The word ‘standard’ is synonymous with phrase ‘what it should be’. There are four different standards:-

  • Standard portion sizes
  • Standard recipes
  • Standard purchase specification
  • Standard yield
  1. STANDARD PORTION SIZES:- A standard portion size represents the amount (weight, count, size or value) of each food item which is sold to the quest for a stated price and should be established for all items, including appetizers, main courses vegetables, salads, desserted, and beverages. Portion size charts written in large legible letters and figures must be displayed in each working area (butcher shop, hot preparation bake shop etc.). in addition, each station must have portion scope, scales, measures and other equipment for standard portioning (refer fig. 9.12)
  2. STANDARD RECIPES:– It is a written schedule for producing a particular menu item. A standard recipe card should be prepared for each menu item. All food stuff used must be listed and from this information cost of portion is calculated. The method of preparation of the dish may be given either by means of an attached photograph or by a simple line of drawing. The card indicates:-
  3. name and quantity of the item to be produced
  4. the constituent ingredients
  5. the method of preparation
  6. the nutrition value of the dish
  7. the method of service
  8. costing of dish

The use of standard recipe is required to obtain predictable yield for which costs are known. In addition to ingredients cooking time and temperature are important as for example meat often suffer excessive shrinkage when cooked to rapidly.

A standard recipe is written formula for producing a food item of specified quality and quantity. It shows the exact quantity of each ingredient, the cost of making the item, and the sequence of steps to be followed in preparation.

The main objectives of preparing standard recipes:-

  • To determine the quantity and quality of the ingredients to be used.
  • To determine the yield obtainable from the recipe.
  • To determine the food cost per portion.
  • To determine the nutritional value of a particular dish
  • To facilitate menu planning
  • To facilitate purchasing and internal requisitioning
  • To facilitate proportion and processing of dishes
  • To facilitate portion control (ready to cook, ready to eat, as purchased)

Standard purchase specifications are concise descriptions of the quality, size, weight or count factors desired for a particular item. Refer figure 3.1. Specification buying will give uniformity and consistency to purchase and receiving that will aid to maintaining a desired food cost and to create a standard product.

A purchase specification may be within in a standard form. It must contain:

  1. Definition of each item
  2. Grade or brand name of the items
  3. Weight, size or count
  4. Unit against which prices should be quoted
  5. Special note for the commodity

Preparation of a standard specification has following objectives and advantages:-

  • Establishing a buying standard of a commodity so that a standard product is available for the customer.
  • Inform the supplier in writing by drawing, or photograph or description precisely what is required.
  • Provides detailed information to receiving department and store as to the standard of foods to accept.
  • Makes staff, chef, food and beverage manager, and other staff, aware of the differences that can occur in the size, weight, quality and quantity etc. of the product.
  • The specification acts as an aide-memoire to all concerned of what was agreed.
  1. STANDARD YIELD:- The term yield mean the net weight or values of a food items after it has been processed from raw or as purchased (A.P), weight or value and made ready to eat (R.T.E).

It is the usable part of a particular food product after its initial preparation and cooking. In large food and beverage outlets, as large quantities of food per week are purchased, there-fore standard yield may be available for items such as meat, fish, vegetables etc. in smaller establishment standard yields may be determined for the most expensive items.

The main objectives of standard yields are to establish:

  1. A standard for the quantity and number of portions obtainable from specific item of foods.
  2. A standard for comparison with operating result and measuring the efficiency of the production departments.
  3. An objective method of evaluating standard purchase specification.
  4. A standard cost factor for the items of food.
  5. Assists in menu costing and pricing
  6. In converting forecast requirements into raw material requirements.


  1. Raw food test: to determine the best cost and weight for fruits and vegetables for specific uses.
  2. Caused food test: to determine the yield on actual cost after considering weight, quality and uniformity.
  3. Butchering test: to determine actual portion costs of meat, poultry, fish and sea food, after waste, trim and by-products have been considered.
  4. Cooking test: to determine the final portion cost after cooking slicing, and service less have been considered.

Cost factor

As market price change the usable costs and portions costs changes. Therefore, it is advisable find some means to calculate both the new usable costs and portion costs without having a new butcher test with each change in market price.

Formula for raw item

Cost factor per pound (F/lb) or kg (F/kg)

Divide the cost of one pound (kg) of saleable item by the purchase price of one pound (kg)

Cost factor per portion (F/pnt)

Divide the cost of one portion by the purchase price per pound (kg)

Formula for cooking items

Cost factor per pound (F/lb) or kg (F/kg)

Divide the cost of one pound (kg) of saleable cooked item by the purchase price of one pound (kg)

These could be expressed as follows:-

cost per 500 gms : cost per usable 500 gms/dealers per 500 gms of original wholesale price

cost factor per portion: portion cost/dealers price per 500 gms of original wholesale price

cost of usable 500 gm at a new dealer price is : cost factor per 500 gms X new dealer price per 500 gms

cost of a portion at a new dealer price: cost factor per portion X new dealer price per portion.

Cost factor per portion (cooked): divide the cost of one cooked portion by the purchase price of one pound (kg)