Kitchen Prep Sheet

The Purpose of a Prep Sheet

  • A production list of items needed for the day or for multiple days
  • A reminder that helps cooks eliminate missed items
  • Maintain consistency in production when multiple cooks share the same station
  • Help to avoid waste by producing the wrong quantity
  • Reduce waste in food and labor

How to set up a prep sheet

  • Start by analyzing the menu and detailing components required for each prep. Remember to include specials or substitutions if something is out of stock.
  • Determine par levels and quantities based on estimated usage, past sales trends, and educated guesswork.

Prep Organization

Kitchen production is usually divided into major prep for several days or as much as a week in advance, and daily prep of items needed for service during that shift.

Major Prep

Some items take longer to prep, will hold for several days, and take longer to prep yet won’t suffer from spoilage or deterioration in quality (for example; mashed potatoes, cut steaks, and polenta cakes). These items should be done in sufficient batches to avoid running out.


  • Monday – Prep and production to replenish from the weekend and through the next three days
  • Thursday – Prep and production begins for the weekend
  • Saturdays – Prep to restock andfinish the weekend
  • 75/25 RuleIn restaurant production a general rule is that 75% of production will be used on the weekends. If you forecast selling 100 of a particular menu item for the week, 25 will be sold Monday through Wednesday and 75 will be sold Thursday through Sunday.
  • 125% Rule –It’s always a good idea to prep for an extra amount and a general rule is to prep for 125% of your estimated production needs so you are covered if you have a run on an item.

Daily Prep

  • Required for specials and perishable items that need to be as fresh as possible
  • Fish, salad greens, garnishes, delicate pastries

Prep and Production Breakdown

  • Prep sheets are only as good as the follow up by the cooks
  • Check off items and quantities when prep work is completed
  • Base production quantities on estimates from actual sales