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Controlling Quality and Quantity with Standardized Recipes

A standardized recipe is a set of written instructions with given quantities, individual cost of food products, and portions for individual menu items
© International Culinary Studio

A standardized recipe is a set of written instructions with given quantities, individual cost of food products, and portions for individual menu items that a staff member would follow to prepare a dish.

Generally, a standardized recipes contain the following information:

  1. The dish name.
  2. Total yield (number of servings).
  3. Portion size of each serving.
  4. Ingredient list.
  5. Preparation/method section.
  6. Cooking time and temperature.
  7. Special instructions, if necessary.
  8. Recipe cost (optional).

Ingredient List

The ingredient list with measurements, will be listed. Staff should follow a standardized recipe with precision, using the exact weights of ingredients, not leaving out or adding any ingredient, or modifying the recipe at all.

Modern technology has taken much of the guesswork out of creating dishes and recipes as many types of kitchen equipment weight, measure and cook the dish perfectly every time. However, we still need to understand the benefit of using a standard recipe and the role it plays in the profitability of the catering operation and the contribution is makes to achieve the best food cost.

Standardized recipes are used to:

  • Ensure consistency in the total food production area, and that quantity and quality and cost standards are met on a continuous basis.
  • Ensure that all menu items are counted, weighed, or measured, for consistent and accurate menu costing and pricing, thus profit margins can be pre-determined.
  • The standard recipe is thought to inhibit the creativity of a chef to great extent. Any positive deviation of a standard recipe, whether it is to improve the quality or appearance of a plate of food, to upgrade the menu in general, the stipulated standard of the standard recipe is no longer met, and this could jeopardize the principle of the standard recipe procedure.
  • Calculations of selling price are based on the cost of the dish or menu produced. The ingredients used and the number of portions produced is the basis of costing. Therefore, most companies in the food industry evolve what is known as their ‘standard recipe file’, which these days is electronically stored.
  • The ‘standard recipe file’ is their file of successful standard recipes from which they plan their menus. The ingredients of these recipes are costed out and the numbers of portions expected from each recipe is fixed (the yield of a recipe). As prices fluctuate the costing are amended accordingly. It is essential that the ingredients and quantities used in these standard recipes are strictly adhered to, and that the portions produced from them do not vary. Any variation from either recipe or number of portions produced will invalidate the costing and subsequently the calculation of the selling price – this could result in a loss for the business. Once again this is largely completed now using technology.

The following recipe taken from a food costing App shows how you can use the App to create and cost your own standardized recipes. The App also calculates the food cost using current food prices.

Standardised Recipe Standardised Recipe

To view the full standardised recipe please click here


Download the standardized recipe template, select any recipe and prepare your own standardized recipe.

Please comment. When preparing your standardized recipe what stood out for you?

© International Culinary Studio
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How to Manage Food Costing in the Catering and Restaurant Industry

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