What is Recipe Management Software?

By Hotel Tech Report

Last updated October 24, 2022

6 min read


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Are you searching for a solution to make your back-of-house operate more efficiently? Or are you considering an upgrade to your existing recipe management software? Recipe management software is the not-so-secret weapon of savvy restaurateurs who want to stay organized and get real-time insight into analytics and inventory. This software can handle some meaty tasks while helping you reduce costs, improve relationships with suppliers, and deliver consistent experiences for every customer. In this article, we’ll explain the features and benefits of recipe management software, and we’ll introduce you to some of the best vendors so you can make an informed choice about recipe management software for your restaurant. Let’s get started!

What is Recipe Management Software?

 First, let’s define what exactly recipe management software is. In a nutshell, recipe management software stores and organizes digital recipes for all types of menu items. The system connects the ingredients in each recipe with inventory management, so you can keep a pulse on inventory levels based on the volume of dishes served, and it also provides intelligence on nutritional information, costs, allergens, and modifications. Recipe management software is like the backbone of any efficient restaurant; executive chefs, cooks, restaurant managers, and procurement staff rely on it as a source of truth, and it does a lot of number crunching behind the scenes. In addition, although recipe management software is essential for standalone restaurants, it can also provide a slew of benefits for multi-unit operations or restaurants that sit within hotels or resorts.

Key Features of Recipe Management Software

Now that you understand the basics of recipe management software, let’s dive into the details. What are the most important features and functions of recipe management software?

  • Recipe creation: This is the core of recipe management software; you can create digital versions of your recipes with the precise ingredients, instructions, and equipment needed for each dish. You can add fields like category, cuisine type, shelf life, season, and development stage to make your recipes easy to organize and find.

  • Recipe changes: Recipes change over time, and your recipe management software tracks each modification for you so you can refer back to prior versions.

  • Recipe costing: After inputting your raw ingredient costs, the recipe management software will calculate the cost of each dish on your menu.

  • Recipe scaling: Need to adapt a recipe for a larger banquet or event? Or scale down a banquet-size recipe? Recipe scaling does the heavy lifting for you and calculates new ingredient measures based on the desired output.

  • Allergens and intolerances: After creating your recipes, the recipe management software identifies potential allergens and food interactions.

  • Nutrition info: The software can analyze your raw ingredients and quantities to generate nutrition facts for you to include on menus or print out for nutrition labels on packaging.

  • Inventory tracking: Rather than relying on occasional manual inventory counts, recipe management software can calculate real-time inventory based on ingredient usage in your recipes. When you track which recipes have been produced, the system subtracts the respective ingredients from your available inventory.

  • Substitution analysis: What if you’re out of an ingredient? Substitution analysis will help you plan for what-if scenarios and adapt recipes when parameters or ingredients change.

  • Recipe sharing: Publish your recipes to a recipe library that can be accessed by various team members and shared among outlets within a property or restaurants within a group.

  • User permissions: Don’t want your culinary interns to have access to your secret sauce recipe? Recipe management software often includes permissioning so you can build user accounts that only grant users access to the modules they need.

Integrations: A recipe management system doesn’t exist in a vacuum; in order to get the most value from your software, it should communicate seamlessly with other software that your restaurant uses. For example, an integration with your point-of-sale system will tell the inventory management module of your recipe management system how many of each menu item was sold. Other useful integrations include your accounting, business intelligence, and staffing systems.

Benefits of Using Recipe Management Software

Keeping a digital record of your recipes is just one reason to use recipe management software; restaurants of all sizes can realize several exciting benefits after implementing such a tool. One of the most compelling benefits is cost savings. Recipe management software can curb spending in a few areas: more efficient recipe management reduces admin costs, more accurate inventory tracking reduces waste, and more intelligent recipe and menu analytics helps you identify menu items that are costlier or less popular so you can determine whether to remove them or swap in less expensive ingredients.

In addition to cost savings, recipe management software helps your culinary team ensure consistency in the food they serve. By storing detailed instructions and notes for each recipe, your cooks can perfectly replicate each recipe every time. Inventory monitoring helps to ensure consistency too: by knowing exactly how much of each ingredient you use, you can prevent unnecessarily 86-ing dishes because of an out-of-stock item.

But recipe management systems don’t only benefit restaurateurs and chefs. Thanks to intuitive procurement tools, you can build stronger relationships with suppliers. Furthermore, you can be confident you’re only ordering what you need so you don’t end up with oversupply.

What Are the Top Recipe Management Systems?

If the features and benefits of recipe management software pique your interest, you might wonder how to start researching systems that you could use in your business. Let us give you a jump start: here are three of the most popular (and highly rated) recipe management systems on the market today.

BirchStreet is one of the top recipe management and procurement systems in the hotel industry. Brands like Hyatt, Montage, and Peninsula use BirchStreet, which should give a big boost of confidence in the system’s capabilities. This software has helped its hospitality users save 2-5% on food costs and 20% on admin costs with its robust suite of features. The recipe management module offers all the standard features you’d expect, like recipe scaling and nutrition calculation. BirchStreet’s procurement functionality is especially strong, with powerful inventory management and invoicing tools, making it suitable for large hotel chains or restaurant groups. BirchStreet also offers a catalog of training materials and ongoing customer success resources.

Trusted by big industry names like Sodexo and CitizenM, Apicbase offers much more than just recipe management. It’s a full suite of F&B management features, from recipe creation and organization to inventory management and analytics. Accounting and procurement modules connect your back-of-house to other departments and vendors. In addition, a massive list of integrations with systems like Micros, Revel, and Xero make Apicbase especially powerful. Apicbase works well for not only standalone restaurants, but also restaurant chains, ghost kitchens, hotels, and more. Apicbase starts at $149 per month, and pricing varies by number of features and locations.

Although it’s designed for the manufacturing industry, MasterControl is a solid solution for restaurants too. It strives to automate processes and ensure consistent quality through sophisticated recipe creation, organization, and modification. If your F&B business manufactures goods for sale, then MasterControl can offer extra value, since their Product Lifecycle Excellent Platform helps you stay compliant with the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act. MasterControl might not be the best choice for restaurants that use point-of-sale, accounting, or other complementary systems, since it doesn’t offer much in terms of integration. But it can be a strong contender for a recipe management system that works independently of other software.

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THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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BirchStreet Systems, Inc. provides global enterprises with a complete procure-to-pay business solution deploying a SaaS model using cloud technology. BirchStreet software focuses on improving business processes by automating eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control, Invoice, Recipe, & Pay Management, Capital Projects, Sourcing & Analytics modules to support the hospitality industry.

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Birchstreet Procurement Software
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score

BirchStreet Systems, Inc. provides global enterprises with a complete procure-to-pay business solution deploying a SaaS model using cloud technology. BirchStreet software focuses on improving business processes by automating eProcurement, AP Automation, Inventory Control, Invoice, Recipe, & Pay Management, Capital Projects, Sourcing & Analytics modules to support the hospitality industry.

Learn More
Image
THE PITCH
RATINGS BEST FOR
100 HT Score
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
Learn More

At Apicbase, we build a cloud based food management platform which helps hotels like yours to manage their F&B operations more efficiently. Our modular platform enables you to keep food cost low, thanks to automated inventory, smart procurement and detailed sales analytics. For large scale food operations we offer the ability to create production plans.

Product logo
apicbase Analytics & Inventory
THE PITCH
RATINGS
100 HT Score

At Apicbase, we build a cloud based food management platform which helps hotels like yours to manage their F&B operations more efficiently. Our modular platform enables you to keep food cost low, thanks to automated inventory, smart procurement and detailed sales analytics. For large scale food operations we offer the ability to create production plans.

Learn More

How to Choose the Right Recipe Management Software for Your Restaurant

Have you narrowed your list to a few top contenders? Before making the final purchase decision, you’ll want to be totally confident in your choice. It’s a good idea to set up a demo with a system you’re seriously considering so you can get a feel for how the system really works. A system can seem great on paper and in the salesperson’s marketing materials, but you’ll never truly know if it will work for you until you can log in and play around on your own.

If the demo goes well and you can envision the software working well in your establishment, then you’ll want to clarify how the implementation, billing, and support processes will work. How long does the implementation take? If you already use a recipe management system, how can you transfer your data to the new system? You’ll also want to discuss training for current and future employees. Are there training resources the software vendor can provide, or will you need to create your own training materials?

Also remember to discuss how the ongoing relationship with the vendor will work. Will you have a dedicated support representative, or do support inquiries go to a general queue? Is support available 24/7 or only during specific hours? Based on your level of comfort with the system (and that of your employees), you might want an option for more hands-on, responsive support. Other topics to cover are the billing process (auto-bill or will you need to manually pay an invoice?), contract renewal (how long are you locked into the same price?), and contract termination options (what if the software isn’t working well for you after a few months?). Once you’re happy with the implementation plan and support relationship, then you are ready to commit.

Running a smooth back-of-house operation is tricky, but recipe management software can streamline many processes so that your staff can focus on more important responsibilities, like creating delicious, memorable experiences for your customers so they come back again and again.