Why Batch Recipe Costing Cards Are Critical to Making Money

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Menu, SMART Systems

Want to make more money in your restaurant? Then you must use batch recipe costing cards.

If you don’t use recipe costing cards, please read here why recipe costing cards are so important. But one kind of recipe costing card that restaurants like to skip are batch recipe cards. You can’t create your recipe costing card unless you first create a batch recipe costing card for the items that make up a menu item. For example, let’s say you sell an “All American Burger.” It comes on a roll with cheese, bacon, caramelized onions and toppings. You have to account for these items as well. The batch recipe includes bacon by the slice, caramelized onions, burger setup (two slices of tomato and a single leaf lettuce) and six-ounce portion bag of potato wedges. These are all ingredients, side dishes and product conversions that need to be cost out properly to complete the item recipe costing card.

Let’s break each one of these batch recipes (ingredients/conversions) down:

  • Bacon Layout 13/17 Aplwd is purchased by the 20-pound case for $91.80. But when you cook bacon off and chop it up, it virtually disappears due to a 37.5 percent yield, making the per-usable-ounce price 77 cents. When you cook bacon off by the slice it only gets smaller, but it’s still a slice. Therefore, you would create a batch recipe and determine that you get an average of 215 slices from a 20-pound case, which makes each slice of usable bacon 43 cents a slice. When you put two slices on that burger, you just upped the cost by 86 cents.
  • Caramelized Onion Relish is made a few times a week from scratch. The recipe has yellow onions, Worcestershire sauce, butter, balsamic vinegar, Heinz ketchup and granulated sugar in it, each at a different quantity and cost per ounce. Then after cooking it down you are left with 20 ounces of relish in the pan, you know that it cost you 19 cents per usable ounce because the total recipe cost was $3.86 in raw product.
  • Burger Setup is a batch recipe created to speed up the recipe costing card process. If you know that on every burger you sell, you will always include two slices of tomatoes and a single leaf of lettuce, the burger setup batch recipe speeds up the process by choosing one recipe instead of two for each burger you sell. This would make each setup 27 cents each. Note that to create the burger setup there were two additional batch recipe costing cards created, one for the per slice of tomato after figuring out how many slices you get per tomato and the other per single leaf of lettuce after figuring out how many leaves of lettuce each head gives you on average.
  • Six-ounce portion bags of potato wedges are prepped on a daily basis. You start out with a 30-pound case at $34 a case, but you are using them by the ounce. With very little to no waste, you would get 75 six-ounce bags of potato wedge portions at 45 cents per bag/portion.

You can quickly see that you MUST create batch recipes for EVERY and ALL ingredients, side dishes and sauces you produce in your kitchen first. You MUST include converting any ingredients that you purchase one way (such as by the pound), but use them another way (such as per piece). The ONLY way you can have accurate recipe costing cards is to start by creating your batch recipe costing cards first.

To learn how to make a recipe costing card, including your batch recipe costing cards, download our free special report, Breaking Away from the Insanity: How to easily take control of your restaurant and make more money. Download it here.

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