What is a normal charge for recipe development? How much do you charge?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by Ownmyown1day, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Ownmyown1day

    Ownmyown1day

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    6024212562
    First off, thank you! to anyone taking the time to read this and provide an opinion or information. It is greatly appreciated!

    That being said, I am a hardworking tradesman who is very unhappy with my job and seeking to pursue a dream. My closest friend and I LOVE food and cooking. Neither of us are professionals by any means. We cook for our friends and family and truly enjoy providing a great food experience for people. Our hearts and souls go into every dish from a BLT to a homemade barbecue sauce and ribs. We try to make everything from scratch and provide the freshest ingredients.

    We believe that doing so is one of the many things needed to have a successful restaurant. He and I have devised what we believe will be a successful new restaurant/bar concept. The problem is neither of us have the cooking expertise to create the recipes needed to create out menu/product. We are of course looking to hire a chef to help with this process.

    Based on my current research, it seems the average recipe goes for around $150 - $250 with the IP being owned by the payee. We are looking to hire a chef to create the sauces/recipes/etc needed for our concept's specific fare. It would be a fairly decent size project and we are looking for input/advice on what a fair price would be for such a thing. 32 recipes at $250 each would be $8000. Is this a fair/average/accurate price for such a project? Any and all advice/information welcome. Thank you!

    Pursuing a dream...
     
  2. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,123
    Likes Received:
    185
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    Depending on the person's experience I would say you are in the correct price range. Make sure you hire/find someone who has extensive experience doing this. Someone can be a great chef but not know the first thing about recipe development so make sure you get references and talk to people they have worked for.

    Choosing the right person is very important and can make or break your business. Some friends of mine started a meal prep business for busy moms in Chicago. They went with a woman who developed all of their recipes and they were excellent. They paid thousands of dollars but, they are still in business to this day. I credit a big part of this on the fact that the food they produced was well received.
     
  3. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    252
    Exp:
    Chef Emeritus
    Are you and your friend going to be doing the cooking yourself? It more important to be able to professionally cook (i.e. fast, efficient, organized, etc.) than to have a professional recipe. I have seen a restaurant that had a famous chef come in to plan the menu, but after the chef left, the cooks weren't capable of handling it.

    Usually a recipe development service is used when you ran out of ideas of what to make or when none of your ideas translate to money in your pockets. If you are just starting out and are full of fresh ideas, you can just go through cookbooks and find the recipes you want yourself. That's what the person you will be hiring will do anyway. Recipe developers get 90% of their work done reading the books and they just tweak the remaining 10% to their specific requirements.

    The key you need to know when picking your recipes is to try to share as many ingredients as you can between the recipes. Small inventory is very good for business. The smaller the better as long as your menu doesn't get boring.
     
  4. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,398
    Likes Received:
    935
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    My question is: what happens after you get hire someone to write your recipes. As you've said, you guys don't have any experience in a professional kitchen, so who is going to hire and train the cooks? Who is going to handle the day to day quality control, and when (not if, but when) there is a problem, know what is at the heart of the problem and know how to fix it? Who's going to watch the waste and know what should be thrown away and what is excess waste? Who's going to handle the tweaks to the recipes when, and if needed?

    Sorry, but if you guys are inexperienced I think you need to hire on someone who has the experience. I've seen more restaurants fail because of inexperienced owners than just about any other reason. My advice is hire someone on that can write your recipes, train your staff and get the place up and running. If, in a year or so, things are going great then maybe look to take it over yourselves, after you have gained a bit of experience in what it takes to run a successful kitchen.
     
  5. Ownmyown1day

    Ownmyown1day

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    6024212562
    Pete you are absolutely correct. I personally have restaurant experience in several positions gained from the ages of 9-23. Our intentions are to find someone to develop the recipes and offer them the position of head chef if desired. If that person does not wish to take on the position we would then seek out another professional. He and I will be running day to day operations.
     
  6. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

    Messages:
    602
    Likes Received:
    252
    Exp:
    Chef Emeritus
    Then what you are looking for is called a head chef, which is totally different from a recipe developer.

    A head chef is someone who writes a menu, comes up with recipes, cooks, and also does everything else under a fixed salary.

    A recipe developer just comes up with a recipe and shows you how it's done in your kitchen and that's it. S/he has many other clients and won't be around to help you after the job is done.

    Most chefs that got into recipe development did so after they no longer want to work in the kitchen and deal with the hustle and bustle everyday; they just want to work a relaxing 9-5 job.
     
    LlewellynCooks likes this.
  7. Food for Thought

    Food for Thought

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Exp:
    Providing profit improvement courses to chefs and restauranteurs
    I would make sure that whoever does come up with the recipes, whether head chef or developer, they can provide accurate costings as this is key to making your menu profitable
     
    Ownmyown1day and LlewellynCooks like this.
  8. cheflayne

    cheflayne

    Messages:
    4,190
    Likes Received:
    553
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    IMO accurate costings should and can only be the responsibility of the owners or whoever runs the kitchen because they are the ones picking the suppliers/purveyors that will be dealt with when the business is up and running on a daily basis.

    Ball park figures can and should be kept in mind by a recipe developer, but accurate costings is too organic/synergistic to be left to the developer.
     
  9. cronker

    cronker

    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    50
    Exp:
    Restaurant Manager
    So, let me get this right.
    I make good food that other people like and I could probably sell a lot of.
    I need to not cook my good food, but rather hire someone to teach me my own recipes?
    Huh?
     
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,476
    Likes Received:
    417
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    I (and just about every other pro member on CT) have seen (friends with a dream) life savings go up in smoke more than once.
    Unless you have recent solid experience (in both front and back of house) I suggest you start with the basics of running your dream op...the liquor laws alone are mind boggling and that is just a small part of the bigger picture in the world of rules and regs (city, county, state, federal).
    Once you and your partner have a solid foundation start having fun with the sexy stuff like recipes and what kind of soap should go in the ladies restrooms. ;-)
    Yeah I realize I didn't answer your question exactly as asked but who knows how much the recipes will cost when you are ready for them in 5 years?

    mimi
     
    pete and azenjoys like this.
  11. granola girl

    granola girl

    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    30
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    "We believe that doing so is one of the many things needed to have a successful restaurant. He and I have devised what we believe will be a successful new restaurant/bar concept. The problem is neither of us have the cooking expertise to create the recipes needed to create out menu/product. We are of course looking to hire a chef to help with this process.[/QUOTE]

    Speaking from the experience of like you, going from home cook that makes everyone happy with my homemade goodies to jumping into a commercial bakery with a retail store front, I have been through the excitement, stress, panic, joys, and exhaustion. The food business is brutal. It is such a roller coaster ride. IMO start with something you already know. The recipes that you and your friend have created. You know those are winners. Plus, You already know the cost analysis of them. You mention that you guys have devised a successful new concept. That is wonderful. But have you done your homework to minimize risk? You might want to start with a business plan. This will be your road map. It should not be written in concrete so that you can modify as you see your vision coming together. SBA has a nice template on their website that I am using to write mine for my new bakery cafe. You will also need this for Banks to get a loan and I needed to attach it as part of my LOI (letter of intent) to lease which I am submitting to the landlord tomorrow. Have you done a SWOT chart? Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat chart. Be brutally honest. It will save you stress in the future.

    The new recipes by a hired chef might be putting the cart before the horse. Yes, good menu is vital but failing to plan would be killing the business before you got it started. I admire your enthusiasm so Go for it. But practice risk mitigation. Cheers.
     
    Ownmyown1day likes this.
  12. #dr3ameR!

    #dr3ameR!

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    4
    I know this post is almost a year old, but are you still interested in hiring a chef to design a menu and develop recipes for you? I’m a professional chef that has experience in designing menus and developing menus for clients. I’d be happy to help.