FoodCost Pro, what do you think

Have any of you used this program. How specific did you get with your ingrediants list? Did you use it just for your pizzas or for everything. Do you put in everything you ever order or just the main stuff. I am thinking the more ingrediants you have figured in the better but that might take me a week ti do! Do I really need to know how much the cost of the sugar and cinnamon mix for my cinnabun sticks is or the sprinkle of basil on top of my veg pizza costs? How specific should I be?

I remember I bought it, installed it, looked at it, and went back to my Excel Spreadsheets.

I do my inventory in excel, and have everything broke down to price per ounce and have another menu item spreadsheet linked to my inventory spreadsheet that will grab those prices and calculate my recipes based upon my input for ingredients.

But back to the original question, I don’t remember the exact reason why I did not like it… Maybe I just felt more comfortable with Excel since I’v been using it for awhile.

  • Rob

Rob makes a very good point in his selection of Excel as his tool of choice: It doesn’t matter how you do your food costing, what matters is that you do it!

Food cost calculation and portion control is vital for maximizing profit. Ingredient costs can change wildly, affecting your profit with every change. I first heard about FoodCost Pro in one of Big Dave’s seminars at a Pizza Expo in Chicago. I knew about food cost control, but I had never heard it put into those terms before. Over half of the seminar was spent talking about the need to accurately calculate the cost of a pizza, and the rest of it was spent on how to do it with FoodCost Pro. Later, I worked with Big Dave to totally rewrite FoodCost Pro, incorporating some of the additional features he had wanted to add for years.

That’s a lot of reading to get to my final answer, but it was worth it. If you are committed to the work involved in deconstructing your recipes, calculating an accurate cost and practicing portion control, FoodCost Pro is an excellent tool to help you do it. For that matter, so is Excel!

We use Food CostPro and it works good. There are some thing that need to be added but we spoke about them with Jeff at the Vegas Pizza show last week. As for how long it takes…you would be suprised once you get the hang of it you can enter everything pretty quick.

I bought FoodCost Pro about a year ago just before I opened. I installed it and looked at it briefly then gave up on it. I thought it would take me a week to input the data.

Fast forward a year.

Last week I sat down with my invoices and menu and input the data. I spent about 5 hours on it. And it really opened my eyes. I knew my overall food cost for the year was right at 25% including all paper and cleaning products. But FoodCost Pro showed me a few glaring examples where I needed to make immediate changes. My most popular sub (Italian) has not made me a dime over the last year! My cost was close to 50%!

Armed with detailed information I can now better price my menu and make better offers in my marketing that will result in more profit. I figure by this time next year my overall food cost will have dropped a couple points. If I can get two points, and I think I paid about $250 for the software, I should realize about a 3600% profit on that purchase in one year.

Of course this doesn’t account for the 5 hours I put into it but I still think I’ll come out ahead.

as I hahve heard Big Dave say, “if you can measure it, you can improve it”

I have found that so true,

Jeff. Does the cost include all variables such as rent, utilities, wages, insurances etc including loan repayments, or are loan repayments left out of the equation?


FoodCost Pro calculates the cost of the ingredients in a menu item. It takes into account usable yield for purchased ingredients, but does not automatically add other direct or indirect costs like preparation labor or overhead unless you put them in.

Here’s the problem: Overhead costs would be apportioned across everything you sell based upon total revenue. Preparation costs should not be added to a recipe unless it requires an unusually high amount of time. I suppose the short answer is that apportioning other costs to a menu item isn’t necessarily something that will help you.