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Presents…… Kitchen Economics 101 A workshop for ProStart ® Educators Part 1 Recipe conversions pg
Presents…… Kitchen Economics 101 A workshop for ProStart ® Educators Part 1 Recipe conversions pg


Kitchen Economics 101

A workshop for ProStart ® Educators

Part 1 Recipe conversions

pg 2

This section will cover converting total yields of recipes. We will look at and work with standardized recipes and learn how to obtain conversion factors, and how to use them to increase or decrease the total yield (servings) of a recipe.

Part 2 Food costing/recipe costing

pg 4

In this segment we will continue to work with standardized recipes and learn how to arrive at the total cost of a recipe by breaking down the ingredients by measure and


We will also cover how to obtain the cost per serving of a recipe.

Part 3 Food cost percentages/menu pricing

pg 7

Food cost percentages (FCP) will be discussed in Part 3 of the training.

FCP and will learn what an acceptable and unacceptable FCP is for operators to


to determine what your FCP is given the menu price.

We will define

Next we will explain how to arrive at a menu price with a given FCP and how

Part 4


pg 9

In this final section we will learn the definition of AP and EP. We will also review standardized tables detailing yield from various vegetables and how to arrive at the desired amount for a given recipe.

Appendix A

pg 10

Appendix B

pg 11

Appendix C

pg 12

to arrive at the desired amount for a given recipe. Appendix A pg 10 Appendix B

Part 1 Recipe conversions

Key Terms:

Standardized recipe


Portion size

Conversion factor

Most professional food service establishments use standardized recipes. A standardized recipe is one that has exact ingredient amounts that can be easily replicated to produce the same product by a number of different individuals. While many factors influence the way a recipe comes out, such as cooking method, equipment, and even elevation, use of the standardized recipe is the best way to insure that a product is as consistent as it can be.

An example of a standardized recipe:

Chicken Stock

1 ½ Ga.


12 oz.

Heavy Cream









Every standardized recipe has a yield.

In its simplest form a recipe may produce a quart of a given product, such as soup or


Yield is the total amount of product produced.

In this case 1 quart is the yield.

Other recipes may indicate portion size. Portion size is simply defined as how much

product, in this case soup, a guest receives.

produces 24 6 oz. servings; therefore 6 oz. is the portion size.

The Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe

To determine the yield of a recipe that gives us the number of portions and portion size, simply multiply the number of portions (24) times the portion size (6).


24 x 6 oz. = 144 oz. – this is the total yield of the recipe


When we talk about recipe conversions, what we are discussing is how to increase or

decrease the total amount a recipe produces.

a recipe, in real life that is not always the case. Most professional food service establishments use standardized recipes for a variety of reasons, one being that the ingredient amounts can be easily converted to larger or smaller amounts.

While it is easy to either double or halve

The next step we take in converting our recipe is to determine the yield of not only the original or standardized recipe (original yield), but also the desired amount of the converted recipe (desired yield). Notice that we can not only change the number of

portions, but we may change the portion size as well.

For example:

Original recipe – 24 (number of portions) x 6 oz. (portion size) = 144 oz. This is the old yield. Converted recipe – 56 (number of portions) x 8 oz. (portion size) = 448 oz. This is the new yield.

In order to replicate the recipe effectively, we must convert each individual ingredient to the new recipe amount. We do this by multiplying each amount by a conversion factor. Dividing the new yield by the old yield gives us the conversion factor.



(desired yield)


(original yield)



3.1 is now our conversion factor. We will therefore multiply all individual ingredient amounts by 3.1 to determine to new ingredient amount.


Original Recipe (old amount)


Converted recipe (new amount)


8 oz.




24 oz.


12 oz.




36 oz.

While we have our new ingredient amount of 24 oz. for the milk and 36 oz. for the mushrooms, to make this more manageable, we convert 24 oz. of milk into 1 pt. 8 oz. and 36 oz. of mushrooms to 2 lbs. 4 oz.

But how much does it cost……………………???????????????????


Part 2 Food Costing / Recipe Costing

Key Terms:

Cost per ounce


Serving size

Cost per serving

One of the key components of a foodservice establishment, from fine dining to quick

service, is the ability of the operator to be able to effectively price out a recipe. section we will learn how to determine the exact cost of a recipe.

In this

Before we start working with ingredient amounts and dollars and cents, there are a few things we need to know:

#1 - Always break items down to ounces. This is done to help us make things more manageable. If we know the number of ounces that are in a recipe we can more easily determine cost.

1 128 fluid ounces

gallon =


1 quart =

32 fluid ounces

1 pint =

16 fluid ounces

1 cup =

8 fluid ounces

Also, keep the same in mind when working with weight measures.

1 pound =

16 ounces

The reason we do this is that every recipe does not contain easily manageable numbers. A recipe may contain 12 oz. of milk, or 10 oz. of stock, or 4 oz. of cream. If we have our ingredients in ounces, they are easier to plug into our equation. Therefore, if a recipe calls for 1 qt. of milk, we would convert that to 32 oz., and so on.

#2 - Determine a per ounce cost The next step is to determine how much an ingredient costs per ounce, or to determine the per ounce cost.


Chicken stock is $4.98 per gallon There are 128 ounces in a gallon We divide 128, the number of ounces, into $4.98, the price per gallon $4.98 ÷ 128 = .0389062 or .04 cents per ounce


Milk is $2.38 per gallon There are 128 oz. in a gallon

Heavy cream is $1.28 per quart There are 32 oz. in a quart

We can apply this same principle to ingredients that are measured by count. These would be items that can also be referred to as each, such as eggs, tomatoes, and any items that are listed as whole in the ingredient list.

Eggs are $2.49 per dozen 12 eggs in a dozen So…….


Tomatoes are $24.95 per case There are approximately 30 tomatoes per case So……….

In summary Let’s put it all together. The following is an example of how we can price out ingredients by liquid measure (fluid ounces), weight (ounces) and count (individual items).


Chx Stock

1.5G (192 oz.) x





12 oz.

Heavy Cream

4 oz.


3 ea.


4 ea.

If we now want to determine our ingredient cost for this recipe, we simply add all the amounts in the right column.




Determining ingredient cost per serving

Although we realize that an entire recipe would include more than these five ingredients,

for our purposes these will suffice. ingredients.

Let’s assume we are preparing a soup with these

Our soup recipe makes 24 servings at 6 oz. each This means our total yield is 144 ounces.

If our ingredients cost

We divide

by 144 =

Now, we know that our serving size is 6 oz., so……

6 (serving size) x


of ingredients per ounce) =

Now we have determined that our soup costs us ingredients to make.

cents per serving in

But how much do we sell it for………… ??????????????????????


Part 3 Food cost percentages (FCP) Menu Pricing

Key Terms:

Menu price

Food cost percentage

We have learned how to determine how much a recipe will cost us to make, at least as

far as the ingredients are concerned, but how much do we sell it for?

common mistakes that operators make and one that can lead to either success or


This is one of the

To learn how to price out your menu, we need to use a simple formula to help us determine what the menu price will be. The menu price needs to be more than the ingredient cost, so that we can not only cover other costs such as labor and utilities, but also make a profit. To do this we need to understand the term food cost percentage (FCP). The FCP is the percentage sales that are the actual food cost.


If our soup cost us

And we were operating at a 50% FCP………………………………………………….

Our menu price would be……………………………………………………

per serving in ingredients………………………………………

But how do we arrive at that menu price?

There are formulas:

Ingredient cost



Menu Price

Ingredient cost



Food Cost Percentage


Now let’s compare how our menu price relates to the food cost percentage we are operating at. Take a look at the table below. For this exercise we will be operating with a food ingredient cost of

Remember to use the formula:

Ingredient cost ($)

FCP (%)


Menu price






Menu Price

Note the correlation between a lower food cost percentage and a higher menu price. Essentially, the higher food cost percentage, the less the profit.

Keep in mind that many factors can influence your FCP. These include:

Type of establishment:

Some foodservice operations, such as private clubs, can operate at a higher food cost percentage due to the fact that they are member- supported.

Ingredient Cost:

Higher end items, such as expensive cuts of meat and seafood, may tend to run at a higher food cost percentage. Lower cost items can have a lower food cost percentage, allowing for more profit. These items can also help balance the total menu price and FCP.

Cost of Labor:

An establishment that employs more skilled workers needs to have more money available for labor costs, and this can affect the FCP.

But how much did we pay for all those wasted scraps………….?????????????


Part 4 Yields, AP & EP

Key Terms:

Trim loss

As purchased (AP)

Edible portion (EP)

In this section we will discuss yields and trim loss.

portion of a product, in our case vegetables, that is unusable. In other words the peels from potatoes, skin after peeling carrots, and so on. What we have left is the yield,

much the same as yield in the recipes we covered earlier.

Trim loss can be defined as the

To help us better understand this concept, we must first learn about as purchased (AP) and edible portion (EP).

As Purchased / AP: The amount of product you purchase, before trimming. Examples can include many different vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, also potatoes, onions and anything else that requires trimming before cooking.

Edible Portion / EP: The amount of product left after trimming.

Why do we need to know this? If a recipe calls for 2 lbs. of diced potatoes, how much do we need to purchase? Without using the formula, we don’t know how much of a product we will need. And food costs money!

Please refer to appendix b for typical yields from most vegetables. Keep in mind if the table reads 80%, this means that 80% of the product is left after trimming, on average.

As with many concepts in kitchen economics, there is a formula we use to arrive at

either AP or EP.

formula will help you determine how much you need to purchase if you know your EP and %.

The symbol % refers to the percentage given on the table. This





28 oz.

= 31 oz. or we would need to purchase 31 oz. to end up with 28 oz. or product.



Appendix A


Determining Yield Number of portions x portion size = yield

Determining Conversion Factors

Desired yield

= Conversion factor

Original yield

Determining New Recipe Amounts Multiply ingredients by conversion factor

Determining Cost per Ounce Divide number of ounces in measure by cost

Determining Cost per Portion Multiply cost per ounce by portion size

Determining Menu Price With a Given Food Cost Percentage

Cost of Goods Sold FCP (%)

= Menu Price

Determining FCP with a Given Menu Price


= FCP (%)


Determining As Purchased amount Edible Portion (EP) % yield


Appendix B Percentage Yields

(ProStart Year 1 pg. 388)


Percentage Yield

Artichoke (globe, Jerusalem)

80%, whole, trimmed



Bean, green or wax


Bean, lima






Brussels sprout










Celery Root


Corn (on the cob) Cucumber (slicing) Eggplant

28% after husking and cutting 75-95% depending on peeling 90% (75% if peeled)













Onion, dry


Onion, green






Peas, green and black eyed


Peas, edible pod


Pepper, sweet, green or red


Potatoes, white


Potatoes, sweet




Spinach and other greens


Squash, summer


Squash, winter



90% (peeled)




Appendix C

Suggested Activity

Develop the entrepreneurial spirit in your students. Design a class project where the students become involved in the purchase, production, pricing, and sale of a product. Proceeds from the sale can be used towards the purchase of equipment for the lab or a pizza party. Getting the students involved in this project will show them the value of food and how to make a profit by utilizing products wisely and pricing it correctly.


Purchase After the class has chosen the project for them to work on, obtain pricing lists from purveyors such as Sysco, Reinhart, GFS, or any other operator in your area. Research the product and pricing list and determine how much product should be purchased.


Pricing Use the information contained in this seminar to show students how to arrive at a menu or sale price for a product. You may want them to arrive at a price without thinking, and then use FCP formulas for determining at what point they are operating.


Production Plan your production schedule so that the product will be available for the optimum sale time, for example the middle or end of the week. If it is a product they can share with family, for example pies, they can be ready for sale on Thursdays and Fridays. Assign each student or small group a specific task to complete, emphasizing teamwork.


Sale The easiest and the hardest part. Estimated sales will influence your purchasing and production decisions. Poll the school population to determine interest in your product, or just arrive at a comfortable number to work with.