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Chefs' views on purchasing/receiving??

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hey, guys. I have a report that I need to do for my hospitality class, and it involves interviewing several chefs. If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it.

Here is my assignment: "Talk with several chefs about their perspective of purchasing and receiving. What are the responsibilities of the food service manager, the purcashing agent, and/or the chef in regard to these activities?"

So, what are your particular concerns as a chef about P&R?

Do you deal directly with suppliers or is that handled by a food service manager or purchasing agent at your operation?

What exactly is your involvement in the P&R process - do you write product specifications, ask for name brands, et cetera, or is this handled by the food service manager or purchasing agent?

What are the difficulties or frustrations with purchasing and receiving?

If you could also include the name and/or location of your establishment, as well as size of your establishment, I would appreciate it, so that my teacher does not think I am making these up! (If you need to private message me with this info, please do.)

Thank you all so much for your assistance with this project!
post #2 of 5
Hi Elsie,

I do all the purchasing for my hotel.
We average $6.000.000 in revenue in F&B and the P.Os I develope equel about $1.000.000.

P&R Can be very tricky. I'n my case I rely on my forecasted room nights (CMP) and transient day guest (EP)

When possible I purchase directly and work hard on developing good working relationships with my venders.

My kitchen is %90 from scratch,so as far as meats,poultry ETC, I purchase primal and sub primal cuts and spec them myself.This saves me an average of %25 percent a year on my food cost.although it does slightly effect my labor cost,but only 3or4%
So it's a no brainer.

All produce I bring in 4 times a week,sometimes more and use the season as my guide, Example..If you want strawberries now or asparagus you'll have to find a different hotel.
I have a fairly extensive inventory of parishable foods,so I do my math in regards to my portion size to # of guest in house and what may be the average % of guest buying that item.

If I have a function for 100 guest and one for 65 and my restuarant is booked (180)seats the private events will have 5 hot and 5 cold HDos and a choice of two apps/3 entrees and 2 desserts,I will build these items into my ala carte dining to help minamize the # of items to be produced.*note* I can do that because I write my menus everyday for the following day.
So when I am asked by a meeting planner to develope beo's for a client for a specific date,i will blend those items into the dining room menu to streamline my purchases.

All seafood arives fresh each morning from fultons,I deal with 3 people who go to the market every AM and pick out what I need after I explain to them my requirements.Again, I buy seafood that is in season (running)and I buy mostly head on,so i spec out what I need and almost nothing goes to waste.

paper goods and chemicals and misc are purchased by my recieving clerk who buys for the whole building (BOH)

Linins,china,flat wear ETC are put together by myself and my boss who is Director of food and beverage.He also purchases all alcholic beverages while I purchase all non alcholic items.
My biggest frustration with P&R is not getting what I ordered expessially because I bring in thing everyday I don't have time to reorder and wait. I do have local back ups in place that I allocate x amount a year in my budget for these reasons.
as far as "name brands" Not really...I mean when I order certain items I am looking for specifics,Example..amish chicken,diver scallops from maine,chathom cod from cape cod.

well I hope this helps alittle and keep us posted on you report
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #3 of 5

You carry an extensive inventory of perishable foods? What kind of $$ inventory do you carry and how many days does it translate to? Is your clerk responsible for checking in all produce, fish, meat etc?
I must say I have a lot respect for someone who performs the P/R function on top of his or hers main duty. I am a one man band myself doing everything for our family bakery. Our numbers are not as great but it basically involves all the steps.
I probably have 1000 more ?'s, but I'll refrain. Oh! do you send out vendor bids regulary?

The bakery P&R is a little different from food. I'm certainly ready to answer any ?'s you might have.
We purchase and receive the same way. A lot of the products used are identicle from vendor to vendor therefor I send out vendor bid sheets monthly. I purchase all fresh fruits, veges etc. at one location and distribute to the production and finish kitchen.
I feel this is the most important aspect of the hospitality industry. You can live or die depending on the way this department is run. Watching inventory $'s, making sure everything is fresh and turning the product is key. I have a few accounts where they have cut corners and hired a clerk in place of a purchasing agent and the result is saddening. I deliver my items through a dry storeroom filled with dead stock, 3 months worth of dry foods, palette of produce where the clerk has looked through the hole in the canalope box to check freshness, cooks grabbing things from refers without requisitions etc. The sad part is the F&B meeting going on upstairs trying to figure out what is wrong!
post #4 of 5

On average I purchase between $ 10-$12.000 a week in produce,seafood,meats,grociers and beverages. I have a 30 day billing cycle with most of my venders,a couple I even have a 60 cycle. I proccess my invoices every day so I don't have to acrue to much into the following month and I can determain a truer food cost. I do have a recieving clerk who's office is attached to the loading dock,we have a large scale that he weighs the meat and seafood before it comes in the kitchen to be sure it matches the invoice weight.The items are then checked in in the kitchen and my AM sous chef usaully assits my receiving clerk with this duty,Particularly with the perishable food stuffs.The clerk is also responcible for all rotation of item (FIFO)

Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much, Cape Chef and Panini! This will be great. If I have any more specific questions, I will let you know.

Thanks again,

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