Call us now: 01202 348007Email us Login




 Food labelling law changed to include 14 allergens in Dec 2014. How can you tap into this lucrative market sector? 

Lucinda Dawes - Nutritionist

For very little effort there is a potentially huge return on investment – tapping into nearly a quarter of the population not currently catered for.

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

Click here for your free consultation


allergens_banner.jpg“22% of the population have an allergy or believe they have a food intolerance”

“97% of allergy sufferers stated they would visit an establishment if it displayed allergens on the menu ”

“67% of diners want calorie disclosure and over half will chose a restaurant that shows nutritional info over one that doesn’t ”

Lucinda understands that those with allergies are the decision makers when it comes to eating out. The argument that the one person in a group of 10 with an allergy decides where the other nine are eating is very strong.


Lucinda understands the power of this group in marketing terms – driven by allergy-friendly review websites.  Such as ‘Tried and Trusted’ (The Anaphylaxis Campaign) where members share eating out experiences and input reviews of the best – and worst – restaurants, pubs and hotels with regards to their allergy understanding. Just thinking of Trip Advisor makes Lucinda realise how influential these review sites can be.

Lucinda advises caterers to get a system in place to account for 14 allergens in their dishes as current food labelling laws for the foodservice industry will change from December 2014.

The legislation means that specific food allergens listed within the EU regulation FIR 1169/2011 must be highlighted.

This means caterers will no longer be able to simply state ‘we do not know if an allergenic food ingredient has been used’, but instead will have to provide clear information about the food allergens contained in their menu items.

Lucinda advises restauarnts to turn this into a 'point of difference' and provide healthy, allergen-free options.


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

Ceri runs the View Restaurant, Cornwall

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

Click here for your free consultation


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

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

Click here for your free consultation


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 (cereals such as wheat, barley, rye, oats, 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

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

Click here for your free consultation


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.

What’s your challenge?

Arrange a free consultation with a CaterCost food profit specialist

Click here for your free consultation


 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

Click here for your free consultation


 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

allergens_apple.jpgCaterCost Nutritional

In addition to the benefits of having accurate dish specifications and menus CaterCost gives the facility to link ingredients to nutritional data and flag allergens contained in components of every dish. With the flexibility to select nutritional info from a data base of 15,000 ingredients or add precise information from the suppliers ingredients list, CaterCost calculates nutritional composition and allergens through sub recipes, recipes and dishes.


Obesity in the UK is set to affect over 50% of the population by 2020. The associated health problems such as Diabetes and Heart Disease are rising at a staggering level. This is why it is vital that the eating out sector takes responsibility for giving their customers nutritional information about the food they serve. Increasingly members of the public are avoiding restaurants and cafes where this information is not available or where healthy options do not feature on the menu. 

Lucinda Dawes – Nutritionist