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Module 2: The Importance of Counting Costs

A Standard Recipe is a tried and tested formula that consistently meets a restaurant’s standards of quality and yield. This provides:

  • The best guide in food preparation
  • A valuable tool for training kitchen staff
  • A basis for purchasing ingredients
  • A basis for food costing

Components of a Standard Recipe

When creating the Standard Recipe format, include the following information:

  • Name of recipe
  • Yield: includes total yield (weight, volume, count), number of portions and portion size
  • Equipment needed: measuring equipment, pan sizes, table top etc
  • Ingredients: exact amount, listed in order of use
  • Procedure: should be clear, brief and precise
  • Preparation and cooking time: in minutes
  • Procedures for portioning, plating and garnishing: organised in order
  • Directions: cooling, storing and storage time if it will not be served right away
  • Directions: for reheating (if applicable)
  • Notes on substitutions: such as ingredient substitutions in case certain ones are unavailable, which should be carefully studied in terms of delivering the same taste and quality as the original ingredients
  • Food shots (optional): so that the staff will know the dish should look in terms of portion and presentation

Examples of a Well-Written Recipe

Note the ingredients exactly, stating how they are budgeted and outlined in a clear flow, including the presentation and cooking time. This allows kitchen staff to ensure that a dish is always prepared consistently.


Download our Sample Standard Recipe Sheet for use in your kitchen.

Weight and Volume Measurements

To compute the cost of a recipe, it’s important to know the cost of each ingredient based on the amount used. The amount of ingredients is usually measured in:

  • Weight: How heavy an ingredient is, measured in grams or kilograms
  • Volume: How much physical space is taken up by an ingredient, measured in cups, teaspoons, litres, pints
  • Count: How many units of the ingredient you require, measured in pieces

Measurement Conversions

There are two methods of measurements, the metric and imperial (US systems). Reference the formula below for converting metric measurements to the US system:

  • 1 litre = 1,000 millilitre = 2.11 pints
  • 1kg = 1,000 grams = 2.2 pounds = 4 cups

Chinese Measurements

This guide is useful for Chinese Kitchens:

Scaling Recipes

Recipe Scaling is also known as Recipe Conversion. It is defined as changing the amount of ingredients used in a standard recipe to produce a different yield based on the number of portions that need to be prepared.

Why are Scaling Recipes Important?

The number of portions of each recipe to be prepared each day varies depending on forecasted needs. Scaling recipes prevents wasteful overproduction or embarrassing underproduction, which is a potential source of lost income.

How to Scale Recipes

  • Compute the Conversion Factor (CF) by dividing your desired yield by the original yield (number of portions in the Standard Recipe)
  • CF = Desired Yield divided by Original Yield
  • To scale up, multiply all ingredients in the Standard Recipe by the CF
  • To scale down, divide all ingredients in the Standard Recipe by the CF

Scaling Calculator

Use our scaling calculator to decide how much of each ingredient you require.

Congratulations, you’ve completed the Know The Terms topic!

Continue on to the next topic or pick a related topic from the Importance of Counting Costs module, or go back to the Chefmanship Academy modules page.

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