recipe to this tool and then later on you  use that same sauce in  a tomato  pasta  recipes ? do you add the tomato sauce to the inventory and  then add it back into the recipes and if so how do you do it  does it update the cost of the sauce in the pasta recipe ?

MARY []    [ Sep 24, 2015 ]

What an incredible resource and how kind of you to offer it for free download. I am using it in the UK where tax is included in all prices, in the info section under tax rate should I just input 0%? Thanks

TIM []    [ Sep 04, 2015 ]

Thanks so much for taking the time to make this and especially to make it available for free. It has simplified my costing process considerably. One question, I would like to change the currency forrmat because the currency i work in (won) is larger by a factor of 1000 so it will not show larger values in the cells, just pound signs. Thank you again.

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Aug 05, 2015 ]

Leon – the download button for the template will only appear if you are a registered (free) user. FYI registered users may receive a few email newsletters a year from us…but nothing more. No BS, no marketing crap.

LEON []    [ Aug 05, 2015 ]

Where can I download this template


DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Jul 02, 2015 ]

Jay – are you having the problem on the “Inventory” tab? Please give me all the details of the item you are costing, including all the math, so I can test it out. Probably best to contact me via email rather than in the comment section: chefs-resources@ msn. com  And if you know how to send a screen shot of the problem that would be helpful…here’s a link if you don’t know how

JAY []    [ Jul, 2015 ]

and it always turned the section green. if that means anything. how do i change the color back?

JAY []    [ Jul 01, 2015 ]

hi for some reason the forth column for the unit and price (white) section doesn’t add up correctly. the equation is right but once i press enter my total comes out to 1. please tell me how to fix this. thank you!

KRISTIN []    [ Jun 26, 2015 ]

Thank you so much for the quick response.  I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to be breaking any rules by doing so!  Thanks for all of your wonderful resources 🙂

 DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Jun 25, 2015 ]

Kristin – no worries! You can use it for your restaurant. You just can’t sell the template to anyone.

KRISTIN []    [ Jun 25, 2015 ]

Hello.  I just wanted to say that all of your resources are wonderful.  I find this system much easier to use then the system we are currently using in my kitchen.  My question is….. am I allowed to your system in my kitchen?  The reason I am asking is because at the bottom of the recipe sheets there is a disclaimer that says “This file can not be used or sold as a means of generating revenue without prior permission in writing”.  Since my kitchen does generate revenue, I am not sure if I am allowed to use it.  If you could let me know it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for the wonderful and very helpful information on your website.


  • brittany

    For your costing spread sheet I can not seem to get it to actual cost out a recipe. I have followed your youtube video to the T and it still isn’t working. AP$/UNIT always comes back 0

    • Not sure what the issue is I just downloaded it and tried some numbers and it worked ok. If you use the contact us form (link is in the footer at the bottom right) you can send me your email. Then I can contact you and have you send me the template with some numbers in it so I can see what exactly is wrong. Should be a very easy fix.

  • Kathleen

    i’m not a chef, but i’m volunteering my services/ time to help a local vegan chef/cafe owner streamline some processes to help her be more profitable. I’ve been trying to download your recipe costing template with the inventory, but cannot find the download button and the links just take me back to the page with the video, and no way to download. I have registered on this site, and i’ve been able to download sever other templates (thank you for that!). Would greatly appreciate any direction. thank you! Kathleen

    • @disqus_Kbdcsg4E0r:disqus Sorry, a glitch removed the download button. I have put it back in place so you should be able to download now.

      • Kathleen

        Oh, thank you!!

        Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  • Kathleen

    sorry – disregard. i found it on your fb page.

  • Chris DiNunno

    Nice presentation. I used what I learned from you as a basis for my
    own. I learned a few new things, I hope you don’t mind if I pass them
    on and you can use them if you like. My inventory list has quite a few
    columns including UPC CODE so I’m sure I’m getting the right product
    from the company; the SUPPLIER so I can print ORDER SHEETS from a new
    tab and list only “Sysco” or “USFoods”, etc.; CATEGORY so I can sort by
    food type (seafood, meat, etc., regardless of storage location) – I also
    have a tab marked “Lookup Lists” where I keep different lists like:
    [CATEGORY: Seafood, Meat, Produce, Canned & Dry… and STORAGE
    LOCATION: Cooler, Walk-In, Freezer, Dry Storage, Bar], and connect them
    using “Data Validation”/ “List” under the “Data” tab at the top, so that
    when you click on a cell in that row, you can just pick what you want.
    I have PACK, SIZE and UNIT columns (units are on a lookup list: oz.,
    lb, tsp…) “2 5 lb. Frog Legs”. Then I divide my columns into
    BRK1a, BRK1b, CST1, PER1, BRK2a, BRK2b, CST2, PER2 etc., and I’ll put my
    divisors under the BRK columns (if it’s $30 per case of product packed
    2×10 lbs., the line would read: $30.00 2 10 $1.50 lb.) If I needed
    to further break it down, I would use additional columns set up the
    same way: 1 16 .09 oz.) This way you can see what you are dividing
    by instead of it hiding in a formula so a oz. really is dividing a pound
    by 16. Next I have a YIELD tab where I’ve taken all the product and
    gotten a finished price from it and then calculated the percentage:
    Green Peppers 72%, Linguine 225%, Filet from a whole tenderloin, 36%,
    then I link the percentage to the list so if you add the cost of celery
    into a recipe, the yield has already been applied to the cost, just
    click on cost per oz. and it adds it to your recipe. I then have PREP
    RECIPES, everything from ALFREDO SAUCE to RICE and MUSHROOM GRAVY. Each
    of these recipes has it’s own tab. They also are listed on the YIELD
    sheet: cost per oz. and yield. These recipes do not have a food cost
    calculation because they are part of a MENU ITEM RECIPE. The MENU ITEM
    RECIPEs have food costs. Then, like your INDEX, I have a PICK tab,
    which is a simplified version of the MAIN INVENTORY, but it only
    displays the item name and the breakdown costs and is setup in food
    categories. If you want to make Shrimp Alfredo with Mushrooms, you’d go
    to “Seafood” and pick shrimp by the piece, go to “Prep Recipes” and
    pick Alfredo sauce by the ounce, go to “Produce” and pick mushrooms. I
    also figured out how you use basic macros so that when I change a price,
    the next column over automatically puts today’s date in. I’m still
    trying to figure out how to incorporate a few more things, like linking
    it to Access so I can more easily update Order Sheets with an Access
    Report. Everything in the entire workbook is linked so that if the
    price of parmesan cheese changes, the price of the Alfredo Prep recipe
    changes and the cost of Shrimp Alfredo changes. I have a list of all
    the Prep Recipes with the name and the cost and a list of Menu Items
    that have name, cost, food cost and $ contribution. Then I sort these
    hi to lo in food cost and $ contribution. Attach them to sales and we
    can see which menu items are stars: big sellers with low food cost; and
    which items are dogs: low sellers with high food cost. Hope it helps as
    much as you’ve helped me. Thanks!

    • Awesome work @chrisdinunno:disqus! Sounds very detailed…very useful. I’d love to see your actual form if you wouldn’t mind sharing it. My email is chefs-resources @ msn dot com

    • Michael Hoyt

      @chrisdinunno:disqus Fascinated by your changes. If you are willing to share, I would love to see the spreadsheets. caterers@gmail dot com Thanks for considering my request

      • @disqus_j73MhrfBWc:disqus I forwarded the Excel sheet which @Chris DiNunno emailed to me.

      • Neil Bell-Irving

        Fascinated by your changes as well @chrisdinunno:disqus . If you’re willing to share the form again, I would greatly appreciate learning from your improvements. My email is nbellirv@gmail dot com. Thanks for considering it.

    • Matt Black

      Hi Chris,
      I’m interested in the amendments that you’ve made to Chef David’s workbook is there any chance I could have a copy to try and cherry-pick the bits I need. Like you I have inventorized as products rather than areas and I just need a look-up sheet to speed up the search process, not that I’m not fully impressed by the other amendments that you have made, just that I don’t fully understand all the functionality. Very best wishes
      Matt Black

  • Wil Ng

    Hi David, just wanna say the biggest THANK YOU.. This spreadsheet has helped me, and surely others too, immensely keeping all costing organized and taken off a portion of the behind-the-scenes hard works. God bless you for what you do and we are all appreciative for your hard efforts! Keep up the great work! 🙂

    • Matt Black

      I agree wholeheartedly.

  • John Muyargas

    i dont understand what i have done but it wont let me create a new recipe template. it errors. ‘cannot run macro….macro may not be available with this workbook or macros may be disabled.

  • Ana Espinal

    Hi David, I do cakes, and I would like to change the amount of number of portions since cakes can be sell using a higher number of portions than 24. I might be misunderstanding. What number of portions is referring to? Can you help me out on this? and, if I am misunderstanding, can you explain to me? Thanks in advance.

    • 24 is just an example number which you can change. You should definitely put the actual number of portions which your recipe will yield.

      • Ana Espinal

        Thanks sooooo much David. I would like you to know that I do love the template. Has been a huge blessing for me keeping everything organized and much more. Thanks again, and God continue blessing you in abundance!!!

  • Fadi Suleiman

    Hi All,

    I have a question in terms of setting up an inventory sheet. Say I have a batch of sauce that requires 7 ingredients. What I want to create is a sheet when I do inventory and I am counting my line. If I see there is a full batch and I enter 1, I want it to pull from the ingredients that are in the sauce. How do I do that?

    If anyone can help that would amazing. My email is

    • Matt Black

      That will be from your recipe sheet. I don’t see why you would want to deconstruct the sauce to count the ingredients. As a recipe it is no longer individual items but a unique product with a new value. Maybe I have misunderstood the question.

  • Leonard

    Good day Chef David
    I placed everything in the inventory but now when i want to get the cost from inventory by going =then the line its not coming over to the recipe costing sheet. did i would something wrong plus I get a Macros disable at the top too. please help

    • Hi @disqus_B7jmcr2PsD:disqus,
      Send me the form you have as an attachment and I’ll take a look at it david@ (no space between @ and chefs-resources). You will need to Enable Macros to use some of the features of the file, but I don’t think it will affect what you are currently having an issue with.

  • Matt Black

    Hello Chef David.
    So many thanks for making this resource available for us, you are a true star. I am a European using kilos and grams, is it possible to change the formulas in the recipe sheets to accommodate this? I break the everything down to 100g on the inventory sheet, should I break things down to 1g with lots of decimal places or will I be able to use a formula that works with 100gs?
    Very best wishes.
    ps if you ever visit the Cotswolds there’s a cup of tea and slice of cake waiting for youy.

    • Would love to stop by for tea & cake! Perhaps someday that will work out.
      The units of measure on this sheet are easy to change. Simply type in the unit which you want to use. The formulas should work regardless of the unit of measure. But, on the Inventory sheet you will have to enter the formula for each unit of measure you choose. The video tutorial for this starts at about time mark 10:32.

      Formulas in Excel are just basic math. If you have a case of eggs w/ 15 dozen eggs in the case and the cost is $20 then $20/15 dozen = $1.33 per dozen / 12 each = $0.11 each.
      In Excel you start every formula with =
      Then click on the cells with the correct number in it (=$20/15)

    • Matt Black

      Chef David

      was a long long day yesterday and I realised almost as soon as I sent the email
      that I was being blonde. I have all weights set up in kilos in the inventory (apart from saffron
      which made my eyes water when I worked it out) so I assume
      that I just put the quantity as .250 for 250g or .010 for 10g in the recipe
      sheets. I am still working to input everything on the inventory section so will be
      trying out the recipe sheet tomorrow. Fingers crossed it’ll work nicely.

      Chris DiNunno posted about some additions and alterations he’s made to the workbook,
      I’m particularly interested in the lookup lists as I’ve inventorized everything
      as products rather than areas, it’ll be much better to have a shortcut to a set
      of products rather than scrolling through the whole inventory for a single
      item. Is there any of it that you will incorporate into a new version or are
      you done with it?

      I also like the idea of a stock-take sheet linked to the inventory to help when
      we complete our monthly food cost analysis. We are a very small restaurant so
      the more compact and the less complicated all these things are the better for

      Keep up the good work Chef. I salute you.
      if you are ever over here pop in for some cake and tea.

      Get Outlook for iOS

  • Matt Black

    hello Chef David
    would it be possible to share Chris DiNunnos excel sheets with me as I am interested in show he has organised his look-up sheets and recipe basics sheets.
    best wishes
    Matt Black

  • bikram

    hi chef how can i make costing with this country kuwait dinner is it possible please give me the idea for this my email id is thank you for ur great suppourt

  • bikram

    hi chef thank you for ur great suppourt but chef i did not get the result proper or i didnt got rite i got some confuced

  • Ajit Singh

    Kindly recommend me any software for INVENTORY and efficient control of food costs?

    • The Excel sheet on this page is a free way to manage inventory. Other software packages include ChefTec and Red Rock but their are many others. I’ve heard good things about ChefTec but haven’t used it. Red Rock works but it’s cumbersome.

      • Ajit Singh

        Thanks Man for the feedback.

  • Pete

    Hi David,
    I cannot get this to download