I can’t overstate how much I hate using Excel to try to figure out my recipe costs.

-pretty much every food business owner ever

We’ve been building recipe costing software for a long time, and not just recipe costing software (although that was our humble beginning). Recipe Cost Calculator helps you with recipe costs, planning, inventory, allergens, spec sheets, nutrition data and tons of other aspects of running your food business. But this article is about why you need recipe costing software, we can talk about the other great features another time.

Without further ado, let me provide you a few obvious, and maybe some not-so-obvious reasons why your food business needs great recipe costing software. This list is by no means exhaustive – if you have other reasons or ideas, I would love to hear from you – send us a message or email any time.

1. You have more important things to work on

Almost all of us, by now, have heard that as a business owner, you should be working on your business, not in your business (thank you Michael Gerber and The E Myth Revisited). As stated by Rhett Power in this short, easy to read article from Inc.com:

When you get bogged down in simple details that your employees could be working on, you are not being an effective leader. - Rhett Power (via Inc.com)

It’s easy to sit behind a desk working on scratch paper or trying to build out the greatest Excel spreadsheet ever, feeling so proud of yourself for figuring out this graph or that formula – but what if you’ve made a mistake? When is the next time you are going to look at this? Will you remember what you did to get this built when you come back to it three weeks from now? Three months from now? Who are you going to trust with it? Which decision maker in your business is going to be looking at and managing it?

If you’re a restaurant owner, you should be developing a marketing and growth strategy, talking to customers, generating press, making sure your staff are the best they can be. If you’re a catering company you should be building a reputation for being the best in the business, working on a marketing and growth strategy, getting customer feedback and sharing it far and wide. If you’re a manufacturer, you should be talking to distributors, finding a great sales broker, or building relationships with your retailers. The last thing you need to be doing is worrying about whether or not you’ve costed and priced your goods correctly – there are amazing and affordable tools built do help you do just that.

2. Training and staff turnover

Let’s face it – if you’ve worked in the food industry for any length of time (like, more than three weeks), you know that employee turnover is a serious concern. The last thing you need is to spend three months training up little Jimmy how to use your Excel spreadsheet only to have him quit, leaving you high and dry to start this whole process over again.

Recipe Cost Calculator has a beautiful, easy to learn user interface including dozens of well thought out training videos that will help anyone in your food business easily get up to speed with whatever you need them to do. Check costs, update ingredient prices, run production plans, do inventory or any other of the tons of things we can help your business with.

3. Rapid prototyping

When you’re developing new recipes (no matter what kind of food business you’re running) – you want to be able to cost them quickly. Is it profitable? Does it scale? Can we make money at this? You want to answer those questions immediately and without any guesswork. Using Recipe Cost Calculator you can rapidly prototype even complex plates, recipes, manufactured goods or catered dinners in minutes.

4. Historical tracking of ingredient and recipe costs

You can see how your ingredient and recipe costs have changed over time, allowing you to see where changes were made (or where they need to be made) in terms of costs of items from your suppliers, or when you need to increase (or decrease) prices. Don’t miss out on these and other key insights that good recipe costing software can provide for you.

5. The last thing you need is to go home and have another argument because of that Excel thing you can’t figure out

I don’t think I need to go into details on this one.



I hope you’ve found some really useful reasons above as to why recipe costing software is a critical piece of your food business, regardless of your stage or size. Whether your business is a pre-revenue startup or well-established and profitable, make sure you have the tools in place to grow well and stay profitable.

If you have any questions at all, I’d love to hear from you.

Take your business farther with Recipe Cost Calculator

  • Recipe Cost Calculator customers regularly report savings of 10% or more on raw material costs by staying on top of cost changes.

  • Save 12-20 hours per month with our menu, planning and event tools.

  • 100% moneyback guarantee any time within 30 days, for any reason.

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Daniel Wintschel

Daniel is the founder and senior developer of Recipe Cost Calculator. He also co-founded and built Kitchening & Co. (a wholesale bakery) with his wife Carly Wintschel. He sold Kitchening & Co. in 2021. With over 20 years of software development experience and over 10 years in small scale food processing and manufacturing, he knows a ton about helping you with your food business, and writing software relevant to food businesses.

More than 20,000 food businesses in over 50 countries have used Recipe Cost Calculator to help them build profitable food businesses.

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Our Mission

We want to build the best software tools for small and medium food businesses of all types. Whether you are a manufacturer, restaurant, bakery, caterer or otherwise -- we provide powerful tools for recipe costing, production planning, inventory management, nutrition and more.

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