I am not familiar with how to make a spreadsheet to list food costs, profit, menu pricing, etc.

I did a search but didn’t find information how to do it.

I also read about a program that can be purchased to do it but someone on here had a bad experience with it.

If someone could point me in the right direction I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

I use my own self built spreadsheet but you need to do the same thing regardless of which way you go. The first thing you need to do is to get every menu item figured out down to the ingredient level. This means you are going to take each recipe and calculate the cost of each item.

I talked to Big Dave at Pizza Expo last week about his software. He said the issues were a few years ago and all have been resolved.

On a side note his software integrates directly with Point of Success.

Thank you for your help.

I’m assuming the spreadsheet is free to do, but will take a lot of time, when the program is expensive but will make the job easier?

Thank you for giving me a starting point.

It is a matter of perspective as to which way is more expensive. What is your time worth? It may be cheaper to pay for something to be done and free up time to do something else more worth your attention.

I currently have the time available to do it, but I don’t know where to get started other than calculating the cost of each item. I’m not familiar with Microsoft Excel.

Thank you for your help.

So then you are faced with the time cost of learning Excel as well as building the spreadsheet. The upside is that all software is developed in a way that will satisfy the majority of need for the majority of customers. It just business economics. But what this really means is that, without expensive customization, every user of the software is going to have to make some sacrifices because of the specifics of their business. When you build your own spreadsheet, you build it custom to exactly how you run your business. If you want to go the spreadsheet route (and I did), and need to learn how to use Excel, just pick up a good book for the version you have. Or if you have even more time, take a class at a local community college.

The basic framework of the spreadsheet I built was to have one spreadsheet that lists every single component for every recipe, along with it’s price per ounce. Then I have another spreadsheet that lists all the recipes, along with how much of a given component is required and then have cells on the recipe sheet that link in the price per ounce (from the first sheet). Then there is a second column of cells that contain a formula that multiplies the price per ounce against the amount of ingredients to show the cost of a given ingredient for the recipe. Then I sum up this last column to get a cost for the entire recipe.

You could also add in average time of labor to get a final cost.

My spreadsheet also takes this final cost and shows what the cost margin is in relation to what I actually charge on the menu, as well as what the margin would be for specific discounts (10%, 15%, etc.), so I know how much I am making when I give out a discount.

Once this is all built, then you only have to update the first spreadsheet with the current cost when you order and then all the total costs and margins are automatically updated on the second spreadsheet. Depending on whether your supplier can provide you with a digital copy of your purchase (say in another spreadsheet), you could build an import process to bring those numbers into your spreadsheet at the click of a button, but this starts to get pretty complicated… probably far easier to just manually input the new prices of your components if you do not know how to do this part.

Viola! You now know what your current costs are and what profit you make for any item on your menu! :slight_smile:

Thank you for explaining.

It does seem a little complex but it seems like it would be beneficial.

It’s a pain in the ass and very time consuming if you have a big menu like I do…but a necessary part of this business and once its all built it only takes a an hour or so a week to maintain.

Thank you all for your replies.

You all agree that this is worth the investment in time for Microsoft Excel or money in the case of going with FoodCost Pro for $159.95?

dang 160!!! yeah if you have no way to learn excel in a timely matter pop for it. i got a lot of great info to help me with excel on this board…and my gf helped with the rest to build the spreadsheets. I would ask around to friends and family you may find someone that will build the sheets for you for much less…its amazing how many people are willing to work for pizza and beer! They aren’t very complicated sheets to build may only take a day or so it’s the data entry that takes the most time.

I think I need a little more convincing with this. What are some of the benefits? Is it to make sure the menu is priced properly and to make sure things are still profitable even after giving discounts?

I think I can do the data entry, it’s just the rest I’m still a little confused with. Can you give me an example of how to enter something in Microsoft Excel? (Also, will Open Office work? I think Open Office has something similar to Microsoft Excel that is free. Thank you.)

Do you think this is good enough to get started:


It seems very basic. And ya can’t updated it easily. Every time your costs change you have to redo everything with the right spread sheets you only have to update your costs. Also it doesn’t take into account food loss like onion peels, green pepper stems and seeds, or beef trimming.(after bacon is cooked I loose almost 60% to the grease that renders out. that makes the $4 a pound bacon go up to almost $7) These things make the costs go up and need to be taken into consideration because they do affect the bottom line.

You can use the spreadsheet in Google Apps…It is free and you can share it so others can help you “fine tune” it…

also a very good point!

Is this one better?:


I am trying to find a cost effective way to do this since I’m not sure if I could figure out how to do it on my own with Google Docs and the programs that make it easy are expensive. If I have a template I might be able to do it.

Thank you for your help.

Are you saying 160.00 for Food Cost Pro is too expensive?..It will make that back in a couple weeks…Plus if you think it is no good, Dave will give you your money back…

I’m just not convinced it is worth the money. I guess I need more convincing. I haven’t heard of the program until the other day. You don’t think I’ll have a problem getting a refund if necessary?

Dave has been around for a long time and I have no doubt he will make good on his promise…

That said, this will be a little harsh and I apologize for that…You seem to have lost your “confidence”… I may be wrong but I sense you are getting close to the edge and once you go over, there is no getting back up…So time to regain your “confidence”, dig in, get some help from folks here and get out of the “excuse” phase you are in and get into the “doing” phase…Good luck…

tmp, if you end up going with Point of Success just buy the inventory module. It does all of your costing for you for every item, updates the cost automatically from your purchase order pricing, automatically uses FIFO for costs and tracks your ideal usage versus your actual usage.