Business Challenge: Costing

Why costing?

Business people discussing the charts and graphs showing the results of their successful teamwork.

Whether you’re in the cost sector or the profit sector, the importance of the financial figures in your business can’t be overstated. The key issues to consider are:

What do you need to know about costing?

Monitoring your spend on commodities and how they’re being purchased, used and sold is key to managing them effectively and maximising your sales and profit.

You need to have absolute visibility of your cost cycle so you can have a complete financial picture of your business, from purchasing, to stock valuation, to trading results.

If you can see all your suppliers’ catalogues with the most up-to-date pricing information, then you can quickly and easily build recipes and menus that are always accurately costed. Otherwise you could be left selling dishes that were once profitable but have since become a drain on your finances, perhaps all down to a price hike for a single stock ingredient.

What do your customers want out of your costing efforts?

They want delicious, nutritious dishes at a price that matches the quality of your food. So how can you give them that’ By always having an updated cost and selling prices of your stock ingredients, and coming up with a recommended selling price that drives profit.

How can software help costing?

Our catering software, Saffron, is a modular system that we can build to your requirements to help you take the legwork out of food costing. But it’s not just costing: we also offer modules to complement the entirety of your cost cycle, from purchasing to financial reporting.

Your challenge

How software can help

Purchasing integrating with your food costing

Clearly, the first part of your cost cycle starts with purchasing from your suppliers. That’s why using the Purchasing module begins with supplier ordering. Whether it’s a summary or a line-by-line description, purchasing spends can be recorded via EDI and P2P e-procurement functions to electronic trading with your suppliers, saving you the high costs of manually processing invoices. So, automating your costing helps you see where you can make savings on commodities and saves you money on processes.

Recipe performance

How hard is that dish really working for you’ With Saffron, you can not only see the costs of the recipe, but also see how it’s contributing to your overall profit. Maybe it has a tiny profit but it’s actually selling a lot, so making a generous contribution’ Or maybe it’s one of your trophy dishes that is less often ordered, but contributes a good profit against its own cost. Is it doing as well as you thought it was’ With Saffron, you can compare theoretical versus actual sales performance, so you’ll always know for sure whether it’s a keeper.

Line-by-line stock control and costing

Need to know exactly what your individual ingredients are costing you from each supplier’ Saffron can do that. It’ll show you when prices have gone up or down, which is tremendously important when costing dishes.

Recommended selling prices

As well as attaching pricing information to each stock item and so costing up price per dish or per portion, Saffron can suggest a recommended selling price so you’re always making profitable dishes.

Changing a recipe

When you are catering for special diets, you may only need to substitute individual ingredients in a recipe to meet dietary requirements. However, that doesn’t mean you have to re-cost your dish or portion. With Saffron’s EDI, costs attached to each stock item (right down to different pack sizes) are automatically updated whenever you change a recipe. So, you change a few ingredients and it will automatically re-calculate the costings. Easy!

If you’re going the whole hog and changing to free-from suppliers, Saffron can help you with your supplier management, easily letting you see even artisanal suppliers’ catalogues and services, so you can be fully appraised of the costs involved.

Multi-site operations

You need to keep abreast of stock transfers so you can see how each site is using and selling stock. Saffron’s finance centre reports on multiple sites so you can see how your costing decisions are affecting each unit.

System integration

Our costing abilities can fully integrate with your other finances, from overheads and labour to EPOS and petty cash. It allows you to see your spend vs sales vs budget so you have a holistic picture. It works with a range of other financial products and EPOS systems so that you always have accurate financial data.

Expansion and scaling up yields

Is your operation about to get bigger, or maybe you have a one off event to caterer for that means bigger yields’ Saffron deftly handles multi-site operations when you need to cost up bigger menus, increasing supplier orders to make bigger yields

See how our Recipe and Menu Management module, Purchasing module, Stock module, and Finance Centre module can each work to reduce the costing burden on your food business:

Find out about costing your food with the Recipe and Menu Management module:


Capture real time accurate financial data efficiently and effectively with the Saffron Finance Centre:


See how you can automate your purchasing processes for better costing:


Always know the value of your stock with the Stock module:


To see how we can help your catering business become more profitable and efficient via costing, give us a call on +44 (0)114 281 6060 or contact us.

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