Advice on replacing paper recipes.

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by youngjefeindfw, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. youngjefeindfw

    youngjefeindfw

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    We are going to be getting an iPad that we'll mount above stations to eliminate paper recipes.

    Has anyone done this? I have a few questions.

    I know I can use things like Dropbox to simply save PDF or Excel files. But I think that would be a little bit much for my aging, technology-challenged crew (youngest is 45, oldest is 67).

    Does anyone know of an inexpensive recipe management software that is cloud based, so that I can upload recipes fro my office, or home, etc. and can be easily navigated using search or menu functions on the iPad?

    Any other advice on the transition to electronic recipes?

    I have my food costed recipes saved on EZ Chef, but I don't think that would transfer well to the iPad.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. seabeecook

    seabeecook

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    I am in my mid-60s and have no problem navigating modern technology. We 60-somethings aged as early technologies were advancing. I was writing rudimentary code in Basic in college in 1979, using my dad's Kapro in the early 80s and purchased my first PC in the later 80s (an IBM XT clone).

    If I can manage to pay with my debit/VISA card at the supermarket checkout line, I can use an iPad to read recipes. My recipes are stored both on my laptop in Microsoft Word and MasterCook 15. I use DropBox as my backup. DropBox also makes it easy to share recipes. I share the link with a couple of my cooks. We use paper recipes at the camp because it's located in an area with a very poor signal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    look at google docs. the google spreadsheets have all the same functions as excel but you dont have to download or store any data on any specific computer or host anything it acts like a webpage and all you have to do is share a link and you can edit it while people are using it and they will see the edit real time 
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2016
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    Paprika is the most popular cloud based ipad app, last I checked. Which was a while back.  I don't know how easy it is to share recipes across multiple accounts/logins. You'd have to buy a license for every device, including your desktop where you'll likely be entering the content. 

    Evernote would work just fine as well and it would be my preference.  It has good collaboration tools so you could even use mulitple accounts, which will become important in a minute.  

    Evernote is free for two device installs on the same account. But, it's easy to share content with other accounts, even on the free service. 

    I'd set it up like this.

    Owner account:

    Install desktop software where you already have your recipes. This is free. You have one other free app install for this account. i'd probably put it on your personal device, not a corporate ipad station.

    User accounts:

    Each ipad station will have it's own evernote account, one you will  create for each device. You'll need separate email addresses for each of these devices. Any of the free email account services will be fine. This will also be advantageous for each ipad to have for its itunes account anyway. Keep a record of which device has which email and their passwords. This is a valuable record, so keep it safe and secure.  You should permanently mark each ipad for theft and general security anyway and this same marker will be how you identify the ipad and its accounts. 

    Create a notebook in your "master' evernote account. You can copy and paste content into each recipe Note. in the notebook. You even incorporate Office documents or PDFs if you prefer.  Share the notebook with each ipad account, via their evernote email login. Now the notebook of recipes and whatever else is available at each of those ipads. You can include prep notes, cleaning checklists and whatever else. 

    If you wanted, you could create a "stack" of notebooks. Each notebook in the stack could be organized by station and contain recipes and instructions for that station. You could then share the whole stack, where  it's simpler at the station to find the information for just their station in their specific notebook.

    You can also access evernote via the web and login to your content. This doesn't count as in installed device. 

    I like evernote enough that I pay for their premium service even though I don't use it to that ffull extent. I want to support the company and keep the service afloat.   Google Keep or Microsoft OneNote are similar free apps. If you prefer those for whatever reason, the same ideas should transfer there as well. 

    Evernote will offer encryption by the end of this month if you're worried about your content being hacked. 

    You might want to lock down the ipads to a degree. Require the password to be entered for using itunes so they can't install apps. Same for email on each device Don't give your workers this password. Removee the web browser so they can't access entertainment or email sites and share your content away.  I'm certtain there are more options available to corporate lock down an ipad, but I don't know the qpple world to give you better advice.  
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
    youngjefeindfw likes this.
  5. youngjefeindfw

    youngjefeindfw

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    I meant no offense, poorly chose my words. Let me put it this way, my crew needs help navigating a time clock on a regular basis.
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    What exactly are the advantages of ipad vs paper? Not questioning how you personsally store recipies, or what you do at your desk at work, but to give some guy a recipie for, say 5 ten inch carrot cakes, or shrimp salad for 85.

    Again, it is obvious why you would have your recipies on a computer, but what are the advantages of the ipad for the guy making the actual recipie?
     
  7. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I'm glad I'm not the only Luddite; foodpump beat me to it.  What do you hope you gain from an iPad vs paper?  I'm a huge advocate of electronic storage of recipes, features and other important docs.  But that's archiving, I don't see the need to access them that way unless you have a vast array of recipes.  An iPad is expensive, bulky and fragile compared to simply printing out what you need.  If it gets soaked with red sauce just print it again vs buying another pad if it gets broken.

    BTW what kind of place do you run where the "pup" is 45?
     
  8. youngjefeindfw

    youngjefeindfw

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    It's a corporate dining facility. They have had a lot of tenure. (who would leave a Monday through Friday 7-4 job?). The iPad serves a couple of functions. Keep in mind this is a Subsidized operation that is subject to corporate policies and structures. 1. Store recipes 2. I'm looking for software that would help SIZE the recipes to help with costs. 3.we do make a lot of different recipes per day and also have catering events throughout the property. Again, we're subsidized, so every penny counts. And 4. It fits within the companies Green Initiative to be more mindful of the environment.
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Well of course your compter in the office is ideal to upscale or downscale the recipie to any portion size you want, and you can have the recipie cost as exact as your last invoice automatically done, Ive known guys back in the mid 90's who had that already set up, even combined with inventory.

    But again, you pull up the recipie in the office computer, portion sizes calculated. You can press print, use a quarter sheet of paper, or print on the back of recycled paper, or jot it down, or even get the cook to jot it down, giving you an ideal opportunity to confirm how the recipie will be carried out. So for arguements sake, I dont see any advantages to an ipad for this. The cost will be far greater than scrap/recycled paper over a period of say-- three years. Probability of theft? Not the cooks, but other staff or even delivery personell? Probability of abuse, or unintentional abuse? (flying robot coupe parts, splashes, flour dust, cocoa powder is bad, spray from mixers, etc)

    Just me, but if every penny counts, scrap/recycled paper is the way to go. Green? You're milking out the last bit of usefullness that bit of office memo or supplier corresponence has before throwing it out
     
  10. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    In a lot of ways, paper is much easier to properly recycle/reuse and as a result easier on the environment than an iPad. Also with a workstation mounted iPad. it would be more difficult for staff to work on multiple recipes at one time, I can well imagine recipe notes being transposed to paper (wait... we are trying to cut down on our paper use) by staff in the view that it would make their job process easier. Such as in going to the walk-in or dry goods with a paper recipe (or two) in hand or in having it on your boards by your equipment, ingredients, and hands.
     
  11. youngjefeindfw

    youngjefeindfw

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    Thanks to all who replied. I understand that an iPad in the back of the house is a luxury and that there are many other ways to dole out size-specific recipes.

    My goal in the post was to get ideas on how to properly use the device, not to weigh the merits of whether or not we should have it. I guess I should have noted that this is something that I was told was happening, not something I was consulted on. 
     
  12. jarhead

    jarhead

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    I love Evernote for recipe management. I manage a VFW kitchen and use a "Breakfast" and a "Special" tag. Easy to search for recipe name or bring up the entire cookbook by tag.
    I also keep a print copy available stored in plastic sleeves and a binder.
    You can also access it from multiple devices.
    Best part, it is free!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  13. modchef

    modchef

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    Looks like it's been a few weeks, what did you end up going with? 

    I agree with Jason that google drive would be an easy way to do this.  The app works well on either Android or IOS tablets.  Because the docs are collaborative you can change and it would update in real time, plus you'd have the ability to build out a template that would easily batch out recipes for you.  You could even create new gmail accounts for each tablet, and only share them on station specific docs so there wouldn't be too much clutter. 

    good luck!
     
  14. capecodchef

    capecodchef

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    Surprised no one mentioned Pinterest. Set up the account. Access from any device or PC or even your phone. Easy Peasy.
     
  15. apprentichef

    apprentichef

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    Makking a basic internal website with pictures and links should be fairly easy. Touch picture, takes you to recipe. Another button and goes back to main menu. Sort of like a wordpress site.
     
  16. Jared K.

    Jared K.

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    I set up our kitchen with a business Dropbox account and PDFs. Dropbox allows you to share to users and manage users. They make the folders unsharable and uneditable. Found it better than managing dirty crappy binders. Cut paper costs and allowed me to update only one recipe and it changed for both locations without me having to hunt down old recipes and dispose of them. We just mounted it, but it made it easy for quick recipe reviews regarding ingredients for allergies or what not.
     
  17. Jared K.

    Jared K.

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    I am now looking to see what everyone else is doing with this? Is everyone still printing recipes? I have my recipes costed with R365 but they do not read very well for kitchen staff and often lead to more questions.

    I am overseeing 6 locations with similar menus, but it would be nice to go all digital with the recipes to ensure that there is minimal recipe drift on our core products while still giving the chefs their culinary freedom. I would like to improve on the Dropbox and PDFs and get to a point where the recipes are searchable through content much like word/excel but still have it accessible digitally at the store level in a simple format. Anyone using anything new like this?