How to manage your restaurant's incoming stock
The key to managing the workflow in the kitchen smoothly is to have well developed processes in place for dealing with the jobs that come up on a regular basis.
This is especially important for larger kitchen jobs like handling goods inwards. Having no set plans or protocols in place for accepting deliveries to your restaurant kitchen may turn what should be a simple, orderly part of the kitchen operation into a potentially costly hassle.
There are a few simple strategies for handling incoming stock that will avoid problems and contribute to kitchen efficiency generally.
Designate delivery areas
Space in the kitchen is always tight which makes it even more important to designate specific areas where deliveries are unloaded. This reduces the amount of time that it takes to check incoming goods to ensure that it matches the delivery invoice, while avoiding the goods being dumped in the kitchen where they could get in the way. This also avoids the double handling that occurs when busy staff moves deliveries out of work areas because there is insufficient time to store it properly.
Assign goods inwards to specific staff
Goods inwards is an important and regular part of the operation of the kitchen and so the responsibility for accepting deliveries should be assigned to specific staff that are trained in the correct handling protocols. This ensures the maximum efficiency of the handling of the goods that are delivered to the kitchen and it also means everything that comes in is stored in the right place, in the correct way, every time. Making specific staff responsible for handling goods inwards also makes it easier for cooking staff to track the arrival of ingredients that need to be processed immediately upon arrival, contributing to the overall efficiency of the kitchen operation.
Follow goods acceptance protocols
The most fundamental key to efficient handling of goods inwards in the kitchen is to have established protocols for accepting deliveries that all the kitchen staff follows. This eliminates any potential for confusion over the way produce that comes into the kitchen is handled and ensures that critical deliveries requiring special storage, like frozen goods, are always dealt with appropriately.
The necessity for commercial kitchens to follow detailed food safety plans makes the establishment of consistent goods inwards processes an essential part of kitchen management. Including the food safety documentation as a standard part of the overall delivery acceptance protocol ensures that all of the health regulations are adhered to as a natural part of the kitchen's operational processes.
The process of accepting deliveries is one of the most common weak points in the management of kitchens, but having a planned approach to management of goods inwards processes can quickly turn it into a fundamental strength.
Knowing that the deliveries to the kitchen will be handled according to the highest possible standards also creates confidence that the produce will be kept in the freshest state, and have the longest potential shelf life, which in turn will produce the best quality food for the dining room floor.