Do you run a restaurant and you want to know the advantages & disadvantages of using recipe costing software programs? If YES, i advice your read on. As one of the most lucrative and largest industries in the United States, the food service industry can be very challenging in terms of proper budgeting, spending, and saving money.

With a good number of restaurants popping up all over the country, more especially in urban populated areas, food costing and management has become a necessity for anyone looking to succeed. Whether you are just out of college or a veteran in the food service industry, managing a food service or restaurant is never an easy task to do.

It takes time and proper management to achieve success while there are many other aspects to consider like making proper budgeting for food. Most restaurant owners in the United States tend to overlook this notion of recipe costing. But, have it in mind that if you fail to budget, your restaurant is most likely to fail.

You will also have to consider and note the various ways to save money where you can, reduce waste and have more efficient workflows. That is where recipe costing software comes in the play. Recipe costing software is a must – have tool for restaurant managers, as it helps to make sure you don’t overspend and monitor ingredients costs effectively.

Note that to calculate the food cost, you are expected to know the cost of each ingredient you are using as well as how much of each ingredient you will need for the dish you are creating. Also note that putting together the whole cost of a menu requires you to know the cost of the ingredients as well as how long the item takes to both prepare and cook.

Howbeit, recipe costing software enables users to use an ingredient cost database to calculate the cost of the ingredient used in the recipe and determine the total recipe costing. It then allows users to list all ingredient costs available in the ingredient price database and add suppliers to the system for visibility.

According to experts, using this software as the food service provider can help you calculate the cost of all of your recipes, also helping to make sure that you are selling each item for the right price. This will agreeably help be crucial you and your staff gain a better understanding of profit margins and assist in planning for the future.

Advantages of Recipe Costing Software Programs

Recipe costing offers so many advantages to food service providers especially when done diligently and regularly. It can be daunting but is certainly worth it.

1. Saves Time

Just like any other automated system, recipe costing software helps to save time as compared to the manual one. Immediately the system automated then there is a great deal of time that saves. And the saved time can, in turn, utilized for accomplishing other tasks.

2. Increases Efficiency

With the help of a recipe costing software, food costing and inventory management becomes easier and understandable. It also helps to increase the overall efficiency of the organization. With the help of the software, many tasks perform automatically like a collection of data, creation of records, conducting calculations, etc.

3. Let’s you Start on the Right Foot

Using recipe costing software will get any food business started on the right foot, with accurate numbers, making the math of food costing so much easier. With a very good app and with all the categories set up properly, you should have no problem filtering out all the non – food and non – recipe items, leaving only the edible ones and things that go on the plate.

Once the recipes are already set up in your app, the recipe costing software has less work to do, which means faster results. Win – win! One of the benefits is that you’ll only need to enter ingredients once. Anytime you need to use the same thing (like salt, or lemon slices), you can just copy and paste it over to the next recipe. That alone saves hours of research and work.

4. Integration With Accounting

Most Recipe costing software programs integrate with accounting software to track cash flow. This makes the process of transferring inventory costs and assets between programs seamless and reduces the need for additional bookkeeping costs. Financial statements are more easily generated with shared data between inventory and bookkeeping.

5. Cloud Storage Means Accessible Logs Forever

With in – office space at a premium, you can’t afford to waste precious room storing boxes and file cabinets full of old food costing reports. Also, you wouldn’t want to lose them and start searching for them in the near future. But with a recipe costing software, as opposed to a manual method, you can filter your search by date, time, item type, and menu item, just to name a few.

It offers you instant answers at your fingertips and no extra costs for storing old files. You can also download your reports to store on backup drives, if you want, but cloud storage is safe and secure, and you can access it anywhere. Note that this is especially helpful if you’re already at the butcher’s shop and you think he is trying to charge you more than last time. A tap and swipe, and you’ve got your old reports. It is a great bargaining tool!

6. Makes Calculations easier

Agreeably, plus and minus isn’t any complicated, but doing the same thing over and thin for every item on your menu, once a month or even twice can make the task very challenging. After a while, the numbers start to blur together, and that is when mistakes happen. With good recipe costing software, you will be able to handle your entire math with ease and in an instant.

You can even use the app to try out different scenarios. For instance, since you already know you pay $3 per gallon of milk, wouldn’t it be nice to know what your per meal costs would be if you could find milk for $2.60 a gallon? Recipe costing apps let you play with numbers and try out new situations, all in seconds and without costing you a penny.

7. Data Security

Note that since the user rights for this software can be restricted, the authorized person / manager can grant suitable / limited rights to the other employees or the subordinates while accessing the data. With the grant of partial rights, there is no fear of data leakage or the data misplaced.

Disadvantages of Recipe Costing Software Programs

Although the a recipe costing software renders a good number of advantages to the business, along with the positive points there are few negative points as well.

a. Cost

Indeed recipe costing software is beneficial in many aspects, but the very good ones available in the market come at a very high cost. Agreeably, the software offers such great features and makes the entire business a lot better and efficient; all this comes at a cost. Bigger restaurants can cover up the cost or the one time investment in some time but in the case of small or medium – sized businesses, it is at times not feasible to maintain such software.

b. Complexity

Also, the use of recipe costing software makes handling inventory quite easy but learning how to operate it can be quite challenging. Special training sessions and manuals should be adhered to, to successfully operate the software.

In addition, learning the ropes and how to operate the software can be lengthy, cumbersome as well as complex. But once successfully installed and training completed, it can prove to be a blessing for the business and it helps a great deal in the smooth operation.

c. System Crash

Another problem with recipe costing software, just like any computerized system, is the potential for a system crash. Note that a corrupt hard drive, power outages and other technical issues can result in the loss of needed data. Have it in mind that businesses are interrupted when they are unable to access data they need. Business owners are always advised to back up data regularly to protect against data loss.

d. Malicious Hacks

In this modern era, hackers look for any way to get company or consumer information. Recipe costing software connected to cloud storage or accounting software is a valuable resource to hack into in search of potential financial information or personal details of owners, vendors or clients. Updating firewalls and anti – virus software can mitigate this potential issue.

4 Best Recipe Costing Software Programs in the United States

Recipe costing software is a must – have tool for restaurant managers, as it ensures you don’t overspend and monitor ingredients costs effectively.

i. Ratatool

Ratatool is best known as a unique online software developed and designed for restaurant owners and catering businesses to organize and manage their daily recipe professional forms and analyze their recipe costs. This software is an all in one tool easy to use and specially built to increase productivity and helps you gain profitability.

It helps to simplify your day to day recipe adjustments based on ingredients availability or your margin objectives. It manages for your recipe forms creation with preparation instructions.

ii. Recipe Costing Software

Recipe Costing Software is a cloud – based solution that helps food businesses with inventory management, cost control, sales data tracking and much more. With this app you can easily cost recipes, sub – recipes, and ingredients whilst including allergy and nutrition information for all ingredients.

In addition, users can view cost breakdowns for individual elements as well as the entire recipe. This software integrates with the USDA database, so users can search for standard nutritional data and print nutrition labels for their recipes.

iii. ChefTec

ChefTec is a top – edge software created by Culinary Software Services and perfectly designed to meet the needs of chefs, owners, and other food business professionals. This app also includes recipe and menu costing, nutritional analysis, inventory control, production, purchasing & ordering, and waste tracking.

ChefTec Ultra is their most powerful software purposefully designed for larger and complex food business operations. It is an ideal product for universities, large hotels, catering halls and conference centres that manage unlimited profit centres. It also gives you the ability to link with QuickBooks, vendors’ ordering systems and POS systems for easy inventory management and food costing.

iv. Recipe Cost Calculator

Recipe Cost Calculator is simple yet smart software that strives to take care of all your recipe costing needs. This software is better known for its simple user interface that helps you with calculating restaurant food costs, bakery food costs, catering costs, ingredient costs, recipe prices, and food costs.

In addition, it lets you add labour and packaging costs in your recipes as well. Nonetheless, the purpose of Recipe Cost Calculator is to save thousands of hours of time spent in recipe costing and improve the profitability of food businesses. A small monthly fee can get you started with this amazing food costing software that can completely transform your business.


By taking the time necessary to go through the process of Recipe costing rather than throwing a menu together without considering these factors, you will boost your long – term revenue and achieve greater success down the road.

However, it is important as a food service provider to remain adaptable and flexible as well since the restaurant industry is constantly evolving. This is true especially when it pertains to the price of ingredients and having to adjust what you are offering on your menu. It’s important to be aware of these factors and to take advantage of ingredients that may fall in price.