Food safety

Effective Recipe Management: What should recipe management software include?

Recipes contain the standard ingredients and processes for food production. Managing such vital information is critical.

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Recipes contain the standard ingredients and processes for food production. Managing such vital information is critical.

  • Recipe management software provides digital solutions for digitizing recipes, computing food costs, and managing allergens.
  • Proper recipe management is critical to achieving consistent product quality and safety in a food business.
  • Get the core features of a recipe management system and the full potential of a food safety system using FoodDocs' digital Food Safety Management System.

Customers will come back and continuously support your business if you offer good quality, safe, and consistent products. These three factors all play significant roles in customer satisfaction and retention. While first-time customers may enjoy their initial experience with your services, a strong bond between them and your business can only be made if you can reproduce an excellent experience. In this article, we discuss how every food business can achieve all three factors through recipe management.

Recipe management promotes consistency and compliance with laws. Studies have shown that over 90% of dissatisfied customers will not return to your food establishment. A study conducted by Market Connections showed that disappointed customers tend to share their dissatisfaction with 9 to 15 people. Imagine serving one bad dish and causing a domino effect on your entire revenue.

Avoid such problems using FoodDocs Food Safety Management System, equipped with a Recipe Management System to help you achieve quality, safety, and consistency in your food business.


Here is a quick list of topics discussed regarding recipe management in this blog post:


What is recipe management?

Recipe management refers to the system used to collect information on the particular ingredients, formula, operations, advisories, equipment, and costs involved in creating a product. The system is used to document how a product is made for easier assessment and improvements.

A recipe management system notes potential allergens in the product, additives used, or the risk of health issues with immunocompromised individuals if they consume your product.

The information in recipe management is also used to validate everyday production and inspection needs. It also becomes useful when your food business team needs to scale up or down a recipe to accommodate the required serving or batch production size. The system can help you manage costs and retain profitability throughout the scaling process.


recipe management


How do recipe management needs differ by industry? 

In this part of the article, we give you an overview of recipe management needs by industries:

  1. Recipe management in manufacturing
  2. Recipe management in food service
  3. Recipe management in retail


Recipe management generally functions the same throughout different industries. The system is used to store product-related information and serve as a guide for verifying the production process. Despite this, recipe management's use may be slightly more comprehensive in some industry operations than others.

The following section discusses how a recipe management system can help different industry sectors and which features are most useful for each sector.


Recipe management in manufacturing 

Food manufacturing businesses operate on a large scale. They produce food items sold in retail stores or other food businesses. A recipe management system functions in a manufacturing setting as an overall guide for large production batches.

Specifically, recipe management in manufacturing functions as the following:

    • Documentation of recipes
    • Scaling of recipes based on target batch size
    • Recipe costing
    • Accurate processing instructions
    • Recipe analysis
    • Allergen management

Depending on the product demand, the manufacturing scale may constantly differ, especially for plant-specific recipes. Using recipe management, manufacturers can constantly scale the recipe output without compromising the products. The system is also used to locate approved alternative ingredients instantly in case an ingredient runs out. It makes substitutions an easy task.

Manufacturing companies also use highly technical daily operations that require expertise from employees. Instructions and special remarks on processing ingredients for a particular product can be noted using recipe management. The system can then be used to detect inefficient and inconsistent operations to boost performance. 


Recipe management in food service

Unlike manufacturing businesses, food service businesses must address front-of-the-house, or food service area, and back-of-the-house, or kitchen area, operations. Recipe management for food service mainly involves providing solutions for back-of-the-house standard processes. 

The main solutions of recipe management for food service include:

  • Documentation of recipes
  • Recipe costing
  • Recipe substitution
  • Stock management
  • Scaling of recipes 
  • Detailed preparation instructions
  • Nutritional and allergen information

Managing recipes in food service mean organizing inventory and maintaining the quality of dishes produced in the kitchen. 

Food service businesses can immediately assess the profitability of every dish on their menu using recipe management. If in case the cost is significantly increasing, a previously uploaded alternative recipe can be used to maintain profitability and quality.

The system can help standardize recipe selection while reducing the likelihood of errors and inconsistent quality. It should also help restaurants manage allergens and other hazards by remarking which ones apply to your food business.


Recipe management in retail 

While recipe management systems mainly cater to food businesses that handle and prepare food from scratch, the system can also be very helpful for retailers.

For retail businesses, recipe management functions should include:

  • Documentation of recipes
  • Allergen management
  • Safety preparation instructions for repacked products

Retailers can use recipe management to document allergen information about the products that the business offers. This feature can guide customers in making more informed decisions regarding the products that they buy.

Food retailers can use the management system to compile information and manage potential food safety hazards much better.


What is recipe management software?

Recently, the uses of a recipe management system have become wider. Recipe management software systems give restaurant businesses automatic solutions that help keep profitability while managing all product-related information. To date, the software can do more than just store correct recipes. The software ensures the consistency and safety of the products you serve to your customers

Powerful recipe management software also allows integration with other programs, such as inventory management software and a point-of-sale system. Such integrations can help improve the efficiency of raw material procurement, costing, and accounting of revenues.

Recipe management software is a type of restaurant software that is mainly used to store recipes and related information to serve as a guide for food handlers. It allows for a better overview and easier access to recipe operations.

At FoodDocs, you can get the core features of recipe management software and a food safety system in one digital solution. You can explore how our system can help you manage recipes and food safety at the same time by using our free 14-day trial.


FSMS FoodDocs


Learn more about food safety compliance through our detailed food safety rules and tips food safety rules and tips.


Recipe Management Software vs Recipe Book Software 

Programs for managing recipes and operations in a food business have a lot of varieties. Two of the commonly used programs for recipe management are recipe management software and recipe book software. Although closely related, these two programs have different functions and target markets.

Recipe book software, otherwise known as cookbook software, is mainly used to create cookbook-style recipe documents containing your favorite meals. Customers use this software to translate printed recipes into a neatly presented cookbook complete with the ingredients, instructions, and images of the final product. It can also compile online recipes.

Recipe book software programs also help in calculating the nutritional info of a recipe that you input. The software lays out the information ready for printing or sharing. Most cookbook programs also allow you to print out the ingredients to become a grocery list or for making meal plans. This program acts as a simple recipe organizer software.

On the contrary, food recipe management software can do more. This software can do all the mentioned features of cookbook software plus other operations. The recipe management software can control and present ingredient and product costs for food businesses. It can also be used as recipe analysis software for substitutions of ingredients in recipes.

The main customers of recipe management software are food businesses that deal with great and varying ingredient demands. On the other hand, recipe book software is more of an everyday tool or for aspiring chefs who aim to publish their cookbooks.



Digital recipe book from FoodDocs


Why is recipe management software important?

Active recipes hold the secrets of any food business. They contain the ingredients and processes needed to produce your best-selling menu items. In addition, recipes serve as the main guide for food handlers when producing your dishes.

Recipe management software can help you ensure that these recipe functions are always done correctly and consistently at all times. To show you how important recipe management systems have become for food businesses, here are some benefits of recipe management software:

  • Transparency. A recipe management system makes essential information about your production recipes more accessible. Food handlers become more aware of any potential food safety hazards, such as allergens, in the food they are preparing. 

While improving transparency, the recipe management software simultaneously promotes the protection of your information. Only employees with user permissions will be given access to important recipes, protecting your trade secrets. 

  • Standardized and consistent process. When using recipe management software, you can ensure that the product quality and safety that come up every time are reproducible and consistent. A detailed recipe will show the critical steps in making the product, which will make or break the outcome. When your business consistently produces the same product quality, you can expect to gain supporters or repeat customers. 
  • More efficient new employees training. A recipe management system can be used to familiarize and train food handlers. Giving food handlers access to a recipe allows them to review the production processes and ensure they know what to look for when preparing the food. They can also become more familiar with the alternative operations should a recipe ingredient be unavailable.
  • Easier scaling of batch processing. The software makes it easier to scale down or upsize a recipe's requirements with very little margin of error. Employees would not need to calculate the ingredient quantities manually. In addition to software, you can use our Recipe Converter Calculator to scale recipes for free.
  • Integrated inventory data. Using a recipe management system allows food business supervisors to integrate their systems with other software programs, such as an inventory management system. Doing this lets your team get a quick overview of stock levels and receive prompts if you need to reload supplies.
  • Management of recipe costs. Recipe management software can automatically provide real-time ingredient prices and automatic food cost calculations. With such a feature, you can always stay on top of your expenses and easily substitute costly ingredients with other approved recipe materials that cost less.
  • Better management of hazards. The standardized process offered by recipe management software minimizes the risk of contamination from food hazards.
  • Compliance with food regulations. Food handlers can note important remarks or instructions required by food laws in a recipe management system. The system can help ensure that hazardous ingredients, such as allergens, are correctly handled.

A recipe management system works more than just as a compilation program of recipes. It levels up the usual Recipe Card Generator by equipping it with smart solutions. It can help you maximize and make your operations more efficient. At FoodDocs, you can get the core benefits of a recipe management system combined with more features for food safety management.

Our digital Food Safety Management System features comprehensive food safety solutions to maintain compliance while allowing you to manage your recipes and production processes. Use our recipe management feature to log your recipes and essential information and effortlessly perform recipe calculations for your production.

You can learn more about our recipe management features connected to a food safety system in the last section of this blog post.


digital recipe book used in a restaurant


What features should Recipe Management System include? 

Food businesses have a lot of choices when it comes to recipe management systems. The key to selecting which one fits best for your operations is understanding which functions are critical for recipe management.

We've prepared a list of the critical factors that an effective recipe software system should have. 


1. Recipe creation and customizations. The main function of a recipe management system is to be able to hold all your recipe procedures, and related documents, such as final product images, safety sheets, shelf-life data, and production records. It serves as recipe database software or centralized recipe storage where you can archive electronic records of your recipes for your team.

The software must allow customizations of recipes while maintaining consistent quality, as recipe adjustments may constantly occur. For example, if a staple recipe ingredient becomes phased out, you must be able to revise the recipe according to the available alternatives.


2. Cost analysis. An effective recipe manager software can offer insightful information for cost management. The software that you will choose must be able to show you updated recipe costing for each product or dish on your menus. Manually computing food costs can lead to more errors. Programs equipped with a food cost calculator are significantly more preferred as true costs are essential for running your business.


3. Recipe scaling. The recipe management system must be able to accurately downsize or upscale your recipes according to the base formulation you provided. Your team must be able to rely on the software to do the calculation and provide accurate values of required ingredients for larger or smaller batch processes.


4. Version control. As the software name suggests, it can improve efficiency in managing new and old versions of your master recipes. The software must be able to indicate which recipe variation is currently being used as the control recipe and which one is the closest to the standard recipe in case of process changes. 


5. Allergen information. Recipe management systems are designed to identify allergenic ingredients in your recipes and intuitively highlight them for guidance. Some programs, like FoodDocs digital FSMS, are smarter as they can detect which allergen concerns are relevant to your business based on your locations. Find out which food allergens apply to your location from our Food Allergen Chart.


6. Nutritional information. Advanced management systems allow food handlers to generate nutritional information about the ingredients used in a dish. Using this feature, you can offer more value and insight to your customers.


7. Recipe sharing. This management feature can boost efficiency in communication and in spreading information throughout your team. As there is no need to print everything and share recipes manually, your team can adapt to major changes in an instant.


8. Integration. When integrated with other software programs, a recipe management system can become more useful. Integrating the system into menu engineering software can help you update product costs according to the most profitable margins intuitively. Another example is when you connect the system to an inventory management system, you can get real-time reports of which products move fast and which are still high in stock.


Choosing a recipe management system can be very tough, especially with all of the available choices. At times, you would only need some of the mentioned parameters for your operations. Some programs may be too complicated and have unnecessary functions that take away the focus from the important ones .

What you need is software that has the essential functions of a recipe management system. At FoodDocs, you can get these functions in addition to a digital Food Safety Management System. Our food safety software features a  built-in recipe management system that can do core functions, such as recipe digitization, recipe scaling, and allergen management

FSMS FoodDocs


Tips to make recipe management more effective

Implementing recipe management can boost your everyday efficiency. It can help you improve kitchen operations and reduce potential errors that may lead to unwanted hazards. 

To ensure that your team and food business are getting the full potential of a recipe management system, follow these tips:

1. Train food handlers on how to use the software. The software itself can be used to onboard new operators. For existing team members, you would need to orient them on how to optimize operations with the software. All food handlers must understand the functions of the software and become aware of any updates in the system. You can integrate training during the onboarding process for your food employees using our free food safety guidelines pdf.

2. Do all calculations and conversions using the software. This type of software aims to minimize errors. Miscalculations from manual computations can cost you quite a lot, especially when the error is related to the formulation. You can reduce errors and tedious tasks that are prone to mistakes using the software.

3. Streamline the process by mass uploading all digital recipes. Another way to minimize errors and improve accuracy is to mass upload all of your recipes in the software all at once. Manually inputting each recipe into the software increases the risk of mistyping a piece of information.

4. Verify the base recipe. When scaling your recipes, the calculations will be based on the main recipe you upload. Make sure that your original recipe is correct and accurate, or else all calculations will be wrong. 

5. Optimize recipes. Always input substitute recipes in case of ingredient shortage. Recipe management systems can help you update a recipe based on available recipes and communicate throughout the entire team the substitute recipe. In this way, you can ensure a seamless operation without any downtime.

6. Use the allergen information feature. This feature is one of the most vital parts of a restaurant management system. Make sure that employees understand why particular ingredients are highlighted by the system automatically and how the feature contributes to your in-house allergen control program.

7. Communicate any changes to involved employees. Although the software automates recipe management, communicating changes to employees is still an important task to ensure clarity throughout the team. 

8. Regularly review recipe costs. Another vital feature of recipe management is calculating recipe costs. Food business restaurant managers must take advantage of this feature as it will determine if a dish is still profitable or if it requires changes, such as ingredient substitutions.

While a standalone recipe management software offers many benefits and features, having other systems, such as a food safety management system, can boost its functionality. At FoodDocs, you can get the best of both worlds. You can digitize handwritten recipes and get overviews of important recipe information while maintaining food safety compliance in all operations. 


Recipe management connected to your food safety system 

In this part of the article, we highlight the two main benefits of FoodDocs software:

  1. Effective recipe management with a digital recipe book
  2. Live production management solution


Recipe management plays a significant role in maintaining food safety. These two aspects are inseparable and must be monitored consistently. Proper recipe management can boost efficiency and help your team resolve bottlenecks in operation while reducing the risk of food safety hazards.

At FoodDocs, we've combined the core features of an advanced recipe management solution and food safety management system in one smart software.

Powered by artificial intelligence and a machine-learning program, our software offers intuitive solutions that can help businesses maintain compliance at all times. With consistent improvements and development, our team has incorporated recipe management features into our Food Safety System Software.



Effective recipe management with a digital recipe book

FoodDocs digital Food Safety Management System now features recipe management functions. You can upload all of your business recipes into our system and access them from your device.

In addition to archiving your recipes, our system can offer you the following benefits:

  • Digitize all of your recipes. Choose from the list of common ingredients that we have preselected and enter the set amount for your recipe. You can create unlimited recipe cards using our system. This feature also includes custom measurement units, allowing your team to indicate units you commonly use in your kitchen, such as tablespoons, pieces, and cups. 

This feature also allows you to download the recipes and share them with your employees. 


Digital recipe book from FoodDocs


  • Mass import all of your files. Our system is ready to accommodate digital recipes if you already have digital copies. You can import all of your recipe information in one CSV or excel format and set up your digital recipe book with a few clicks. 
  • Digital cookbook for consistent food quality. Access all of your digital recipes in one place using your mobile device. Make verification of processes and formulations more accessible by using our recipe management system during operations.
  • Detailed preparation instructions for each recipe. Our system can accommodate video or photo instructions to help your team understand how to prepare a particular dish. This feature also makes our system a good onboarding tool for new employees. 
  • Overview of allergens. Based on the recipes that you input, our system can automatically generate an allergen matrix to help guide both your employees and consumers. Our system also automatically highlights each applicable allergen to your location on every recipe that you input.

Create and scale your recipes accurately using our recipe management features. Maintain food safety and quality consistently by establishing your standardized recipe and detailed instructions in our digital platform. 


Live production management solution

Recipe management is just the first of many features that our food safety software can provide. Using our digital Food Safety Management System, you can manage your production remotely and create schedules efficiently.

Here are some of the most useful features that our system can provide your team:

  • Calculate ingredient quantity. Using our live production management solution, you can compute the required ingredient quantity for a specified target yield. Reduce the time that you need to compute for your final formulation and minimize any potential errors by allowing our system to do the work for you.



Food production feature from FoodDocs


  • Production planning. Track your production process and avoid stock-outs with our mobile application. Using this feature, you can track the progress of a particular production setup until the food item is ready for distribution.
  • Calculate product shelf-life. Our system can automatically generate suggested shelf-life for your products. This feature can help you determine the maximum holding time for a product and ensure that you are only serving the freshest items to customers. 
  • Fast traceability log. Track all details about your produced food items using our traceability log. Using this log feature, you can easily determine the date of production, the employee in charge of the production, and any important remarks attached to a batch of products. 


Food traceability log from FoodDocs


  • Smart notifications. Never forget a food safety task or the maximum shelf life of your products with intuitive alerts from our mobile app. Our system will send notifications to assigned personnel, reminding them of important tasks that are due.
  • Real-time overview. Get a quick overview of your entire production process and immediately determine areas that need more attention. Save at least 20% of your time supervising your team and become more efficient.

You can start using all of these features and more in just 15 minutes. Our system only requires you to answer a few basic questions about your business operations. Using artificial intelligence, all necessary food safety logs and documents will be automatically generated for your team.

Customize recipes, monitoring logs, and checklists anytime you want. Switch to our digital Food Safety Management System and control your recipes and food safety compliance remotely.

Join our list of 35,000 customers enjoying the convenience and efficiency of our digital solutions. Start your free 14-day trial now.


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