How to use standard recipe format to control food cost?

This post is part of the series on 31 days to better Food Cost in your Restaurant.

In this series, we will deep dive into the steps to ensure that we save food cost in your restaurant and improve profitability.

What are Standard Recipes?

Standard recipes are the corner stone of your culinary operation. They are details about the recipe that you have in your kitchen.

The standard recipe cost sheet contains information on what all goes into the recipe and also what is the cost of the final dish.

How to use standard recipe format to control food cost?

Once you prepare your standard recipe, you will have an understanding on what is your potential cost for the menu.

The potential cost gives you the theoretical cost that you should get for your restaurant.

Possible reasons for food cost deviation

Mix Change:

While you make your dish, some dishes will have a higher food cost % and some lower. Your potential cost is calcualted based on the assumption of 1 portion sold of every dish in the menu.

But in reality, that is not the case and if you sell more of your high cost item then your food cost will vary


One big reason of the variance can be the wastage. While calculating food cost, you assume the price of the ingredients based on the yield test you would have done.

In daily operations, if your wastage is more or you do not get the correct yield, your food cost can vary.

Wastage has to be controlled diligently if you wish to get the food cost in control


Some times you simply throw food out because it is old and you have not been able to sell it. Spoilage also affects your food cost.

Before I end this post, I would like to reiterate the importance of the Standard recipe costing.

While it is cumbersome to do, if your idea is to control food cost, you should surely have the standard recipes and cost available for your restaurant.

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