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    Three Reasons You Need a Restaurant Recipe Database

    `Stephen Elliott` : Posted on September 13, 2021

    You might want to evoke the feeling of grandma’s dining room in your restaurant, but you’d be hard-pressed to run your kitchen like hers. Gone are the days of the little black book of recipes — more restaurants than ever are using recipe databases to better manage their kitchens, keeping costs, inventory usage, and waste consistent, and making operations more efficient. 

    There are many ways to build a database of recipes: some use spreadsheets, others use specialized software to record and access them. The recipe database serves as a foundational piece of your back-of-house operations, and informs everything from how your chefs cook to how you track expenses. Whatever you choose, there are three main reasons you should implement a recipe database.

    Keep orders and the experience consistent

    One of the most important reasons to keep a restaurant recipe database is to create a uniform experience. Consistent recipes lead to consistent outcomes, which are crucial for building customer loyalty and those precious Yelp reviews. Additionally, it reduces some of the wear and fatigue on your prep and line cooks: with a recipe database, they can follow recipes that can be accessed whenever, improving your onboarding time and reducing variance between shifts.

    Keeping a record of all your recipes can lead to improved efficiency in the back of house and the front of the house, which lends itself to improving your operations throughout your restaurant. 

    Efficiently track inventory usage and waste

    By keeping a database of recipes, you can correlate inventory usage and consumption with recipes for deep insights into how your menu items are performing. Tracking inventory at the recipe level can help you understand the cost of goods sold for each menu item, so you can compare the cost of a recipe to its revenue generated, as well as any food waste associated.

    Suppose your Cobb Salad sells for $15, and the food cost of the recipe is $7, and an additional $2 worth of ingredients are wasted producing the meal, you’ll know to explore increasing the price or switching vendors for the ingredients. Coordinating your recipe database with your inventory management system can help you dive even deeper into costs and profit margins, enabling you to fine tune your menu to maximize profit.

    Clean up the books and plan for long-term profitability

    A recipe database doesn’t just help with inventory management, it helps with your accounting too. The database acts as the source of truth that can be connected to costs and profit margins. As far as your books are concerned, the recipe database, paired with sales data, can help you dig into the insights in real-time. The database helps reduce your accounting workload, makes your calculations more accurate, and improves the effectiveness of your pricing decisions. After all, clean books are as important as a clean kitchen — and you’ll want all the help you can get in cutting costs.

    How can you build a recipe database?

    There are a few ways you can go about building a recipe database. The traditional way (which can hardly be called a database) is with pen and paper. Writing a recipe book and sharing it as needed can be a successful strategy for small businesses and one-man shows, but it’s difficult to scale, and near impossible to reap the benefits of cost cutting and advanced analytics. Some will port their recipe books over to spreadsheets for use in tandem with other accounting or inventory sheets, but the process can be error-prone and painstakingly difficult.

    Recipe database software is growing more and more popular, and is often included as a feature in a variety of restaurant management platforms. These programs are usually tailor-built to store recipes, and incorporate this information into the technology ecosystem enabled by the platform. 

    How do you choose a recipe database platform?

    Choosing a recipe management software comes down to what features are most important to you: considering recipe tracking can unlock deeper insights into food costs, plate costs, and food waste, you should consider looking for a solution that also works with your inventory and accounting software.

    MarketMan’s innovative inventory management platform offers recipe and ingredient level inventory tracking, as well as a recipe management tool. You can continuously track your inventory, sales, and invoices for every recipe, and associate recipes with sales through an integration with your point-of-sale platform. By building your recipe database in MarketMan, you can home in on plate costs and food costs, automate ordering and invoices, and view accurate and in-depth reports on profitability and sales forecasting.

    To learn more about how MarketMan can help you manage your recipe database and put your data to work, request a demo today.

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