Saturday, 9 March 2013

Huge update: recipe costing, ingredient batching and more

The alacalc.com website has been live for just about a year now (although we have been in the food industry for many years).

As a happy birthday present to ourselves and our clients we're presenting our biggest upgrades to date including the long awaited, eagerly anticipated recipe costings, ingredient batching and the introduction of outputs compliant to US labelling standards.

We've all been working late nights for months to get these exciting new features ready for launch and are extremely pleased to finally be at a stage to present them.

Want to know more? Keep reading!





Recipe Costings

Since the earliest beta testing of alacalc.com over two years ago we have known that costing ingredients for a recipe is of prime importance to our users.

The purpose of this section of the website is to allow the users to calculate the total material cost of a recipe per serving size and per batch size. The user only need enter the purchase cost for an ingredient once and that will then be factored across all recipes which include that ingredient. Meaning updating hundreds of individual spreadsheets is now a thing of the past and costings of recipes is now centralised and easily handled.

To access the overview of ingredient and recipe costs simply go to the new My Costings button in the top navigation area of the website. There will be a full list of all ingredients used by the user and corresponding cost per specified weight e.g. £3.24 per 1 kg as well as a full list of recipes with their corresponding batch and serving costs.

Adding a new cost is as simple as clicking add cost against an ingredient and entering the cost per weight.

Once the save button is hit on this page, all the recipe costs and ingredient costs will automatically update throughout the user's items. We believe this will save the user time and money as well as help the user understand and analyse the profitability of their recipes.

Clicking on an individual recipe and going to the new Costings tab will give a line by line breakdown of ingredients showing the quantity of the ingredient in this recipe, the cost per weight, cost per batch and cost per serving.

Here the user can tweak all the relevant aspects of their recipe to assess how it affects the overall costs. It shows clearly the total cost per serving and per batch and all the figures are recalculated in just a few moments upon saving changes.

This feature we plan on expanding in the future. We'd love to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see included.

NOTE Costings will only be available for recipes which have been 'completed' and charged one credit. This 1 credit charge is not extra to the nutrition charging. i.e. 1 credit will allow access to nutrition AND costing and if your recipe has already been charged for nutrition, there will be no additional charge for costing.


Ingredient Batching

Ever tried to scale up a recipe to make a certain batch size? Closely integrated with the costs is the new batch setting for each recipe found in the Costings tab for an individual recipe. This is where the user can set a required batch size and the website will then calculate the weight of each ingredient needed to make a batch of that size. This will then be costed and the cost displayed in the My Costings overview.


US Graphics (beta)

Another area of expansion for alacalc.com is internationalisation. Today we take our first steps by releasing graphic outputs compliant to the US standards. We are still working on a few bugs with this so please bear with us, however, the basic usage is there for preview and switching between UK outputs and US outputs is as simple as changing the flag in the top right hand corner of the navigation bar.

After the completion of this section we will move onto other languages and countries. This is another area where we invite your comments and suggestions. Which country/language would you like to see next?


We hope you will enjoy playing with the newest updates and they will be productive and money and time saving for your business. Email us or comment here, we'd love to hear your thoughts on progress at alacalc.com, what needs improving, what works great and what you'd like to see next. We listen to all suggestions and deeply discuss all possibilities to make the service the best it can be.

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