List ingredients and quantities of recipe as prepared. Convert the recipe quantities to AP (as purchased) quantities.

Determine the price of each ingredient (from invoices, price lists, etc.). The units in this step and in step 2 must be the same in order for you to do the calculation. Calculate the total cost of each ingredient by multiplying the price per unit by the number of units needed.

Add the ingredient costs to get the total recipe cost.

Divide the total cost by the number of portions served to get the cost per portion.

Here we cost out a sample recipe to show you how the procedure works. First, note the following points and keep them in mind when you are calculating portion costs. Many errors in costing are caused by forgetting one of these points.

1. Costs must be based on AP (as purchased) amounts, even though recipes often give EP (edible portion) quantities.These terms are explained in the preceding section.

Include everything.That means the lemon wedge and parsley garnish for the fish fillet, the cream and sugar that go with the coffee, and the oil that was used for pan-frying the eggplant.These are sometimes called hidden costs.

Seasonings and spices are a typical example of hidden costs that are difficult to calculate. Some operations add up the cost of all seasonings used in a year and divide that by the total food cost to get a percentage.This percentage is added to each item. For example, if the cost of an item is $2.00 and the seasoning cost percentage is 5 percent, the total cost is $2.00 plus 5 percent of $2.00,or $2.10.

Other hidden costs can be calculated in the same way. For example, you could figure out your cost percentage for frying fat and add the percentage to all deep-fried foods.

Some restaurants take an arbitrary figure for all hidden costs, usually from 8 to 12 percent, and add this to all menu items.

3. Record the number of portions actually served, not just the number the recipe is intended to serve. If the roast shrank more than you expected during cooking, or if you dropped a piece of cake on the floor, those costs still have to be covered.

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