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CaterCost helps multiple operators increase revenue and profit performance even without an uplift in food turnover

Peter Linacre – entrepreneur with 7 multi-award winning pubs serving a variety of good quality food including the Camden Eye –former home to the 2012 BII Licensee of the Year

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laptop.jpg“I want my sites to deliver consistent margins on food sales, but need more flexibility and user-friendliness than the big back office software ‘solutions’ give”

Peter is the CEO of the New Pub Company based in London and the Home Counties.

With seven sites located in different parts of the community, each with a slightly different target market, Peter wants to be able to throw off the constraints of a standardised menu identical in all outlets. He wants his chefs and managers to add special dishes and local produce to the mix while still retaining accuracy and control of margins.

He wants the benefits associated with centrally negotiated buying prices for core ingredients combined with provenance from using locally sourced ingredients - but requires his chefs to deliver agreed margins on a consistent basis.

Accurate spec sheets and portion control are an absolutely essential component of his margin delivery.

He knows too that his customers are increasingly demanding to know the nutritional info of their food, and that come December he has to find a way of listing at outlet level the 14 allergens contained within his dishes.

He knows he hasn’t a hope in hell of getting his kitchen teams to actually USE the spreadsheets his head office have created. Chefs and costings are not a match made in heaven....until he discovered CaterCost.


I want to provide my customers with a nutritional guide for all my dishes without expense or effort

Ceri runs the View Restaurant, Cornwall

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 Nutrition_laptop.jpg“Since the horsemeat scandal, so many of my customers are asking for nutritional info about their food. Chain restaurants are displaying this information, but it's easier for them" 

Like so many switched-on operators Ceri wants to set high standards and capture the health-conscious eating out market. She knows this will satisfy customer demand and give her the edge over her competition.

Her chef is against this but she knows he is not the customer, besides a lot of stuff on her menu is healthy and she wants to shout about it!

She plans  to build a “healthy section” on her menu rather than publish full calorie counts.

She can't see how she will have the time to research ingredient-by-ingredient the nutritional makeup of her menu dishes – and doesn’t want the expense of full-on dish analysis in the laboratory as her menu changes frequently.

Ceri is delighted CaterCost calculates calorific value, protein, carbs, sugars, fats, sat fats and salt in every recipe, sub recipe and dish on her menu. With a database of over 15,000 nutritionally analysed ingredients to use within the system, she also has the ability to enter her own nutritional data against products she buys. CaterCost takes the effort out of nutritional analysis and provides her with an easy way to flag dishes below a calorie threshold as well as displaying full calorific content if she chooses.

She’s worried that the writing may be on the wall and wants to get ahead of the game. In the USA the Health Care Bill was introduced and required restaurant chains with 20 or more outlets to provide nutritional and calorie info for all their menu items. She's worried this might happen in the UK and is glad she's discovered CaterCost now to get ahead of the game!


 Changes in legislation on food labelling laws came into force in the UK on December 13th 2014

EU Regulation FIR 1169/2011 covers the disclosure of 14 common allergens found in food

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Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

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Customers must be
provided with details of any of the
14 common allergens contained in any
dish on the menu. Saying “we do not know”
is not enough.


Any dish on your menu containing one
or more of these allergens will need to be communicated
to your customers by staff, which is a challenge in itself,
but there must also be a backup, and printed or visual
info must be provided if customers request it.

What are the allergens?

  1. Gluten (from cereals such as wheat, barley, oats, rye, spelt)
  2. Crustaceans
  3. Molluscs
  4. Fish
  5. Peanuts
  6. Lupin
  7. Nuts (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds etc.)
  8. Soya
  9. Eggs
  10. Milk
  11. Celery
  12. Mustard
  13. Sesame
  14. Sulphur dioxide (used as a preservative in some dried fruit)


“As if life wasn’t complicated enough! This is a management nightmare – most recipes are in chef's head and what dish specifications we have are changing so often I can’t envisage a manageable way to comply.”

This is where CaterCost will be invaluable. CaterCost helps take the headache out of managing this information by providing one single online point of up-to-date and accurate info about your menus for your outlets - a place where all staff can refer, even if chef's on holiday or gets hit by a bus. CaterCost can also provide printed reports at the click of a mouse.

CaterCost will help you by tracking allergens through all your recipes and sub-recipes to ensure nothing is missed through human error.


 Since using CaterCost I reckon every dish specification I now create takes me less than a minute!

Tim Munroe, Head Chef at the Kitchen Larder, Dorset

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Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

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Tim has been struggling to find the time to deliver the dish specifications his boss asks for. Something always seems to crop up –  staff shortages and unanticipated high volumes of trade leave him too harassed to prep for the next day without the added hassle of costing up new menu dishes.

He knows too that when he’s not there some of the other chefs do things differently which has led to customer dissatisfaction and lower GPs.

His biggest enemy is time and the spreadsheets he’s been trying to work with take so long.

Tim knows that without an accurate dish spec some of the items on the menu aren’t delivering what his boss wants.

What Tim really wants is a to get a fully costed and accurately defined dish spec so all he has to do is list the ingredients of the dish, their quantities (preferably in user-friendly terms like pinch and teaspoon and lbs and oz - not just metric) and everything else just magically happens.

Well that’s exactly what happens now he has CaterCost.

Now he simply types the ingredients and everything else miraculously occurs!

Once the dish is complete he chooses the recommended retail price, his desired GP or enters his own price and sees the GP he’ll be making on that dish. EASY.

Accuracy in food profits come from precision in dish and menu specification.


 Real time saving comes into play, now I can create fully costed batched items and use them in any quantity, in any dish or recipe I want 

Matt Davies, Executive Head Chef at The Lewis Partnership, Stafford.

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Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

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 SubRecipe_phone.jpg“Getting consistency for sub-recipes across the sites is vital to uplift profit”

Matt is like a walking encyclopaedia – carrying thousands of recipes in his head, and was always struggling to nail a documented dish spec.

Because the recipes weren't written down he could never be sure his chefs were making food batches to the right formula. Matt tried to solve this sub-recipe conundrum using spreadsheets – but with over 400 menu items and 200 sub-recipes the task was too enormous to tackle.

This problem isn't limited to multi-sites such as Matt's. Even a small independent operator will have a range of sub-recipes that are used to construct dishes on the menu

This is where clients such as Matt are really feeling the time-saving benefits of CaterCost software.

Not only can he be precise with batch quantities and portions for each recipe, wth the accuracy to shave a few pence here and there to make big improvements to profitability, his data is always live, allowing price increases to flow through every sub-recipe he has created.

AND by using CaterCost NEW feature 'QUICK UPDATE" he can make changes to hundreds of items without a single mouse click. 



Loads of boring data entry before I can get going? I haven’t got time for that, and I'm no whizz with a mouse 

Stephan Rondoz, South Deep Bistro, Poole.

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

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 DataEntry_iPad.jpg“I love the user-friendliness of the costing part but frankly data entry makes me feel like jumping into the harbour”

Stephan is right, no system as sophisticated as CaterCost can operate without accurate data. He understands the quality of the initial data entry and costs of his supplied ingredients (meat, fish, fruit and veg, dried goods, frozen products etc,) is a VITAL part of setting up his dish costing system accurately.The initial data entry will determine the accuracy of his dish specifications. 

That’s where CaterCost helps, by giving users options.

  • Option to start from an empty ingredients list (store cupboard). 
  • Option to customise and edit 600 standard kitchen store cupboard ingredients.
  • Option to get CaterCost to take care of your initial data pre-load – using your individual prices and suppliers

“Getting data in there as quickly and as accurately as possible to start was really important to me. I had the busy summer months looming and I didn’t want to hold up creating a really profitable summer menu by wasting time on data entry”

Stephan viewed paying for CaterCost’s “done-for-you-service” as a business investment, guaranteeing he’d make better margin immediately rather than keep making half-hearted solutions to his costing problems.

What is CaterCost?

Market-leading menu costing software – to manage your menus, control your costs and improve your profits, without the need for spreadsheets, formulas, calculators (or a PHD in Maths)



How does it work?

Store Cupboard:  Load your purchase data and supplier details

Quick Data Entry:   Bulk edit hundreds of store cupboard ingredients without a single mouse click

Recipes:  Detail your sub-recipes to become fully costed entities and add to dishes in any quantity you like

Dishes:  Create dish specifications for every menu item from supplied ingredient data and sub-recipes. Set retail price points according to desired Gross Profit %

Menus:   Put together your menus from your library of dishes. Set your overall GP% and see underperforming dishes flagged. Enter sales mix against menu dishes to get an accurate GP% and cash margin per menu

Supplier Intelligence:   Search and compare prices of ingredients bought from more than one source


multi-site.jpgCaterCost Multi Site

Your company’s ‘head office’ CaterCost location, feeding your core data (costs, centrally bought ingredients, nutritional info, sub recipes, dish specifications and menus) to your outlet locations.

Each outlet location can work with the central data AND add their own data (local supplier ingredients) to accurately cost their own individual special dishes without ‘guessing’ the retail price and risking your profit margins.


With food sales driving wet trade for many of our partners (27% of licensees revenue is generated from food) this is an area where we recognise tenants need extra support – particularly in their crucial first year.
Our Catering Development Managers are equipped with CaterCost to give really meaningful support, helping every licensee drill down to the detail of their food offer and helping them fine-tune this valuable profit stream.

Alan Todd – Head of Catering, Punch Taverns Ltd


CaterCost has really helped us push up margin. Every time we put a new special or dish on the menu at an outlet chef can cost it. We can also see all our menu items in one place, which really helps us engineer our menus.  it is particularly valuable at Rockfish where we are expanding with new restaurants.
My chefs use CaterCost every day and it has become part of our daily business operation, we wouldn't be without it now.

Mitch Tonks – Restaurateur of the Year 2012 and Chef on TV's Saturday Kitchen. Proprietor of The Seahorse, Dartmouth – Best Seafood Restaurant – Good Food Guide 2013 & Rockfish – Best UK Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant 2013