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Fee's for Recipe Development/Consulting

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow chefs...


I come to you with a small dilemma, 


I have recently begun to work with a brand new restaurant (they are still in construction) and the owner wants to hire me to create a recipe book for the bakery side of the restaurant. 


This would include taking some of the recipe he gives me and editing them, calculating larger quantities, converting to grams (if needed), adding my own recipes that are missing/ necessary, testing all of the recipes in his restaurant kitchen, typing every single recipe as well as how to make it and to train his bakers on how to make them (or at least supervise for couple of days). Furthermore, through out the year I would also come back and add more recipes as needed.


I have created recipes before and know how it works, but I was never hired for just private consulting/recipe. My professional background runs mostly in just baking and running small shops. 


What would something like that cost? Should I charge by hour or just one time fee? What should I include in the contract? 



I really appreciate your professional opinion

Thank you in advance 

post #2 of 4

If you go with the project approach, you need to have clear objectives that can be measured for completion (e.g., Develop a scalable formula for creme brulee that can be made successfully for x servings to y servings.).  Have a format for the recipes that is consistent.  Figure out the number of recipes or formulas in specific categories (e..g, Bread, Breakfast Pastries, Individual Desserts, Cake, Cookies, Mousse/Custard, Cheesecake, etc).  Figure out how many hours you need to complete the project and then add 15%.


Before you give out your own recipes, think about whether or not you want to use those recipes in your own venture in the future or if you go to work somewhere else, do you want to use them there.  If you don't want to give this place the exclusive use of them, don't give them your recipe(s).


I don't have any words of wisdom to share about how much to charge for a project like that; but don't sell yourself short.  You're acting as a guest Executive Pastry Chef, and if you think this will take 2 months, then see what Exec PCs make in your area annually, divide by 12 and then use that as a guide.

post #3 of 4

I recently graduated from Culinary School. I have been catering for some years now. I have recently been hired to create, type, measure, test and cook recipes for a restaurant scheduled to open their doors in about 2 months.  I have some recipes that I have created and used for years in my catering business.  The owners have already tasted them and are excited to bring be on to create new recipes as well as us the ones I already have.  What do I charge for recipe creating and writing?  How to I get them copyright?  This restauant does not have one recipe of their own yet.  They just have a passion for opening up this new venue.

post #4 of 4

Generally, professional recipe developers are paid about $150-250 per recipe plus expenses, depending on its intricacy. Testing should be done by a separate individual to accommodate for idiosyncratic differences in style, approach to certain tasks, equipment etc. Then testing notes and results should be compared and a final recipe draft written. 


If I were doing such work for a restaurant, recipes would be written in such a way to be easily scaled up or down as demand dictates, but also formatted for whatever accounting/food costing system the restaurant uses. If you include a rough food cost projection in your submissions, that would be points in your favor as well.



Copywriting recipes does not happen and would not apply here. Basically, the developer is being contracted to produce a product of intellectual property. Once you deliver the recipes to your client and are paid, the client owns the product.


Remember, the devil is in the details. You must deliver them a recipe that is useful to them, is clear in its measurements and process directions, can easily be reproduced by whomever may read the recipe and formatted in a style that is useful to a food service operation.

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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