Beth manages the finances of two Los Angeles restaurants: Source Cafe in Hermosa Beach and Nine24 Kitchen in Manhattan Beach. Each of the health-focused cafes has less than 25 people on staff who are averse to technology, and one location has a commissary kitchen that services both concepts. Beth and an administrator manage inventory, food and recipe costing for the company.
In 2020, Beth created her own recipe costing software while she had downtime during the pandemic. “It was pretty miserable,” she says. “I spent COVID doing it. When I match it up to the recipes, I’m two or three cents off. It was so hacked together that it wasn’t sustainable.”
Beth orders ingredients for both locations and was paying different prices for the same goods from the same vendor which was veiled behind codes and the volume of each order. Chefs were manually entering costs with their recipes in google docs, the staff was resistant to using google sheets and technology, and the process of recipe costing was time consuming.
“We have to invoice both of our stores so we need to know how much those goods are worth,” Beth explains. “It’s going to be a year before our team integrates and uses meez recipe books because they’re pretty old school.”
When an accounting colleague recommended meez, Beth booked a demo and started the free trial. In contrast to her experience trying XtraChef, she says,
“It had all of the functionality I needed and I really liked the meez team. I like working with a smaller software vendor that gives me feedback and help versus a larger software company.”
Beth is copying and pasting Source Cafe’s recipes into meez from one large google sheet.
Now she continues recipe uploads and added on meez’s purchasing integration. The meez team scans her invoices and automates a live feed of food cost at each location. “I use it weekly to look at ingredients to see if prices have changed and monthly for costing,” Beth says.
One week when reviewing her purchase items in meez, Beth emailed us to inquire about the cost of her avocados and limes. The units of measurement and applications in recipes, such as the amount of limes used in zest and juice preparations, showed she was paying more than $0.90 per lime from her vendor, when she could buy limes at Costco for $0.50 each.
Similarly, she was spending more than $2 per avocado at one location and $1 per avocado at another location — less than 10 miles away and from the same vendor. The meez team looked into the purchase items and found the counts per bag and by the pound were accounting for the confusion.
“Thank you!” Beth emailed us.
“We were able to follow-up with our vendor and received an updated price for limes @ 50% off and a consistent avocado price across our stores. Thanks to meez!! I am guessing once we get really rocking and rolling we will notice a lot more discrepancies.”
Beth continues to import recipes and send over her invoices for monthly costing and says she looks forward to holding her vendor accountable and changing vendors when necessary.
“It’s so much quicker and faster and you have live purchasing data to know at that moment what you spent,” she says.
Beth concludes that her contacts at meez “have been so awesome and helpful and responsive that it reiterates why I purchased meez: the support and help I’ve gotten and their patience with me setting up because it’s taken forever. Life has happened. They’ve been so awesome and helpful and taking input to change things, and that’s what I wanted in a software company, and I love it.”
The biggest impact on her operational process is time saved and freed up for the chefs.
“It’s so quick to cost recipes. It takes 1/25th of the time to cost them and we have live purchasing data which is really, really helpful. Our inventory process will be a lot easier with all the costs. The big thing is our chefs don’t need to sit and update costs, it’s all automated.”
Start your free trial to cost recipes more efficiently and effectively, scale with accurate units of measure, communicate prep and menu changes to your team while spending less time in the kitchen, and calculate a real value of food waste. Save time, be more efficient and import recipes easily with meez.