Hotel Store and Purchase

Food control begins when the orders are placed; it ends when the ultimate cash takings are banked. Store and purchase plays a vital role in this process and helps generating more revenue and controlling food and Purchase in hotel

The store should be close to the preparation area. Basic aim is a smooth flow from stores to preparation, to cooking, to server and from the server to the restaurant and then back to the wash up, so there is need to provide storage appropriate to the size of the kitchen.

Functions of Store and Purchase :

The functions of the stores is to receive, check, store correctly, issue goods as required against requisition properly authorized. Strict control should be exercised as it provided cost figures and assist in future budgeting. It is essential to check all incoming supplies for quality, weight and price. Supplies received should be promptly taken into stock; non-perishables should go into dry stores. Perishable items be stored in cold rooms, freezers etc. The ideal dry store temperature range is 15C to 18C.

Refrigerators for perishable foods are maintained at 1C to 4C.

Records should be kept to show the stock of each commodity received, issued and on hand with dates of receipt and issue, so that at any time the management can check the accuracy of the record.

The stock should be taken at least once a month. The best system of accounting is a card index comprising a separate card for each commodity and all issues supported by relevant documents. The system is amenable to periodic spot checks as required.

PORTION CONTROL for Store and Purchase :

“Portion control” means the amount of size of a portion of food to be served to a customer.

Food costing and portion control are implementer and the need for this form of control comes from both sides of the business from the caterer and his customers. There is a natural tendency for clients to eye one another’s portion when they are served and if one is thought to be slightly larger than the others there is apt to be resentment and a reaction cletrimental to the good name of the establishment. Only exact portion control can eliminate this. It is not something that can be introduced at the service point; it must start when orders are placed for supplies.

Monitoring portion control could be done by direct supervision by sales analysis and by comparing the requisitions of cash department with issues.

Purpose of portion control in Store and Purchase :

  1. To ensure fair portion for each customer.
  2. To see that each department utilizes purchases to the full
  3. To control waste
  4. To ensure that standard costing is an accurate as possible.

Methods of monitoring portion control in Store and Purchase :

  1. Ordering the right quantity and supervising when receiving it.
  1. Even preparing the food in the production area under direct supervision.
  1. by proper checking of the service of food.
  1. Comparing the requisitions of each department with issues.
  1. by sales analysis.

Aids to portion control:-

Portion control is done by using equipment and utensils as for example a scoop (ladle) used mainly for ice-cream can also be used for mashed potatoes as a portioned for mixture at Store and Purchase.

(a) Automatic portion control equipment’s used in Store and Purchase include:

  1. Tea dispensers
  2. Butter pat machines
  3. Bread slicing and buttering machines
  4. Gravity feed slicers
  5. Coffee-making, e.g. cone machines
  6. Mini steak mounding machines
  7. Milk dispensers

(b) Utensil used in Store and Purchase for portion control include-

  1. Ladles
  2. dariole moulds
  3. Serving spoons and scoops
  4. Pie dishes
  5. Woven wire servers
  6. Baking tins
  7. Measures

(c) Serving dishes that help in portion control at Store and Purchase

  1. Glasses
  2. casseroles
  3. Coupes
  4. tureens
  5. Sundae glasses
  6. Sauce-boats
  7. Soufflé cases
  8. Vegetable dishes
  9. Cocottes’
  10. entrée dishes

Portion sizes and Store and Purchase:

As portion sizes vary from one establishment to another between table ’hôte and a’la carte service, it is difficult to give definite average portion sizes.

A few examples are being given to act as a guide-line.

Losses in preparation:- The percentage of waste of vegetables in preparation will be according to the kind and the quality used. To compute portion control and cost, the waste from peeling and trimming and also the shrinkage in cooking must be considered. If there are unskilled workers, there will be a tremendous waste and a high food cost. They should be trained to judge quality merchandise in order to be able to appreciate its value.

  1. Visual aid sheets:- A portion control sheet can be used for costing various items of food or complete dishes. The object is to ascertain the total yield of a given commodity after preparation and processing.

Such a sheet can be used in the experimental or research kitchen of a catering group or in the food preparation area when compiling standardized recipes by Store and Purchase.

  1. Standardized recipes:- They assist in food coasting and portion control by taking the guess work away and substituting more exact approach, by listing the ingredients and methods in a readily understood form as the result will be uniform every time it its featured. The food cost can also be known in advance if a price column is introduced provided it is kept up to date with any price changes. The standard recipe will give a warning when the price charged becomes uneconomical and an increase becomes necessary.

The effects of irregular or badly administered portion control in Store and Purchase :-

Following effects will emerge:

(a) Dissatisfied customers resulting in a decrease of business.

(b) Food costing will be inaccurate, affecting profits.

(c) A lack of sense of responsibility among personal leading to a loss of standard.

Portion control in the hotel Store and Purchase is one of the greatest factors that contribute to a successful business. The general rule should be a fair portion for a fair price.

Quantity control and Store and Purchase :- The control of quantity consumed ensures that everything consumed has been accounted for. It does not ensure profitability, but provides a useful supplementary check and is simple to operate. For simple dishes, this method is good but not for complex dishes. For small establishments when one store keeper is responsible and issues one egg and two bacon rashers for breakfast, it controls consumption.


Buying quality and freshness of supplies and portion control are of the utmost importance for the operation of a successful business.

Large establishments will often employ a purchase Manager, as he can concentrate and get the best supplies. Requisition for supplies are placed with the store/kitchen stewarding a specified time in advance by the chef de cuisine for highly perishable supplies. The store keeper will forward his requisitions for “Dry stores” and cleaning materials in the same manner.

Suppliers should be changed from time to time.

Knowledge of buying is very essential. The Store and Purchase should have a reasonable technical knowledge in catering as he will be able to follow the requisitions properly and understand the importance of delivery times, quality and specifications etc. The Store and Purchase should assimilate information new ideas and techniques, gathered from trade journals, visits to exhibitions and food processing plants. The comparison of competitive price lists from suppliers must be done occasionally.

When selecting the suppliers following points should be considered by Store and Purchase :

(a) The prices are competitive for the goods specified in relation to quality.

(b) The goods offered should meet specifications by looks and other related factors. Samples should be taken for checking.

(c) Financial terms offered relating to credit facilities and discount for settlement.

Selection will then be made of at least two suppliers for each ‘group’ of supplies required in certain ‘groups’ which include many commodities such as groceries. Three or even more suppliers may be selected. Where supplies are obtained by contract, obviously this will not apply.

Specialized supplies such as pao bhajhi masala, Amritsciri papad, paprika, avocado pears, capers, artichokes etc. May be obtained from a single supplier.

Instructions to suppliers:- After the selection has been made of various suppliers, written instructions on the following points should be made by Store and Purchase –

  1. Delivery times and any special requirements of delivery.
  2. The person or persons authorized to accept and sign for supplies.
  3. That goods supplied are as ordered including special instruction to “brands and sizes”.
  4. No alteration will be accepted between quoted and invoice prices.
  5. The name of people authorized to order supplies. If there is a contract it will operate for a given period often for one year. The purpose of “contract” buying is to obtain the best supplies possible at a fixed price over stated period.

Ordering of supplies:- Orders for supplies, generally fall in 3 categories orders-

  1. Daily orders,
  2. Weekly orders
  3. Standing orders.

Daily orders are usually placed for perishable through Store and Purchase, items such as meat poultry, game, fish, fruit, vegetables, milk and cream, etc. The orders can be placed by telephone, confirmed by a written order.

Weekly orders consist mainly of dry stores, i.e. groceries etc. Standing orders certain types of supplies such as milk, eggs, bacon etc.are ordered for a specific quantity. The quantity stated is the minimum requirement. If more is needed, supplementary order is given.

Cycle of control in Store and Purchase

Purchasing: Everything in a food operation actually beings with the kind of market that an operation would cater to. Menus are planned on the basis of the market segment. Once the menus are planned, all the other requirements such as buying of equipment and other things, planning and layout of the area are carried out. This function of buying is classified as purchasing, and in hotels a separate department known as the purchase department carries out these functions.

Material need to purchase against some standards and such standards are known as ‘specification’. These specifications are made on the basis of the end product and how it is perceived to be served. Skillful purchasing with good receiving and storage can play a major role in the bottom line of the establishment. It is often said that one could produce low-quality food to a high-quality ingredients, but never can produce high-quality food from substandard ingredient. These are the some factors or procedure that one has to be aware of before carrying out the purchase functions. Once the right market is located, samples are procured from the supplier and then tests such as for quality and quantity are done to narrow these down in a document known as Standard Purchase Specification. Such format can differ from one establishment to another.

Standard Purchase Specification format:


STANDARD PURCHASE SPECIFICATION: ________________________________

NAME OF THE PRODUCT:_________________________________________

INTENDED USE: ______________ GRADE/QUALITY: ________________________

UNIT: _____________________ PRICE PER UNIT: _________________________


APPERENCE: ___________________ TEXTURE: __________________________

COLOUR: _____________________ FLAVOUR: __________________________

SIZE & SHAPE: ___________________________________________________

PAKING: __________________ NO.PER KG: ___________________________

ANY OTHER REQUIREMENT: _______________________________________

 SIGNARUTE OF PURCHASE OFFICER:                                    DATE:  

Receiving: It is important to check whether the goods received are as per their specifications. Otherwise, the organization might be paying more for substandard quality. It is important for chef to constantly check all the food products and reject any item if is not as per the specification. The supplier is then given a time to procure the items as per the specifications, or else hotel can buy the product from the open market charge the same to the supplier. The items are received as per the food safety laws, and the temperature and the condition of packaging are given utmost importance. Catering establishment such as airline and hospitals, have very strict receiving quality standards to control quality and standardization. The next step after receiving goods is the proper storage of the food.

Document used by receiving department for Store and Purchase: The receiving department needs to maintain certain document in specific formats in order to help in the control of goods received and rejected. The receiving department is usually in an area which is separate from the guest area. The staff entrance into the hotel is also usually near the receiving area. The following are certain documents that are used:

Gate Pass (Returnable): The receiving department issues this document whenever hotel property is to be taken out from the hotel on a returnable basis. This is mainly use by the department for outdoor functions. Four copies are made first copy goes to security personnel at the gate, second copy goes to receiving department, third for the person who is taking the item out of the hotel and fourth copy goes to user department for the record.

Gate Pass (Non-returnable): This document use for any item leaving the hotel which will not be returned to the hotel. However any item leaving the hotel premise which is not going to be returned required permission of general manager, upon which the purchase manager finds a buyer and the gate pass issue by the receiving department. Same procedure follows as returnable gate pass.

Memorandum Invoice: This invoice is made when receiving department does not receive a proper bill for any item received. The details of the item, quantity and supplier are entered in the invoice and kept as a record till the department receives a proper bill. When the bill is received it is matched against the invoice for the item’s details, quantity and price.

Inspection Report: This report is prepared in case the quality of imported item received by the department does not match the standard specified for the unit. The item then has to be returned. A detailed explanation of why the item was rejected and what conditions it was received needs to be given in the report. Four copies of report made; first copy goes to purchasing department which then goes to supplier, second copy goes to the controls department, third copy is left with receiving department and fourth copy is sent to the user department.

Short Supply Report: This report is made for perishable item only. Any shortages in the quantity received from the supplier due to any miscommunication or all details of rejected items are recorded. The supplier is intimated about the shortage and the quantity is adjusted in next delivery. This report is made in duplicate. One copy is sent to the executive chef and another is left with the purchase department.

Storing: Storage areas are the places in Store and Purchase that are designed to store the raw or cooked food before or after the cooking or service operation. Storage of food items in any catering establishment is like saving money in bank. So it is important to ensure that food items purchased with care and research are stored properly to preserve their freshness.

It is mandatory to keep the store under clean and hygienic conditions, as commodities that would yield profits are stored here for future use. If the conditions are not as per the food safety laws, then the store would be infested with pests and rodent, which in turn would contaminate the food items. Thefts, spoilage’s infections through pests, and non-accessibility of the products in the store are the four major concerns of any food storage department.

Since the opening costs of the food and beverage department, such as food cost, are related with the issues from the food stores, strict control systems have to b put in place for proper inventory control. Care has to be taken while designing a storeroom for volume feeding. The following points must be considered while designing a storeroom for bulk feeding:

  • The storeroom’s proximity to the receiving department as well as to a central position for all user departments should be kept in mind.
  • The volume of business and the type of establishment also play a major role in the designing storeroom.
  • It should be specious, free from pests and rodents, and low in humidity.
  • It should easy of operation and easy of cleaning after goods have been stored.
  • It should facilitate the monitoring of goods in store.
  • It should have an optimum space utilization design and should have sufficient number of rack and shelves.
  • The type of food store required- cold store and dry store –should also be considered.
  • The storeroom design should aid proper stock rotation method
  • The storeroom should have proper lightning and should be well ventilated.
  • The variety or number of items to be store with their per stocks and the space required for them should also considered
  • The storeroom should be well illuminated as dark corner can be prone to past infection.
  • The flooring should be durable and heavy duty, as this would be a heavy traffic area.
  • The flow of work of operations would determine the style and design of the storeroom.
  • The spacing between shelves and storage cabinets should be kept in mind, and the required space for them needs to be available.
  • All storage areas have to be kept clean and tidy all the times. Regular cleaning schedules need to be place to keep the store room clean. Any spillages on the floor must immediately be cleaned as they invite pastes and rodents.

Inventory control in Store and Purchase : Since the stored stocks are equivalent to tangible money, it is important that proper inventory control systems are in place to keep a check on the stock in hand. The food cost of a kitchen is calculated on the basis of item withdrawn from store. A simple formula to calculate the food cost would be:


We can thus, understand the importance of a food store and can imagine its impact in food cost. Any spoilages or pilferages from the store are debited from the kitchens and hence chefs lay emphasis on proper control of this area. The following processes are usually involved in inventory control:

Minimum and Maximum Per Stocks and their Calculation: The inventory for the food and beverage store carried out once a month, while that for general store is carried out quarterly. No items are issued to any department on the day of inventory. Per stock for each items in different and is determined depending on the following factors:

  • Turnover of items: Every item has a stock level, maximum or minimum inventory, as well as a recording level. These can be checked from an item enquiry. Item enquiry is a part of software process through which one can search for a particular item. The per stocks are set on the basis of their consumption pattern six months or twelve months. A safety lock, also known as minimum level inventory, is maintained for all items to be able to run operations under all possible conditions.
  • Consumption of item: The higher the consumption, the more stock one needs to keep and vice versa. But if an item is being ordered for a special function, then it needs to be communicated to the stores so that adequate stock levels can be maintained.
  • Lead time: the time is take for ordered goods to arrive at the store is known as lead time. It plays a very crucial part in ordering and per stock levels. For example imported gods have to be ordered well in advance as such goods need more time to reach from another country.

Distance from supplier: The distances from supplier, as discussed for lead time, plays an important part in per stock levels. This is directly related to lead time.

Re-ordering level: This is the per stock level which when reached indicates that the item must be re-ordered. Different items have different re-order levels depending upon the policy of the company and the needs of the user departments.

Slow & Nom-moving item: Slow and non-moving are separated from the inventory at the end of the month and are displayed on racks. The chef and food & beverage manager are requested to devise the methods of utilizing these item, as they were the one who indented those item. If these item do not get to be used, then partial recoveries are made by disposing them in the market.

Space available in store: One must decide on per stocks based on the storage space available in the area. Haphazard stocking would lead to non-accessibility of the product, which will result in spoilages and loss of money.

Following Store and Purchase terms are use in Cycle of control:

Bin card: It is a tag attached to a commodity before it is stored. It mentions the weight, date of packing, and the name of the product.

FIFO: It is a method in which items that are received first are issued first. It stands first-in first-out.

LIFO: It is a method in which items that are received last are issued first. It stands last-in first-out.

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