Did You Forget Something In Your Recipe Costing?
Calculating your plate cost for any given recipe is essential to the profitability and survival of your restaurant. When calculating your recipe cost, you want to be sure to include every food item which goes into the recipe (you’re saying “duh”!) But what about the “free” bread and butter you serve, or maybe the intermezzo, or some other item which every table receives but is not charged for? Where do you put those costs? I usually include it in the cost of the entree, figuring that most people will purchase an entree. Also, what about the cost of the frying oil? It is part of your food cost at the end of the month, but is it worked into the cost of your plates? What I would recommend for the fryer oil is to determine the cost of your average monthly usage of fryer oil and divide that by your average monthly entrees sold. Add that cost to the cost of every entree. Another thing chefs tend to forget is to add the cost of the oil needed for their saute items, or the butter used to toss the veggies in.
The Importance of Calculating EP Cost
Another very important calculation is to use the EP Cost (Edible Portion Cost), not the AP Cost (As Purchased Cost). If you put 4 oz of of asparagus on the plate, does your recipe costing include the cost of the root end which you cut off? It should. The easiest way to do this is to use a yield percentage for each item (see Produce Yields for an example). Obviously, this is even more important with your proteins. For see our list for common seafood yields or our chart specifically for salmon yields.
Recipe Costing Template
The recipe template below is a free download which is a fantastic tool for calculating your plate costs. The download version includes both a blank recipe form as well as a sample one. Thanks to Chef Bill Williams and Cam Zahradnik for their work on this template.
This is an image of the blank template.
Here’s an example of the template in use.
Click on the button to download for free. No pop-ups or other BS. If you have a favorite kitchen form, send it to me for consideration to add to this site for other chefs to use.
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