This may be defined as a function concerned with the
search, selection then purchase, receive storing and
final use of a commodity in accordance with the
catering policy of the establishment.
The purchasing officer is responsible for looking for
the items which are most suitable for the business.
He is responsible for selecting the most suitable
The purchasing officer enters into the contract
with the selected supplies of food commodities.
The purchasing officer receives the goods
ensuring that quality and the quantity and the price
is as agreed.
He ensures that items received are recorded and
He ensures that items are issued to the user units
He receives a feedback confirming the suitability
of items purchased.
Purchasing in Food and Beverage
→ shows what the market is aimed at.
the choice available for
customers and food and beverage quality
→ determine what food and beverage are
PURCHASING → Here the selection of the supplies and the
methods of purchasing are determined.
and quality inspection.
→ Storage requirement, stock records and
pricing of issues
PRODUCTION → Preparation and processing.
of acceptable meals and drinks
at correct selling prices.
→ Involves the provision of report assessing
the final result and corrective actions if
there are any.
in large establishment the purchasing officer is involved
with large purchase and therefore it is important that the
right staff is employed to run the department. In school or
college all the purchasing may be carried out by the bursar
who buys all the items for the institute, in a hospital the
purchasing may be the responsibility of a senior purchasing
officer or senior supplier’s officer. In small restaurant and
canteens the chef may do all the buying whereas in large
hotel all the buying is done by the purchasing officer.
Duties of the Purchasing Officer
The duties may be inevitable varying from one
establishment to another and will usually include
The purchasing of all food and beverage and
ensuring of continuity of supplies.
Efficient operation and control of the purchasing
officer, the goods received dept the stores and the
Responsible for finding cheaper and better
sources of supplies and as well as new substitute
Maintaining good liasone with the user unit e.g.
catering unit, restaurant unit, control unit, bar
unit, housekeeping unit, accounts office to ensure
prompt payment for goods received.
Responsible for reporting to the management on
the activities of the department.
Responsible for searching in relation of the
requirement of the establishment.
Methods of Purchasing
An establishment should select the methods of
purchasing which is both economical and efficient an
establishment may use any of the following methods or
a combination of both.
Purchasing by Daily Quotation Sheet
Purchasing by Cash and Carrying
In contract purchasing the establishment enters
into a contract with a supplier for the items to be
supplied. This method is suitable for items with
stable prices e.g. meat, sugar, flour bread, salt
normally a short term contract is usually for six
months. A contract will be for three months and
long term contract and usually for six months. A
contract is a legal document and which must have
all the relevant clauses as follows.
i)The period of contract.
ii)The estimate quantities as accurately as possible.
iii) The reservation of the establishment to divide a
contract if necessary between suppliers.
iv) The purchase specification for the item concerned.
v) The removal of any rejected food to be undertaken
by the suppliers.
vi) Power to purchase in default – should a supplier not
be able to supply a commodity the establishment
reserves the right to purchase the commodity from
another source and any expense incurred or
difference is normally changed by a supplier under
vii) Indemnity against damage – The supplier
should be responsible for the damage property.
viii)Prevention against corruption – The
establishment reserves the right to cancel the
contract should there be any unethical practices
e.g. bribery of any member of the staff.
ix) The place of delivery must be considered so that
the products or goods are delivered at the
correct place and the right time.
x) Invoices to be supplied within a specific time
after delivery has taken place.
xi) Payment of invoices information to be given to
the supplier as to when the payment will be
xii) Service of notice to break the contract – here
the period of time to be given by either party to
be specified and to who notice is to be served.
This is purchasing by weekly or fortnight, quotation
sheets requirement for a given period are estimated
and ordered. It is suitable for non-perishable goods
e.g. sugar, flour, salt, cereals soaps etc. The quantity
ordered will be determined by among other
considerations storage space available.
Purchasing by Daily Quotation
Orders are placed as required on a day to day basis.
This method is suitable for perishable goods to ensure
Purchasing by Cash and
Within the opening of many supermarkets and uchumi
offering goods at very reasonable prices some
establishment opt to pay by cash for most of their goods
from the supermarket most wholesalers also sale
directly to the establishment at the wholesale price.
This way the establishment takes the advantage of:
Competitive prices being offered.
Free to select the best products.
For effective purchasing the following factors must be
The buyer must explore all possible suppliers offering
the most economical prices, trade discounts and terms
of payment must be negotiated.
It allows the opportunity to purchase small quantities
of an item so that a new product or a new brand may be
sampled with minimum of cost.
In cash and carry we can also buy from the warehouses
at reduced prices.
The Purchasing Procedure
There are various stages in the purchasing procedure.
i)The initiation of a request to purchase goods by an
authorized member of staff such as the head chefs, head
barman or restaurant manager.
ii)The determination of the source of supply from which
the goods are to be purchased and the price to be paid.
iii)Entering into a contract with the firm selected this
may be by telephone for perishable items or writing on
a detailed contract form.
iv) Obtaining a satisfactory delivery performance from
the supplier with regard to time, date and place of
v) The acceptance of goods ordered and the transfer to
the ordering department or to the store or cellar.
The Selection of a Supplier
On receipt of an authorized requisition form. It is
necessary to check the economic quantity to be
purchased by reference to the existing shock of the
1.The first stage of that of entering into a form of a
contract with a supplier, the supplier should be selected
from these with whom business has been done before
as standards of goods obtained and service ordered will
2. Supplier is selected from (i) or (ii) recommended to
the purchasing officer by a fellow purchasing officer
himself or a good standard. The new supplier may
become available as a result of an approach by the
purchasing officer himself or a supplier
representative. The basic information required by a
new supplier would include.
The basic information required by a new supplier
a)Full details of the firm.
Range of products that can supply.
The address of the head office.
Name of their bank.
b) Printed copies of recent price list.
c) Must have samples of products for tasting and the
sample should be free
d) To visit to a new firm is necessary because here the
supplier must know the size of the company its
storage facilities and transport and also attitude of
firm to a new customer.
e) Supplier rating – The third method of selection is
based on the suppliers Information of the other
customers of their products, this means that the
supplier offers the supplies to other people.
3. performance if possible compare suppliers of the
same group commodities as they have similar
problems as regards the market conditions, the best
suppliers is the one who provides the firm with the
most efficient service with rearguard to quantity,
quality, price and delivery of performance. What
often is not ready available but is necessary to
further evaluate the supplier and record on:
The total value of goods delivered by each supplier
The number of items rejected and with their values.
The percentage value of goods rejected.
Any late delivery of goods.
This information can be used to make supplier aware of
this poor performance and also can be used by the
receiving department in that they will be aware of the
supplier whose goods will need a closer inspection.
The Purchasing of beverages
It is similar in many ways to the purchasing of food that
is buying the best possible product of the
Standards and selling money by buying the less
expensive brands for ingredients whenever possible.
The main sources of supply of beverages are:
These are firms that buy wine in the country of origin
and supervise the shipment of it the country in which
it will be sold.
They are either independent companies or subsidiary
companies of a large breweries..
Cash and Carry
You can also buy wines from the supermarket. It offers
a limited range of wines, spirits beers at reasonable