Produce Ordering Guide for Restaurants
Whether you are a small, independent restaurant or part of a larger operation with multiple outlets, having an accurate up to date produce ordering guide will make any Chef’s life easier when it comes to organizing your ordering and getting the correct product. Here are some of the benefits of taking the time to create an accurate order guide:
- you will be able to take your orders quicker
- you can designate specific specs for each item so that no matter who does the ordering you will get the correct item (115 ct Lemons, 80 ct Russets, etc)
- you will be less likely to overlook ordering something (if people don’t see it on the shelf it often gets overlooked as something to order)
- if someone else (such as a Purchaser) places the orders for you then there will be less chance of ordering the wrong item
- a produce order guide allows you to indicate pars for busy and slow days
- if you go on vacation or are out sick then someone else can place the order for you
- a produce order guide can be updated seasonally
This ordering guide has columns for Category, Item, Item #, low & high pars, Delivery Days for ordered items, and Vendors. It is recommended that you have 2 or 3 vendors for your produce so you can get weekly bids for best price on the items you order. This sheet allows you to enter 3 possible vendors for each item, then you highlight the vendor with the best price so you know who to order that item from each week. But always check to be sure that the vendors are quoting prices for the same quality/spec/size/grade of item! Don’t get fooled by a lower price for lower quality product.
With this produce ordering guide you can organize your ordering sheet a couple of different ways. Using the “Category” column you can list items as Herb, Fruit, Produce, Specialty, etc. Or you can make sub categories by using Produce Mushroom, Produce Onions, Produce Herb, etc. A third option is to use the Category column to designate different storage areas or categories: Walk-in 1, Walk-in 2, or perhaps Dairy, Produce, Fruit, Cheese, etc.
Restaurant Produce Ordering Guide
This form is only available to Premium Subscribers (get more info)
Note: Microsoft Excel required (not included)
If you don’t want to use the Category designation, then you can alphabetize your order sheet as follows: Onion Yellow, Onion Green, Onion Red, Potato Red “B”, Potato Russet 80 ct, etc.
When getting bids for produce items, sometimes it is worth getting prices for both smaller packages and larger ones. Sometimes 1 pound of fresh tarragon may be cheaper than buying two 4 oz packages of tarragon (yes, I know this will give you 16 oz of tarragon not 8…be create with the excess), or 1 case of zucchini may be cheaper than buying 10 pounds.
Here is our info chart on the seasonality of specialty produce.