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Automated Menu Engineering System

In the food industry, food cost usually covers the largest expense item. If not properly managed and controlled, it can go exceedingly high –usually more than 50% of sales such that earnings allocated for profit or other expenses are used up to cover for excess in the budget for raw materials. Thus, even with good patronage, the food business may still incur deficits and the survival of the business is jeopardized.

The basic element of control in food cost is the recipe. It identifies the needed raw materials and exact portions needed to produce the expected quality and yield. If accurately prepared and tested, the recipe is guaranteed to produce the standard quality and number of servings (yield) such that the expected sales and profit from such recipe is attained.

Unfortunately, these desired outcomes do not happen in many, if not most food establishments. Because of inaccurate recipe preparation and costing and the inability to utilize appropriate menu engineering strategies, the expected quality, yield, sales, cost and profit is not generated and business suffers tremendously.

This Automated Menu Engineering System has been conceived to address this problem of food quality and cost. It provides a systematic approach to menu development and recipe preparation, guided by proven and tested menu engineering strategies, making use of a software that expedites the time consuming cost engineering and market list preparation.

AMES is a web based application for faster and more accurate recipe and menu preparation, costing, and market list generation. Being a web based program, there is no installation costs and the user can execute the creation or adjustment of the data base in any computer with internet connection. Data are auto saved over the web and thereby better secured and protected as compared to offline encoding whereby data may easily get lost when a computer system breaks down.

With this tool for recipe, menu and food cost management, the food establishment benefits in terms of:

  1. Being able to create a recipe file, with accurate costing of each recipe, for as long as the user is able to encode updated merchandise cost and accurate portion of raw materials. With a recipe master and updated recipe cost at hand, it is much easier and faster to create a menu package with corresponding cost and prices.
  2. The AMES is programmed to provide a more accurate adjustment in the portioning of raw materials when the yield (allocation) is increased for volume production like what happens for fast-foods and catering. The system builds a conversion factor that will trigger more accurate adjustment in the volume of raw materials, insuring that production meets production targets, and shortages or over production are avoided. And even with voluminous production, the quality of food and the desired food cost are expected to be consistently achieved.
  3. The system expedites menu or recipe engineering as when users would opt to make adjustments in recipe for purposes of improving quality or reducing cost. Once adjustments are made in the recipe in terms of portion or type of merchandise used, the adjusted cost is automatically generated.
  4. AMES expedites recipe costing and selling price determination. When entries on portion size and unit costs are accurately posted, the recipe cost is automatically generated. The user can enter the desired food cost percentage (or budget) and the system will automatically generate the expected selling price that will result to expected profit.
  5. AMES is programmed to facilitate adjustments in recipe cost and selling price when there is an increase in the cost of merchandise, reduction or increase in the serving size as well as the portion or volume of raw materials used. The merchandise list is linked to the recipe such that any change in the merchandise cost or unit of measure will automatically post a corresponding change or adjustment in the recipe cost. There is no need to go to individual recipes to make changes in the cost of the merchandise. This unburdens the cost clerk or the chef from the time consuming manual recipe re-costing. It also enables the food establishment to maintain updated recipe costs so that prices can be adjusted to be able to attain desired profit.
  6. AMES saves the chef and the purchaser from the time consuming and oftentimes inaccurate market list generation.   Once the menu for the day or for an event has been established, together with the allocated servings per dish, the system will automatically generate the market list, with a listing of the merchandise to buy and the required volume.The total cost of the Market list is pre-established enabling the cost controller to determine the expected cost of production. This is reconciled with the food cost budget. With this data, menus can be adjusted when necessary to insure that costs do not exceed the budget, expected servings and sales are generated.
  7. AMES secures files with the use of username and password. A menu for USERS ACCESS is provided for a lead administrator to identify only the authorized users, provide them with a username and identify the data base that they could only open or modify.




AMES can be bought at a promotional price of $1000 USD or P45,000 for unlimited use over a period of 2 years. Price of subsequent subscriptions will vary depending on the length of subscription. For a trial, we offer a promo rate of $200 USD for 2 months unlimited use. Then final installation can be negotiated with AR Skills Development and Management services, (SDMS) c/o Amy Roldan.

Interested buyers also have the option to procure the TOTAL PRODUCTION CONTROL SYSTEM that consists of AMES as a tool plus the installation of a package of documented operating systems and procedures designed to control production quality and cost. This include a system of conducting kitchen tests, establishing accurate allocations, determining yield and portioning of ingredients, re –engineering menus and recipes, establishing cooking loss, conducting a butchers tests, preparing production reports, audit and inventory and other activities related to cost and quality management. Package price is negotiable.

SDMS maintains a pool of technical consultants with track record in product development, cost management and accounting and operations management.

Our company shall provide a chef and technical consultants for this purpose. A technical staff shall also be assigned to do personalized coaching of users for at least one month.   Price for this package shall be negotiated depending on the size of the establishment and the volume of transactions.

Our company, AR Skills Development and Management Services, Inc. is a training and consultancy firm that provides services on Skills Upgrading, Values Formation, Management Development Programs, Organizational Development, Management Services and Technical Consultancy.

Our mission is to help hospitality establishments and other client group and companies in the training and career development of their staff and also in upgrading their operational systems in a manner that will maximize cost efficiency and profit. We also provide various services to companies and schools engaged in the hospitality and food industry. Aside from this, we also publish books for students and industry practitioners.

Our firm is manned and administered by human resource development experts and highly seasoned hoteliers whose competence is honed by their very rich academic background and managerial exposure in various companies in the Philippines and abroad.