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Recipe Manager Features

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Features: Recipe and Menu Costing

Recipe and Menu Costing – How does it Work?

Tracking exact cost from end products to raw materials is always a challenging endeavor for the fast-paced food service industry. However, highly accurate cost control on all levels is a specialty of Recipe Manager.

Cost control in Recipe Manager happens at the smallest possible level, on a per-unit basis from a single ingredient portion, calculated directly from your inventory purchases. All unit conversions are performed automatically when ingredients (inventory) are added to your recipes. Both the single portion and complete recipe cost is generated for you. A price can be entered for further analysis of your profit margins!

When a recipe is opened, simply access the COSTS tab…


You’ll see a list of ingredients that contribute to this recipe’s cost in the table below. For each ingredient, there is a cost that is tallied into the total recipe cost information at the top of the tab.


Based on the recipe’s “yield” (for example, this recipe yields 55 Orders), the “portion” (for example, each single portion or serving of this recipe equals 9 ounces), and the “num portions” (the total number of portions you can get out of the yield) values will determine exactly what the actual cost numbers are.

Cost values are tracked to the penny by the single portion (in this example, a single 9oz portion of this example jambalaya recipe COSTS the restaurant $0.51) or all portions (in this example, the entire yield of 55 portions COSTS the restaurant exactly $27.98 to produce). From these cost numbers a profit margin can also be derived when a price is entered.

With this kind of complete cost tracking by recipe or portion, you can take it one step further! Cost tracking for an entire menu!

Introducing the Recipe Manager Menu Writer tool…


Our Menu Writer tool allows you to custom-build your own menu templates. Once you build a menu, recipes can be added which can be scaled up or down. These portions (called “Amount Prepped” in this example) will be the factor that determines costing for each individual recipe (row) or the entire menu.

In the example picture above, this user created a menu called the “KITCHEN MENU” and entered the recipes for this menu for Monday Mornings. You can customize the menu template (field names, field positions, label headers, etc.) and the recipes that are included in the menus. The end user, generally the Chef, will use the menu you designed to adjust the recipes and amount prepped for the day. Total pan sizes as well as costs are tracked.

This kind of detailed cost tracking capability allows the users to track how well a specific menu or recipe is doing. Reports can be printed to show this detail in any format (pie charts, etc.) and the data can be sent to any accounting software for further analysis!


Features: Inventory control

Inventory Control – How does it Work?


Recipe Manager handles food product and ingredient inventory in extreme detail. When inventory levels fall below set values (call a PAR), you can configure Recipe Manager to automatically notify you of the specific items which are low and generate purchase orders to replinish stock quickly. Recipe Manager has a very detailed purchase order utility built in that is fully customizable to fit the needs of your business. Recipe Manager can even interface with any ERP or external purchasing system as well to generate these orders for you when stock is marked low.

Sales of products are also tracked in Recipe Manager. These sales values can be automatically pulled from any number of popular point-of-sale packages including MICROS, POSitouch, Digital Dining, EnterprisePOS, etc. Vydata Systems can even bundle EnterprisePOS with your Recipe Manager package into 1 complete Enterprise system!

Recipe Manager tracks the exact amount of product you prepare for any given day automatically via the Menu Writer product. Your chef simply references a production menu for a given time period (shift, day, week, etc.) and initiates a batch (called a “production run”) which prepares all recipes for that period. All recipes are then scaled (prepped) accordingly and inventory is deducted.

The Menu Writer Tool – The Interface Key

The Menu Writer tool in Recipe Manager allows the user to build custom menus and control the amount prepared of each assigned product (recipe) for any given time period. This tool bridges the gap between the raw recipe data and actual product for consumption. This tool can be configured to interface to a POS system to pull sales forecast information for calculation of the exact amount to prepare of each menu item in order to maximize supply to meet demand while minimizing waste.

When stock falls below the set par levels once menu products are prepared, a notification is sent to generate a Purchase Order.

A manual notification can be created to generate a purchase order as well right from an inventory item when the user notices an item may be getting a little too close to par.



Features: Purchasing / Ordering

Purchasing / Ordering – How does it Work?

A very time consuming task for restaurant management staff is generally the task of handling frequent reordering of ingredients. Managers are usually spending a large portion of their time monitoring inventory levels (pans, cans, boxes, cases, etc.) to see what they need for the next day instead of managing sales.

A “just-in-time” method of ordering needed stock is key to ensure proper inventory levels to meet demand. Likewise, a manager can’t order too much, or they could face a high level of waste / spoilage. Also, the quicker the turn-around time of orders, the less guess work your management staff has to do to forecast sales demand.

Recipe Manager comes bundled with a detailed ordering system. If a manager wants the kitchen to handle the creation of orders (based on low inventory) that need to be filled, they can generate what is called “purchase requisitions” (or PR). A PR is simply a “request” for a vendor order of stock. A requisition must be approved by a manager before it becomes an actual purchase order placed with a vendor. This takes the constant monitoring of stock levels out of the manager’s hands. The kitchen will handle this task and place “requisitions” telling managers, “we need this”. A manager simply examines what the kitchen needs and approves it or not. If a vendor interface exists (sold separately for specific vendors), the manager can even place the order by the click of a button through a website, email, etc.

Once orders come in, the manager can examine the items received and mark them received in Recipe Manager’s Purchase Order system. This will replinish stock immedaitely. Items can be marked “back-ordered” if they were not received.

When an item is received and stock is replinished, the data is written into the “Purchases” tab of the item record itself. This data can also be sent to an accounting system (Accounts Payable department) for vendor invoices to be paid.

When stock is prepped in the kitchen (through the Menu Writer tool), inventory is adjusted to show stock that was USED. Any inventory item (ingredient) used that falls below PAR (the set “low stock” level) will initiate a notification for a PO (Purchase Order) to be generated automatically… so the cycle continues.

From the main inventory listing…


An item can be opened to show the order history under the “Purchases” tab…


These are only received goods. Pending “OPEN” orders or back-orders are shown through the PO system.


You can even use Microsoft Outlook to schedule your orders and be notified when the order should arrive. Do this right from your email like a scheduled meeting! The Purchase Order module will also auto-email or fax vendor orders for you!

With Recipe Manager, you will have the power you need to track purchases and orders easily to meet demand and minimize daily waste!


Features: Nutritional Analysis

Nutritional Analysis – How does it Work?

One of the most powerful and popular features of Recipe Manager is its strict control of nutritional data. The system comes bundled with a database of FDA/USDA standard unit conversion formulas and nutrient data. When you enter your ingredients (or place orders) in specific units, Recipe Manager knows how to convert these units into the proper nutritional units (generally in grams or milligrams).

These standard nutrition elements can be adjusted from the Nutrition Elements database screen in Recipe Manager.


Defining what information is used in your nutritional analysis for all recipes is simple. Just select the elements you want analyzed from a single screen and all recipe nutrition labels will automatically be adjusted.

By default the nutrition facts label follows the FDA/USDA-standard layout. However, you have a long list of elements to choose from if you need further detail, and you can drag and drop new elements anywhere on your label. This makes it simple to add newly required elements such as “Trans Fat”. Any future mandates by the government on what should appear on nutrition labels will not be a problem for Recipe Manager customers!

Any recipe can be scaled up or down to produce a detailed nutrition label based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. This label can be printed on a product container, printed as a report for a customer, or posted to a website.


Another powerful nutrition tracking feature is the ability to take any recipe and treat it as an ingredient within another recipe. For example, a common use is to have a “combo plate” recipe that includes several dishes (other recipes) in one. This allows the user to produce detailed nutritional analysis data for any single dish or the entire combo.

The following is an example of a more detailed nutrition label printed from Recipe Manager.


Printing Complete Nutrition Analysis Reports

Want to print a nutritional value chart or menu for display? No problem!

You can print all your recipes based on a particular element value (all recipes that are low sodium, low carb, low fat, high fiber, high vitamin C, etc.)! You can take this data and print it to a custom report or export it for the web! It is getting more and more common to see these types of reports posted on websites or displayed in the entrance area of businesses. Customers love to see these types of reports given the recent surge in nutrition awareness.

Below is an example nutrition chart report from a Recipe Manager customer that displays the information for their customers.




Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 October 2016 21:26  


Press : Case Studies

March 1, 2008
Contact: John Albin
Phone: (866) 272-6767 or (225) 272-6767
E-mail: sales@vydata.com


Piccadilly Restaurants, with corporate offices located in Louisiana, has 130 restaurants located throughout several southern states. Piccadilly upgraded from a competitor system (ChefTec) in early 2002 to Recipe Manager and never looked back. They complained of several limitations with the old system and was looking for alternatives. After several meetings with key Vydata Systems consultants to map out their needs, Piccadilly decided to adopt Recipe Manager as their corporate standard.

The system is currently installed and used at all Piccadilly restaurants along side the Menu Writer product for recipe menu generation.

“Recipe Manager is a fantastic product. It has helped our business track detailed cost and nutrition information better than our previously used program. In addition it has greatly enhanced our ability to quickly distribute detailed recipe information to all of our restaurants!”

Patrick Prudhomme
Vice President – Purchasing
Piccadilly Restaurants LLC

The system has helped Piccadilly provide the nutrition information required by USDA and desired by their customer base. Piccadilly strives for customer satisfaction and prides themselves on an elegant “home cooking” environment. Recently, Piccadilly entered nutrition information generated from Recipe Manager on their website.

Piccadilly Nutritional Information on the Web

Using this data analyzed by Recipe Manager allowed the design of a new “Low Carb Feature” menu for their restaurants.






The low carb revolution is at the top of its popularity. More and more customers are closely watching their calorie and carbohydrate intake each day. Recipe Manager facilitated the creation of a menu to provide a low-carb list of selections for their calorie counting carb-conscious customers.

At any time, a customer can request that a nutrition label be printed for their meal. Any restaurant employee can use the system to quickly generate the nutritional analysis report or label for any product while the customer waits. Nutrition labels can be printed for any specific item or an entire plate lunch/dinner.

In the future, using Recipe Manager allows Piccadilly to easily add the new up-coming “trans fat” requirement by USDA. Without a system to generate this nutrition data, Piccadilly would have to do a manual analysis on hundreds of recipes. This would be a very costly endeavor. However, Piccadilly is on-board with Recipe Manager which will drastically facilitate this transition! Adding new elements to a nutrition label is as easy as clicking and dragging a new element onto the label.

An example nutrition label report generated from Recipe Manager…

An example nutrition label detail report printed…

Note: The above screen shot and report is not reflective of actual Piccadilly recipes but is only an “example”.

The Piccadilly IT department adopted a data “push” strategy to update the database at each restaurant location automatically in order to centrally manage recipe data from the home office. The individual restaurants are only allowed to have a specific set of local menu variations while the corporate recipe list remains protected in a “read only” mode. After modifications are made to recipes at the home office, data is sent to all individual sites where Recipe Manager automatically synchronizes to keep information current without any local user intervention. This allows the restaurant site databases to remain updated at all times directly from the home office without the local staff even touching it! Recipe Manager provided Piccadilly Cafeterias with a seamless and simple integration into their current IT infrastructure.

Piccadilly tracks a number of custom fields that their old system (ChefTec) would not allow. For example, they track allergens for each recipe which include ingredients that may be a concern to people with severe allergy problems.

Piccadilly has recently moved to a new technology infrastructure by implementing Positouch Point-of-Sale software at all locations. They will be working on an interface from Recipe Manager to this system in the near future.