Congratulations! If you made it this far, you have taken the plunge and created your recipes. Or you are like me and want to know the end of the story before you dive in. Who can blame you? It is a lot of work, and beginning with the end in mind will help keep you on track.

Over the past few blogs, we have covered why you need recipes, ingredient yield and net weight, key elements of a recipe, and how to finalize your recipe database.  No matter if you have read all those blogs or are just finding this series now, these articles will help you develop a strong recipe database that will prime you for increased profits and success. As the final installment in this series, we will look at what to look for moving forward.

    What Has or Will be Revealed

    If you have created your recipes, you may have had a few “aha” moments. I can’t count the number of times I have said “you have got to be kidding”, “that is ridiculous”, or “it can’t cost that much”. It happens, and it is to be expected.

    Why is That? 

    Well, it comes down to my entire belief system when it comes to costs and financial performance. Success and, well, failure are the sum of many things. Just like a recipe. On their own, each ingredient seems insignificant but add up those nine items that cost $0.50 and suddenly you are at a $4.50 cost.

    This moment is what will have one of the largest impacts on your food cost, so savour it, find joy in it, and then start to hunt for savings. 

    What to Look For

    It is time to take a closer look at each recipe and each ingredient to see if there are opportunities to decrease costs. Look at low-hanging fruit, so to speak, but don’t make any sweeping changes at this point.

    Are there ingredients that can be reduced without negatively impacting the dish? Can you improve the yield on certain ingredients? Looking at plates after they are cleared can also reveal some interesting insights.

    Remember that success is the sum of many things, and often they are small changes that make a big difference. You may find a few big wins that are obvious but don’t get caught up trying to find the easy way at this point. All the hard work was for a reason.

    The Final Check

    One part of the Kaizen (Lean) events that I enjoyed was documenting what we thought the processes were and then going into the operation to see if what we thought of what should be happening was happening. It was very rare that the processes that were mapped out in a meeting room matched what was happening in the operation on a day-to-day basis.

    The same goes for recipes. This is the stage where you take the recipes out and see what is happening. Here you will most likely see that portions and processes vary. In some cases, you will need to adjust the recipe or clarify the recipe with the team. In either case, this is where the final details of the recipes happen, and they are fine-tuned.

    Lastly, it is time to celebrate because you have created the foundation for cost controls, purchasing specifications, and menu engineering and can take better control of your profit and success.

    I hope you have enjoyed this series of CORE Profit Strategies. If you would like to learn more or need assistance creating your database, please schedule your no-obligation consultation at

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