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Do I need costing software like ChefTec?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on opening a restaurant in NYC in a few months.  I'm starting to think how I'm going to cost out everything.  In culinary school I learned to do costing on a spreadsheet.  Is cheftec a good program or should I stick to a spreadsheet?

 

My menu is going to be using produce from the greenmarket and it's also going to change depending in what's in season.    It's also going to be on the small side, less than 25 dishes.    

 

I'm also going to be doing catering so that's where I though cheftec would help me cost out menus.  For Catering are programs like cheftec an industry standard?  Also for catering I'm going to be making custom menus for each client.  

 

Would it be easier just to cost recipes out in a spreadsheet or is a costing program the way to go?

 

 

Thank you everyone!

post #2 of 10

Spreadsheets all the way. It's already a big enough pain in the butt juggling the POS and accounting software without adding a kitchen management program into the mix.

 

You can put multiple 'costing cards' on one worksheet, and that is really helpful when putting together a catering costing, or even just costing a plate.

 

Learn how absolute references work on your spreadsheet program, and it will save you a TON of time. In OpenOffice Calc (the free spreadsheet I use), you use the $ to indicate an absolute reference, ie $a$1 versus a1. I make a worksheet called pricelist, and when I need to input the price, I put the address of the price's cell ($pricelist.$b$1) in, instead of the price. That way I only have to update the pricelist and not all my recipes when prices change..

post #3 of 10

spreadsheets... unless you don't understand how to use them and program them.

 

Then get a walk-thru-talk-thru program.  (that is based off of spreadsheets)

 

THe big difference is what you put into learning or put into paying....

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #4 of 10

Regardless as to the software, the operator is responsible for inputting the data, GIGO comes into play whether it is a spreadsheet or a custom program: GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #5 of 10

Cheftec is the worst. It's still a crazy learning curve, and even then the interface is terrible. The only people that need cheftec are huge corporate places with multiple locations, and somebody who's job it is to run cheftec. Seriously. Save the headache.

post #6 of 10

Buy a $2 Calculator

post #7 of 10

Chef Tech is a challenging and time consuming concept. I assisted with opening and working  for a restaurant in Washington D.C. . The consultant recommended that we use this program. It was the worse head ache. It was a trial and error situation. In the end it did help out with costing and inventory.  If you have a HR department or personal accountant for the restaurant. Allow them to master the program.  You may not even use some of the programs that comes with Chef Tech. If you do attempt to conquer this task. Be prepared to be occupied for a while.  Good luck with your opening. 

post #8 of 10

good question..guys how do i download a spread sheet or do i have to purchase the program??if so where can ?thanx in advance

post #9 of 10

I use the spreadsheet program from Open Office. http://www.openoffice.org/ I use their word processor too.
 

post #10 of 10

In regards to other options, spreadsheets can be a great option to keep things under control and understand what is going on.  I do recommend doing things manually at first just to understand.  Once you know what is going on I would then recommend a software solution.

 

If anyone wants to try out a software solution, I am the owner of CostBrain.com  We've often been called the web version of ChefTec. We do have a few free beta spots open if anyone is interested.

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