Dragon_Fish.jpgThere is a huge array of information associated with food cost control, so much so that managing your food cost can be as elusive and mysterious as the legendary Dragon Fish. To get a handle on the complexity of the challenge facing chefs, read the Forty Thieves of Foodcost article for a primer on the various issues related to managing your operation’s culinary bottom line. To help in the fight of controlling your food budget Chefs-Resources provides a number of food cost tools including free prep worksheets, formulas, explanations of applied food cost tools/valuations, and so on.  Be sure to check out the free Declining Balance Worksheet, our explanation of Inventory Turns, and the very useful Excel Food Cost Calculation File which is available for free download.

Month End Inventory and Food Cost

Managing your food cost also has a lot to do with managing your end of month inventory.  Do you count items by the sheet-to-shelf or by the shelf-to-sheet method?  Which one is better?  We explain the difference in Taking Inventory.

Are all of your food credits and transfers entered correctly?  Do you track them?

Do you verify the information on your month end inventory balance sheet?  This is extremely important if you want to be on top of your game in controlling your month end inventory accuracy.

Do you leave your food cost fate in the hands of the accounting department?  Or do you verify their numbers (never trust someone else with your fate, always know your numbers).  Use the Food Cost Calculation File (free download) to track all of your month end numbers and verify the numbers which accounting has.

Food Cost Calculation

Month End Food Cost Calculator
The inventory food cost tool is an Excel sheet which will calculate your period end inventory. End of period (usually either weekly or monthly) Food Cost Calculation is as follows:

(Beginning Food Inventory + Purchases + Transfers In – Transfers Out – Credits – Ending Food Inventory) / Sales


  • Beginning Food Inventory is the value of the food you had at the beginning of the period, which generally is also your ending inventory for the previous period.
  • Purchases is new food purchases for this period (do not include paper, chemicals, equipment, etc…only food purchases)
  • Transfers In is for establishments which transfer product from one venue to another, or perhaps from the bar to the kitchen
  • Transfers Out is product transfered to another venue, or perhaps to the bar
  • Credits can be a variety of things including vendor credits for bad/wrong product, marketing credits, rebates, etc
  • Ending Food Inventory is the value of your food inventory at the end of the period
  • Sales is your food sales

Sales may be either Food Sales only -or- Food & Beverage Sales depending upon your operation’s accounting method.

Click to download this free Excel Food Cost Calulator.  Fill in the blue spaces and the math is calculated for you.


Download the Foodcost Calculator for free
Note: Microsoft Excel required (not included)

Download free month end food cost calculator


Comments from before Site Migration

Add a Comment!

RILWAN []    [ Aug 28, 2015 ]

I dont really understand the COG I am quite confused on that

NATHAN STONE []    [ Jun 05, 2015 ]

The download wasn’t working for me. I used a food calculator on this page and it seemed to work fine. Thanks for the help!

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ May 06, 2015 ]

DOMINIKA – I would need more info about it’s context. Ct could be a number of things including: Count, Container, Cost. Can you give more info? What other categories are there to choose from?

DOMINIKA []    [ May 03, 2015 ]

What does Ct mean trying to do food costing

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Mar 23, 2015 ]

Peter – I added further info on this page about how to use the form, including basic descriptions of what the phrases “Beginning Inventory”, “Transfers In” and so on mean. Hope this helps. For an in-depth review of the whole inventory process follow this link which details the entire subject:
Restaurant Inventory Control

PETER []    [ Mar 22, 2015 ]

Could u kindly tell me how to use this inventory food cost calculator. thanks…

ANIRUDH []    [ Mar 18, 2015 ]

This is totally AMAZING!! Thank you very much for sharing this valuable information for FREE!! You are just AWESOME!!!! God Bless and Cheers!

DAVID BUCHANAN    [ Aug 28, 2014 ]

My pleasure to have been of help chefs!

CHEFSCOTT29    [ Aug 26, 2014 ]

Thank you so much for your help with the cost control . I have been out of school for four years and i forgot some of the information and you had it on your web site . Thank you again  ChefScott29 in Missouri

PAUL SMITH III []    [ Jun 16, 2013 ]

THANK YOU ! I was amazed that you provide this information, free of charge. Its good to know cuilinary proffetionals  “real ones” are out there. Your humble thanks Paul Smith III

SOMEGUY []    [ Jun 25, 2012 ]

Great tools…thanks for sharing.


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Nico Skeba

Have you tried https://costbrain.com ? This software does pretty much the same thing for free. Unfortunately I use a Mac so I couldn’t try this out. Has anyone with a mac got this software to work?

Think Revolution

I have tried myself.
The Apple app is not available in non-US markets.
The scan2 invoice feature as I tested it does not import any products whatsoever.


alla of them are geat tools for chefs

Nico Skeba

Seems like this is still great discussion on food cost and has been something I’ve referred back to. Since I last commented (4 years ago!) I’ve created another product to help my restaurant. My Restaurant Curbside Manager combines some of the food costing of my initial product Costbrain with some food costing and curbside management.

Jessica McCauley

I am so glad I found your site. I was dreading making up the needed excel sheets from scratch for my business. I had to start over in another town and this just made my life easier to plug in my product and go. Thank you so much!!!

Jessica McCauley
Cater & Cake.Co

Maria Victoria Lucasan

Very informative and well thought of.

Javier Angeles

Easy tool to keep track the cost as you wish

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