Why Your Food Cost May Be Too High

When I work with clients who have food cost issues, nearly all of them have very poor receiving practices.

When a driver unloads the product and hands over the invoice, on a good day the person does a quick check of the invoice and the delivered product, signs the invoice and the driver is on their way. Rarely is there a purchase order check on quality, price, weights, and a complete inspection on what was just delivered.

I have found that clients with food cost problems, 50 percent or more of their excess food cost is a result of what’s happening, or not happening, at the delivery door.

Receiving is an area where the combination of no system, carelessness and greed can add up to very big losses for your restaurant.

Here is my list of what you can do today to improve your receiving practices:

1.       When making an order, record the product type, quantity, and price quoted. This is your purchase order.

2.       At the time of delivery, count all products, and then verify that count against your purchase order and the invoice.

3.       For products purchased by weight……weigh them and compare the actual weight to what is shown on the invoice. You should not be paying for packaging or ice.

4.       Inspect for quality, consistency, and condition with your standards and specifications. You should have minimum standards and specifications for all of your products.

5.       Verify that the prices charged agree with the prices quoted.

6.       Bring any irregularities to the attention of the driver on the spot. Resolve them, noting adjustments, returns, etc., clearly on the invoice, and have the driver sign and or initial the adjusted invoice.

Delivery drivers notice everything you do (or don’t do) at the backdoor. Don’t make it easy for them to take advantage.