An introduction to recipe databases (with examples)

Discover 4 inspiring examples of recipe databases to learn how to optimize your profitability and efficiency in the kitchen.

Published on 03/02/2023Sébastien Vassaux

Are you looking to optimize your recipe databases? You've come to the right place! Melba specializes in online recipe databases.

What is a recipe database?

A  recipe database is the document that brings together all knowledge relating to a recipe.

Principal data of recipe
  1. Identification elements: name or wording (meant to distinguish a technical version used internally, as opposed to a commercial / marketing version used with customers), identification code, category or family, date of creation, etc..
  2. Visuals: images or videos.
  3. Nutritional and allergenic information: used on an INCO label, in a table of allergens or any other useful document.
  4. Food indicators: SENS systemnutriscore, Traffic-light labeling, etc.--or any other indicators that can synthesize nutritional intakes.
  5. Composition: a list of ingredients and sub-recipes that make up a recipe, with quantities and unit if applicable. The quantities are to be related for a finished dish, with the number of portions or place settings.
  6. Progress or production stages: a list of actions to achieve a recipe, sometimes with the adequate or total preparation time. We can distinguish in particular the stages of preparation, constitution, reservation, cooking, finishing and packaging.
  7. Financial indicators: an advantage of data structuring, in addition to its easy maintenance, lies in its ability to assess the costs associated with prices resulting in margins.
  8. Other data (metadata): less structured and more personalized data can be added: labels, various notes, statuses, a logo, etc..
  9. Consumables: consumable non-food items that will be used as part of the preparation: packaging, baking paper, etc..
  10. Materials used: a material that is not consumed but reused from one preparation to another. An investment and not a burden.
Forms of the recipe data
  1. The raw database
  2. The production database: corresponds to the technical database factored by a quantity relating to a production need. Example: the technical database sets proportions to serve 10 people while the production requirement for the day corresponds to 135 place settings. We often remove unnecessary information, such as financial indicators, in production.
  3. The commissary vouchers: corresponds to the list of ingredients that should be taken out of reserves / commissary to meet a need for a production voucher.

A dynamic recipe database

Benefit from automatic cost calculations and a link to orders and inventories
Switch to dynamic recipes

1. The multiple recipe databases offered by the National Academy of Cooking

The site of the national cooking academy has the advantage of presenting multiple recipe databases, not just recipes. It references technical sheets in Excel format, in particular for

  • The audit: storage, cooling, hygiene plan, signature dishes, thawing, deconditioning, decanting, bacteriological analyzes, slicing, hot and cold preparations
  • Self-assessment
  • Technical procedures: personnel, cleaning, organization chart, etc.
  • Temperature control: positive and negative cold rooms
  • Miscellaneous: HACCP, method order, sanitary control plan
  • And technical recipe databases 🙂

2. Do you speak  “recipe spreadsheet”?

You can find many other examples of recipe databases by browsing what is done by your peers. Type recipe spreadsheet  in Google and let yourself be guided.

➡️  Check out an example

3. The origins of Melba

Before becoming a modern and scalable web tool, providing all the benefits mentioned on our site, Melba was reduced to an Excel file comprising multiple macros to automate a set of tasks.

As long as you activate the macros and have a setting compatible with the version of the file, you can discover the beginnings of our adventure here below.

➡️ Download the Excel file of the beginnings of Melba (FR version only)

4. Say STOP to Excel data sheets

As to not lie to each other, let us be honest that the technical sheets in Excel are often tedious and quite unreliable.

Imagine being able to create your database 10x faster, while fully controlling production costs (including non-food) and optimizing your purchases in order to increase your profitability.

➡️ Try Melba for free for 7 days

Dynamic recipe data sheets

Benefit from automatic cost calculations and a link to orders and inventories
Switch to dynamic recipes