If you were to change the recipe for the secret-spice blend, the menu explosion model requires you to make a single revision to the spice recipe that will automatically update all other linked recipes. Conversely, if listed the spices directly in the hamburger recipe and later decided to remove the black pepper, we would have to update every recipe that used that blend.
A sub-recipe, such as a spice mix, is likely to be blended in a larger batch and then portioned as required, rather than measured independently to order. The explosion method, therefore, better reflects real life application because it treats spice mix as an independent recipe.
Master ingredient list
Much like how the sub-recipes are used within a recipe, all ingredients should link to a master ingredient list. The master ingredient list in a menu explosion model is a list of every ingredient used in the model. The list should include case sizes, case costs, and yields (a percentage that represents what is left once an ingredient is prepared for use).
By linking to the master list, a change only needs to be made to an ingredient in one place. This also ensures that that change will be updated accurately throughout the model.
I built my model…now what?
The costing of a recipe is only the beginning of the power of the menu explosion process. Once the recipe model has been built and menu item costs have been determined, we can use that information in a variety of ways.
Build your pricing strategy based on a balance of cost and market value. If the world is willing to pay $25 for a steak dinner, you need to make sure that you can afford to sell that steak dinner for that price. With an accurate food cost estimate, you can assess the feasibility of offering a menu item at a specific price.
Determine your theoretical COGS based on sales mix. Once each item’s cost has been determined, and the menu price has been assigned, the menu explosion model can use the sales mix (number of each menu item sold for a given period) to determine the blended average theoretical COGS.
If the theoretical COGS is in line (within 1.5 per cent) with the actual costs (starting inventory + purchases – closing inventory) from the same period then it is likely that recipes are being followed, no one is stealing and product is not being wasted. If the theoretical and actual numbers are not within the 1.5 per cent range, then you can take steps to identify and track the issue. Once the issue is identified, corrective action should be taken immediately.
Menu explosion is also the first stage in the menu engineering process. You can read more about menu engineering here.
For more information or help with creating a menu explosion go to www.fsSTRATEGY.com