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How to Manage Food Costing in the Catering and Restaurant Industry

Develop your food costing skills and learn how to improve your food ordering systems and kitchen management.

A calculator that reads 'Cost' with a pen next to it over a document displaying a blue pie chart, a table and a graph.
The CPD Certification Service

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies. Find out more.

Investigate the costs associated with production in the food industry

Controlling costs in catering is an essential skill to ensure a kitchen runs profitably.

On this two-week course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of cost management in restaurants and catering businesses and discover how to improve your current processes using the financial knowledge you’ve gained.

Learn the principles of cost control in the food service industry

A sound knowledge of costing terminology is vital to ensure you can operate your kitchen effectively, from ordering stock to pricing menu items.

On this course, you’ll be introduced to various financial and operational terms used within food costing processes. This will allow you to understand the elements of food costing and optimise functionality in your management system.

Examine how to manage food production costs with standardised recipes and portion control

By understanding where costs can be controlled, you’ll discover methods of managing your overheads including portion controls and standardising recipes.

With these skills, you’ll be able to reduce waste and add consistency to your inventory controls.

Explore how elements of food costing affect net and gross profit margins

Throughout this course, you’ll discover how accurate food costing impacts processes from stock management and ordering systems, to calculating selling prices.

With your knowledge of the costing processes at each step of production, you’ll be able to analyse your profits and assess where changes can be made to increase profitability going forward.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a foundational knowledge of the various costs associated with food production in the catering industry. You’ll be comfortable calculating costs and analysing where processes can be optimised to reduce overheads and improve profitability.


  • Week 1

    Principles of Food Costing

    • Welcome! Introducing Food Costing

      We welcome you to the course and explain the importance of food costing

    • Principles of Food Costing

      The terms used in food costing and calculations are explained and a breakdown of how these costs make up the selling price and the factors affecting food costs are described.

    • Standardized Recipes

      This article explains the contribution and benefits that standardized recipes make to controlling and quantity and quality of food. You will learn how to develop a standardized recipe and get an opportunity to develop your own.

    • Portion Control

      The importance of portion control and guidelines are explained and equipment to use for portion control is discussed.

    • Food Ordering Systems and Inventory

      This activity explains inventory control. The methods and importance of controlling inventory, technology for inventory control and how the value of inventory is calculated is explained.

  • Week 2

    Calculating Costs

    • The Main Costs in Catering

      This activity looks at the main costs in catering: such as sales concepts, monetary terms and non monetary terms. Overheads and various financial terms used in costing are explained and the elements of costs are broken down.

    • Applying Calculations Used in Catering

      This activity explains how to calculate food cost percentages, cost single portions from a recipe and how to apply this to a standardized recipe and calculate selling prices. You will then practice food costing exercises.

    • Check Yourself

      Take a short test to check your understanding of food costing

    • Wrap of the course

      A short wrap up of what you learnt throughout the course.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

The CPD Certification Service was established in 1996 and is the leading independent CPD accreditation institution operating across industry sectors to complement the CPD policies of professional and academic bodies.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the elements of costs associated with producing food.
  • Explain food costing principles and terminology.
  • Perform basic food costing calculations.
  • Calculate the cost and selling price of dishes.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for chefs, kitchen managers, and chefs in training who want to improve their food costing skills.

What software or tools do you need?

Calculator and a computer with Excel

Who will you learn with?

Career Highlights
Catered for Nelson Mandela
Dignatries in Germany
Competition judge
Banqueting large function organization
Managed large team of chefs
Culinary team chef
Teaching and educating chefs

Who developed the course?

International Culinary Studio

International Culinary Studio offers quality education online from any kitchen.

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime

Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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