Your back door is where you do a very important segment of your business–it’s where you order and receive your 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. Here’s a step-by-step system that will help you do both of those things.

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

2) Work with your purveyors in advance to set up receiving time. Bring your orders in when you have trained staff to check them in (see step four) and during slower times. 

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

4) Have either management or a trained key employee receive orders. 

5) When checking in your delivery, follow these steps:

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

b. Check products for quality and condition. 

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

d. Weigh products

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

ii. Check it routinely for accuracy.

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

iv. 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. 

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

6) Have stocking procedures in place as follows:

a. Get any refrigerated products into walk-in coolers or freezers immediately. 

b. Remove and date any fresh product as may be required by your health code authority.

c. Remove any excess packaging and break down boxes as soon as possible. 

d. If you are breaking down all of your boxes, keep the label from each so you have the lot number. 

e. Make sure whoever is stocking is trained to use the first in/first out (FIFO) method in stocking.

7) Have clerical procedures in place as follows:

a. All invoices are verified and signed before a check is written if you are on COD.

b. A copy of the invoice goes to the kitchen manager or chef and a copy goes to whoever is in charge of the checkbook.

c. Immediately update prices in your inventory spreadsheet (or in SMART Systems Pro).

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, it put more than $6,000 back into his bank account.

So what are you waiting for? Follow these simple steps at your back door and start making more money.