7 Steps to Keep Profits Coming in the Back Door

The back door is a crucial place in your business. It’s where you order and receive product and it’s where restaurants bleed cash. To fix this, I stress the importance of having systems in place to make your life easier and make you a lot more money. One of my members shared that implementing these systems for ordering and receiving food reduced the amount of food he has in his three restaurants, motivated his kitchen managers, resulted in cleaner more organized walk-ins and, most importantly, put more than $6,000 back into his bank account. Here’s how the step-by-step system works.

Weigh products

Check temperatures of any refrigerated products to make sure they are not out of the safe zone.

Check products for quality and condition.

Check invoices for accuracy against your purchase order (PO) —hung at the back door—for each item, quantity and prices.

When checking in your delivery, follow these steps:

Have either management or a trained key employee receive orders.

Limit your delivery driver’s access to only delivery areas.

Work with your purveyors in advance to set up receiving time that makes sense for your business. Bring your orders in when you have trained staff on hand (see step four) and during slower times.

Plan where deliveries are to be accepted. If you have the room, the best place to check deliveries in is the walk-in cooler.

Have a large scale in your receiving area. (If you don’t have one, go get one.)

Check it routinely for accuracy.

Remove products from packaging and/or ice before weighing and compare to the invoice weight.

If there are any discrepancies or problems with products that have to be returned, have the driver make note on the invoice or fill out a credit memo immediately, before signing the invoice.

Remember that once you sign an invoice, you are responsible for the payment as shown.

Have stocking procedures in place as follows:

  1. Get any refrigerated products into walk-in coolers or freezers immediately.
  2. Remove and date any fresh product as may be required by your health code authority.
  3. Remove any excess packaging and break down boxes as soon as possible.
  4. If you are breaking down all of your boxes, keep the label from each so you have the lot number.
  5. Make sure whoever is stocking is trained to use the first in/first out (FIFO) method.

Have clerical procedures in place as follows:

  1. All invoices are verified and signed before a check is written if you are on cash on delivery (COD.)
  2. A copy of the invoice goes to the kitchen manager or chef and a copy goes to the person in charge of the checkbook.
  3. Immediately update prices in your inventory spreadsheet.