If you’re running a food business, you already know that tracking your recipes is essential for getting an overview of total expenses. The right data lets you price your menu items appropriately, optimize your recipes, and allocate a more accurate budget.
In this post, we’ll discuss what a good recipe cost template is and the benefits of using one. We’ll also introduce the best templates you should use in 2023.
Table of Contents
What Should a Good Recipe Cost Template Have?
You can add virtually any category to your template, especially when you start with a blank spreadsheet. The following elements are essential when choosing a pre-made food cost sheet:
1. Recipe Yield, Portion Size, & Other Basic Details
Your template should have dedicated fields to enter your recipe’s basic details. For example, it can have a “Recipe name” category and another for measurement units like TBSP, ounces, and pounds.
Ensure that there are also fields for the total recipe yield and portion size. These are essential for calculating the cost per serving. These fields also let you manipulate your recipe accurately when you need to scale up or down.
2. Ingredients List
This is the most important part of a recipe cost template. Aside from letting you list the names of each dish component, find a template with categories for:
- Unit of measurement (e.g., ounces, kilograms)
- Quantity/weight of each ingredient
- Cost per unit
3. Cost Calculation Formulas
The main purpose of a food cost spreadsheet is to get a better overview of your recipe expenses. You can make this easier by using a template with formulas that auto-calculate. Whatever you choose, three calculations should be on your sheet:
- Total cost per ingredient: Multiply the unit cost by the gross quantity that’s needed for each dish component.
- Total cost for the whole recipe: Add the prices of each ingredient (already scaled to the quantity required) to get the expenses for the entire recipe.
- Cost per serving: Divide the total recipe price by the number of servings or portions produced.
Recipe Costing Templates for Google Sheets
Keeping track of all the costs can be tough. Luckily, there are templates available to help streamline the process. Google Sheets is a free online spreadsheet application that can be used to create and manage them.
Here are some of the best recipe cost templates for Google Sheets:
1. Basic Recipe Cost Template
This basic template is a great option for quickly viewing your recipe costs. You only need to enter the essential parts of your recipe, nothing more, nothing less. Some categories include your ingredient list, recipe, quantity, number of servings, and cost per unit.
A summation formula automatically calculates your total cost as you enter your recipe details. This sum is then divided by the number of servings indicated. The resulting value is your cost per serving.
2. Recipe Cost Scaler
It’s common for people to modify their recipes, especially when it comes to scaling ingredients. For instance, many buffet diners and restaurants expand their yield from smaller recipes to produce larger amounts of food (without compromising taste).
In such cases, a recipe cost scaler template comes in handy. This type of spreadsheet helps you scale the quantity and price of your ingredients. It calculates the scaling factor (i.e., how much to multiply your recipe) by dividing your desired number of portions by the original number of servings.
Recipe cost scalers allow for consistency, a crucial factor in ensuring the quality of your dishes. They also help you purchase the necessary amount, therefore reducing waste and controlling excess spending.
3. Menu Cost Planning Template
Forecasting the costs of each dish is necessary for production, tailoring offers according to the current budget, and calculating your future profits.
This menu cost planning template features ten tabs (a recipe can be included inside each one). The tabs work similarly to a basic recipe cost template. After filling them out, a summary of all expenses per dish is provided in the “Menu Cost” sheet. You can also view the serving size and cost per serving of each recipe.
4. Weekly Planned Meal Recipe Cost Template
Meal planning is an essential part of running a food business. Laying out the recipes you’ll use over the next seven days has incredible benefits, from buying ingredients in bulk to knowing which items will “go off” on certain days.
This recipe cost template features seven tabs that correspond to the days of the week. These tabs work similarly to basic recipe cost templates. In this case, each sheet is divided into breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
We included a “Weekly Plan” summary tab that gathers key information (like recipe name and cost) from the other seven sheets. A “Total” cell summarizes the potential costs for all meals.
How to Use Our Basic Recipe Cost Template
If you’ve already made a copy of our template or downloaded it as a food cost calculation Excel spreadsheet, here’s how to use it to track recipe expenses.
- Input the common information of your recipe in the following fields (under Column C):
- Recipe name
- Unit of measurement (pick from the drop-down list included in the cell)
- Total yield
- Expected number of servings
- Enter the dish components that you need under the “Ingredients” field.
- Include the “Quantity” or “Weight” for each ingredient.
- Pick an option from the dropdown lists under “Unit of measurement.”
- Enter the cost of each ingredient under “Unit cost. (e.g., cost per kilo, price per pound).
- View the auto-calculated results in the fields “Total price” and “Total cost per serving” under Column H.
Why Should You Use Our Food Cost Templates?
There are several reasons to use our templates to track your recipe costs, including:
- Controlling your expenses: You can calculate how much each ingredient costs and accurately monitor the cost of a recipe.
- Ensuring consistency: Because you’ll need to indicate each ingredient used in your dish, you’ll ensure that your food tastes the same every time.
- Scaling: Using standard formulas and calculations, our templates can calculate scaling factors (that let you expand or shrink a recipe).
Our templates also come with convenient formatting and features like drop-down lists for common units of measurement as well as automatically calculated functions.
Other Tips to Save Money on Your Recipes
Tracking your recipe costs is one thing. Reducing your expenses is another. Once you determine your recipe expenses using one of our templates, consider applying the following tips to lower them:
Pick the Right Supplier
If you’re buying at retail stores, you likely see prices marked up a few times yearly. A typical supply chain goes from the manufacturer > distributor > retailer > consumer.
If you’re buying in bulk and want to avoid markups, consider buying straight from the manufacturer. Retail stores might be better if other expenses (like shipping and taxes) offset manufacturers’ no-markup prices.
Many suppliers offer lower prices when you purchase products in bulk. Additionally, this also helps you establish a good relationship — and better quotes — with them in the future. Bulk purchases can also reduce your shipping costs (e.g., freight fees, import taxes).
Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices, especially when you’re buying from grocery stores. There’s nothing wrong with being a loyal customer at a certain shop, but visiting other stores does provide you with an opportunity to find lower prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Calculate Labor Costs in a Recipe?
Determine the time an employee took to finish a recipe and multiply it by their hourly rate. For example, it took your cook 30 minutes to prepare a dish. If their rate is $30 per hour, their labor cost would be $15.
Note: This only factors in the raw labor costs of a recipe. It doesn’t include employee benefits, taxes, or similar expenses.
What Is a Good Food Cost Percentage?
Good food cost percentages (FCPs) range from 28% to 35%, but this depends on the level of service your establishment offers. Simple fast-food locations can have FCPs that are lower than 25%. Meanwhile, high-end restaurants may have higher FCPs, ranging from 38% to 40%.
Know the type of food-related business you run, there’s a recipe cost template that can save you time while helping you make informed decisions about profitability. So why not try one of our Google Sheets recipe costing templates today?