Rather you are a new or existing operation, you likely already have a strong grasp of the value of recipes and are aware of the necessary work needed to build our your recipe database. If you are still unsure of how to begin building your recipes and what to include, make sure to read the first few blogs in this series, 6 Key Elements of a Recipe to Engineer them for Success, Getting Started with Recipes: Ingredient Yield and Net Weight and Recipes: 4 Reasons Why Your Operation Needs.

If you’re reading this, you likely already have your recipes developed and are just looking to finalize them into a usable and efficient database. I’m not going to tell you that everything is going to be fun and games from this point on because creating recipes can be a very daunting task, but the benefits are too great to ignore.

You are in the home stretch, but you need to press on, there is still lots to do.

So, are you ready to put the recipes together?  

    Before you jump in and start putting the recipes together, you must have the prework completed, so let’s review what you should have:

      • Ingredients – Net weights and yields have been determined and captured on a spreadsheet. WAIT, I almost forgot. Do you know the trim from the beef tenderloin? If not, you need to determine its value. The best way is to look at what it is being used for. Putting it in a stew? Then the value should be the same as stewing beef. That way everything is properly costed.
      • Naming – You have decided and documented how you will name the recipes.
      • Yield – The number of portions or yield of the different recipe categories has been decided on.

    Create a Master Recipe List

    The next step is to create a master list of all the recipes you will create. By doing this, in one step you will get a lot of practice using your naming convention. More importantly, it will ensure your recipe names are consistent from the start.

    Once the list is completed you can type in the procedures and food safety notes for each recipe. Again, everything will be much more consistent if you group the tasks and I find it takes less brain power when you are in that specific zone.

    Putting it All Together

    Now it is time to start putting everything together.

    Open up your recipe program and begin to enter the information.

      1. Create the recipe shell by copying and pasting the name and adding other information, such as yield and anything else that is not related to the ingredients. Again, you will be more consistent in your approach if you do the same tasks for all recipes at the same time.
      2. Add the ingredients – Go into each recipe and add the ingredients. This should be based on the order that you have predetermined. If you are 100% sure about the quantities, then enter them now If unsure, you can add a 0 quantity and the UOM.
      3. Add the procedures – Remember that annoying step of typing them ahead of time? Now you can shut your mind down and simply copy and paste the procedures into the recipe (make sure your system allows you to do that first). You can also do this at step 1 if you prefer.
      4. Print off all the recipes and head to the kitchen – If you are building the recipes from scratch this is the easiest way you can do it. As you build the recipes you test the procedures at the same time and can make the adjustments on the paper and update the recipes later. Having the printed copy on hand is the best way to ensure the details are accurately captured.
      5. Finalize each recipe with the quantities and adjust the procedures. If you have pictures, you can add them now.

    In the beginning, it may have seemed like there were a lot of extra steps, but by grouping the tasks you create a much more consistent result. You can get in the zone and hyperfocus on each task. It helps break it down into five different work segments, and you don’t need to try to pick up where you left off. The other advantage to breaking recipe development into smaller pieces is you can always ensure you have one piece of the puzzle complete instead of trying to pick up where you left off.

    I hope this has given you the inspiration to carry on. Recipes are the cornerstone of the financial foundation and they will make your life much easier in the long run.

    Need help developing your recipe database for success? Schedule a free 30-minute consultation for an expert opinion.

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