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 & Recipe Template in the tutorial below is available to all Paid Subscribers
(get membership info)

Note: Microsoft Excel Required (not included)



To Change Currency

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

To Change Units of Measure to Metric

Changing the units of measure is easy. Go to the “Inventory” tab. You will notice that there are multiple columns for “Unit” and “Price”. Simply add your item in the “Item” column, and then type in the units of measure that you want to use. Start with the largest unit first and do the math for each subsequent smaller unit of measure for that specific item.
For example: Mushrooms Porcini Dried, Case $175.00, Kg $35.00, G $1.25

For the recipes simply enter the unit of measure you want to use.

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 (note: no longer free). 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 (note: no longer 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.


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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.


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


Oh, thank you!!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID


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… Read more »

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

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

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.

rhod uy

HI Chef!

Just came across of your page. Thank you for the template. This will help us a lot in our small restaurant here in the Philippines.

If you don’t mind sharing the file of DiNunno, I would love to check and try that out.

Appreciate your help and generosity.

Thank you so much from the Philippines!

email: [email protected]

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.

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 [email protected]

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.


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

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.

Matt Black

Thanks Chef David It 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… Read more »

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


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 [email protected] thank you for ur great suppourt


i did not get proper amount


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?

Ajit Singh

Thanks Man for the feedback.


Hi David,
I cannot get this to download


You are absolutely great. Thanks for helping other people with your knowledge and patience!! And also, your good will…

The Jude

Chef David – THANK YOU
Your generosity of nature and restaurant savvy has helped us so much in using your software.

Thank you so much for taking the time and having the heart to do what you have done by offering your software for us to use. You have enabled people to better run their businesses, keep an eye on their costs and become better owners, managers and chefs.

Thank you Chef David.


Hi David, when I add an inventory item, and then sort it, the cell that I linked it to originally in the recipe does not move with the sort and my costs are off. Is there a function missing, or can I not sort the inventory once I linked ingredients to recipes?


When I attempt to link from the inventory tab to a recipe it does not link? I press = and go to the inventory and select the box with the correct formula and when i go back to the recipe I am working with it is only selecting from that recipe? =Chicken!H12 It should read =Inventory!H12 but for whatever reason it will not do this?


Good job

Michael Purcell

I have the program for Inventory matched up with menus but the extension does not work with my inventory, I put in the = sign then click onto the space on the inventory, it gets highlighted, and gets added into the area but nothing calculates across. What am I missing or is there another down load to add to the program?


Dear Chef Buchanan, this format template is calculated wrongly, the formula used in the EP$ Column H, please could you fix it.


thank you chef this is exactly what i was looking for


where the download for this file im a pay member but for some reason when i click download takes me to another page where no download happened


Hi I need help with my assignment please help

Gregory Spirito

I get s runtime error 9 when trying to add blank forms
If you could help

Kyle Davis


Denise von Wiecki

Hello, I am trying to download the excel files and all of them download as PDF. I have the corporate membership could you please assist.
Thank you

Denise von Wiecki

I have the corporate subscription and have been trying to down load excel recipe template with inventory but instead of excel it goes to a PDF file. can you assist me with downloading the excel files.
Is there a module available for pricing out Buffet meals?
Thank you in advance
[email protected]

Paul Kronos

Try using the The Book of Yields: Accuracy in Food Costing and Purchasing 8th Edition
by Francis T. Lynch ( )
Saw this same procedure offered for free back in the 90’s on the Cyberchefs Electronic Union web site, minus the video. Video is a big improvement

Asit Ray

May I have a copy of this template to link recipes with inventory.
Kindest Regards
Asit Ray
M +919899024006


Hi, I am trying to download this file and is the reason why I subscribed. Whenever I try to open the sheet it says: “Operation did not complete successfully because the file contains a virus or potentially unwanted software.” I have no problem opening other files except this one. I have tried downloading multiple times and opening as well to no avail. Hope you can help me on this

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