Prepsheets finds recipe for success with costing tool for food firms
Software system works out how much each ingredient in a dish costs and identifies the allergen information
Prepsheets is a family business in the truest sense. The Dublin-based company was set up in 2021 by spouses Tara and Brian Beattie along with their son Richard.
The software company has developed a system to aid anyone who works in any business that sells food to quickly work out how much each ingredient in each dish costs them, along with identifying the allergen information quickly.
“It’s a simple tool where you put your recipe in and we feed you back the portion size, the cost of the recipe, the margin you’ll make, and the allergen and calorie information,” Tara Beattie told the Business Post.
“We sell to cafés, restaurants, gastropubs, hospitals, schools and hotels. If you serve food, you need it.”
The idea for the business grew out of a prior company, Mange Tout, set up by Tara and Brian Beattie in 1998. It operated a mix of dining establishments along with running corporate catering.
“Our costs were getting out of control. We built an internal tool for ourselves to manage them better. As legislation changed around allergens, the tool got bigger to account for that. We decided to add on the calorie function then as well because we didn’t want to do the same job twice,” Beattie said.
“When Covid hit, we essentially stopped working and Richard was offered a place to study computer science in MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology], but we encouraged him to take a year out first and he coded the product for us because he knew what we wanted to achieve.”
The Beatties closed Mange Tout last December to solely focus on Prepsheets.
“Our target customers are people with no more than 10 units. A lot of them use Excel, which we did, and it gets out of control. Costs change by the day, so you come into new price changes every day. We give customers clarity where they never had it before, they know the margin the minute they put a recipe in,” Beattie said.
“It’s also really difficult to do allergens for small businesses. Sometimes it’s almost guesswork, but because we link everything back to the ingredients, the data is ingredient specific so it provides the information in a simplistic way. We have designed it around chefs for chefs.”
The business has been supported by Enterprise Ireland since shortly after inception and it has been through the New Frontiers programme.
“We hadn’t even launched when they came on board. They’ve given us mentorship, money, and guidance. They’re opening networks for us as well and made key introductions for us,” she said.
“They are going to help us expand more into Britain, but we want to do a bit more work in Ireland first. The next step is to join the HPSU [high potential start-up unit].”
This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.