Recipe Cost Calculator: Better Hourly Inputs

Posted on February 03, 2015 by

If you've been using ReciPal recently you've seen a few new updates to our recipe cost calculator. You can see a few more updates that we've written about editing all your ingredient costs, factoring in shipping costs, factoring in ingredient waste in costing, and subrecipe costing that make your recipe costing easier and more accurate.

Bill of Materials

A while back we added the ability to add non-food ingredients to your recipe to create a full food product bill of materials and break down your recipe costs into different categories with more granularity.

One limitation was that hourly ingredients were limited to just a single unit - hours. That makes sense on the surface, especially on the costing side. After all, you're not paying your employees or renting equipment on a minute by minute basis.

"Baby" Steps

However, if you're making a detailed bill of materials or a batch control log you may have various small steps in your production process that include an hourly ingredient like labor. If that step takes only a few minutes, it becomes cumbersome and potentially inaccurate to convert minutes to hours.

Maybe you know that 6 minutes is 0.1 hours, but what about 5 minutes? That's trickier and requires rounding.

Minutes for Hourly Ingredients

So we listened to our customers and added minutes to all the hourly ingredients. We updated all the existing hourly ingredients, and now when you add a new non-food ingredient it will automatically have minutes as a unit.

Enter the price you pay for each non-food ingredient, now with minutes.

This should make your recipe costing a bit easier and also more accurate. We were trying to come up with a shortcoming of this update, but it seems like it only makes everything better and we hope you agree.

Questions and Comments

Have questions about how to properly cost your product? Ask us by email, livechat, twitter, or leave a comment below. And as always, let us know if you have any other ideas for improving recipe costing in the comments.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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