EZchef Software: Inventory Management, Menu Costing and Analysis for Restaurants
EZchef Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the "Standard" and "Distributor" versions of EZchef?
Aside from the price, they are identical in all ways except one. Each of the Distributor versions has the additional benefit of being able to directly import the designated Distributor's "Order Guide" (a list of all the products you purchase from that Distributor) from a file that you obtain from that Distrubutor. Depending on the Distributor, the file may be available online, from the sales representative or from the Distributor's IT department. Instructions for obtaining each order guide are included in the EZchef documentation.
How do the Vendor versions Work?
Your Vendor's Order Guide, with all current inventory items and prices, can be easily imported into the EZchef program once obtained from the distributor. Instructions for obtaining and importing these files into EZchef are included in the EZchef online documentation. You can repeat the import procedure on a regular basis to add new products, and to update all your inventory prices. Once the order guide is imported, all your inventory, menu item and sub-recipes costs will be automatically updated.
What if I use more than one of the supported Distributors?
No problem. The additional cost to include each is $70. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can process the upgrade over the phone, or you can upgrade at a later date without losing any of your inventory or menu costing data. Activation instructions will be given to you over the phone. Note: If you plan on adding a distributor at a later date, and also plan on using that vendor in the program now, then make sure to enter the product code of each item when creating your inventory list. The import procedure for each Distributor runs off of the products Code and if its not present the program will "think" it does not exist and re-enter it resulting in product duplication.
Can I import data from Vendors other than those that are directly supported?
Yes, both the Standard and Vendor versions are designed so that you can easily import inventory items from all your other vendors as well. It’s not a direct import process like the supported Vendors, and you once the data is imported you will need to periodically update the prices manually from within EZchef. But, it’s a huge time saver from entering your inventory manually. EZchef performs this import by first exporting a “template” that you can then use to copy/paste data from existing Excel spreadsheets or from spreadsheets obtained from your other vendors/distributors. This data can be in any row and column format. Once the data is copied into the EZchef template, simply import directly into the EZchef program. Step by step documentation is provided, and the process is simple and takes only a few minutes.
Can I enter my vendor invoices (purchases) into the program?
No, EZchef does not keep track of your purchases. It is designed to maintain a listing of your food and beverage items so that you can take period ending inventories,
print up to date vendor order guides, and most importantly so that you can accurately cost your menu items and sub recipes. Keep your food and beverage item costs
up to date by importing a current vendor order guide, using the EZchef Template or updating the prices manually.
Can I use the EZchef program for multiple restaurants?
Each restaurant requires its own EZchef license. Additional licenses are discounted based on the number of restaurants. Contact us directly for discount details and to purchase additional licenses.
Can I use EZchef software on a MAC?
Yes, but this Excel based program is not compatible with the Mac Operating System because it includes “macros” (programming features) written in the Windows version of Microsoft Excel. It can however be run on the “virtual” hard drive of a Mac computer with appropriate software installed (e.g. Parallels, Windows (all versions) and the Windows version of Excel (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or Office 365).
What kind of support comes with EZchef?
Technical support by phone or email is free! Please make sure to watch the EZchef video demo before contacting us. It often provides the answers to your questions.
Are there any Hardware or Software requirements I should know about?
So long as you have a reasonably powered PC, preferably with 4GB+ RAM, all you need is Windows (any version except the new Windows 8 RT tablet version is fine), and a copy of the Windows version of Microsoft Excel (2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 or Office 365).
Some new tablets, like the Surface RT, run on a scaled down operating system called Windows RT, which is more like "Windows Lite" than the full version of Windows. While these tablets include a limited version of MS Office called Office RT, and while they can run standard Excel files, they do not support Microsoft's VBA programming language referred to as "macros" which are at the core of EZchef. Therefore, if considering a tablet, be careful to make sure that it supports the full version of Excel 2013 or 2016, and can run VBA macros. Microsoft hasn't done the best job explaining the differences, and many consumers are likely to buy RT only to find out they don't have the full functionality they require for specific applications like EZchef. Finally, you do need an activated Virus Protection program running on your PC as the program’s macros require this protection.
Can EZchef run on Open Office software?
Can I update my software later if you release product upgrades?
Yes, while most updates do not add features or impact functionality, from time to time we add new features and functionality to the program, and you can always email us to find out if a newer version exists that would be worth upgrading to. If so, we can import all your inventory, menu items and settings to the new file. The upgrade cost varies depending on which version of the software you are using. Updates in the first year are free, thereafter the cost is typically $99.
Can I unprotect the workbook to add new rows or columns or to customize the program?
The answer is a definitive NO! EZchef, while written and running on a MS Excel “platform”, is really a fully functional software application that cannot be modified without jeopardizing its integrity or functionality.
Can I run the program on a server so that multiple users can access it?
Yes, but only one user can access the file at a time.
I am using Excel 2007 with an active Anti -Virus program but cannot activate the macros. What should I do?
This is almost always solved by downloading the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2). In the event that this does not solve the problem then email us and we'll contact you to resolve the problem.
Is there a way to avoid having to activate the macros each time I open the file.
Yes, unless you are running on a server. Click here for easy instructions.
What is the best way to move the file to another computer?
Treat the file as you would any other file, and save to a USB drive (typically one of those “thumb” drives that you use to back up and move files). You will need the current password to reactivate the file after it’s moved. Call us if you have misplaced it. The file can usually be sent as an email attachment although some ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) limit the size of files transmitted over the internet. Make sure to SAVE the file before opening from an email. Otherwise the file may become corrupted, or open in "Read Only" mode which will not permit you to save any work that you do in the program.