Historical Background The process of food purchasing is one of the most challenging aspects of running a restaurant business

Historical Background The process of food purchasing is one of the most challenging aspects of running a restaurant business. Food purchasing is a subsystem that requires proper integration into the whole operational system of the restaurant to ensure success of the business.
The Carson Kitchen is one of the more popular restaurants in the Las Vegas culinary community. The restaurant is known for its delicious food from Bacon jam with baguettes to mint chimichurri.
John Courtney assumes the responsibility of Chef at Carson Kitchen. His position in the business began with at around the time of the death of the co-founder named Simon Kerry who also a well-known chef.
Courtney’s initial challenge resulted from his course of action to change the menu of the restaurant. Changing the menu of a restaurant is a unique challenge as it is regarded as both an illustration of creativity as well as a threat to the culinary history of the restaurant.
The purchase and supply of food is also affected in terms of the items added or removed from the menu which influence the food purchases from vendors. The business website is carsonkitchen.com and the telephone number – 702-473-9523.
The manager of Carson Kitchen who is also a co-founder often consults with the chef – John Courtney, on issues of selecting suppliers, product specification, and the re-order points. At Carson Kitchen, Chef Courtney is often the one in charge of the business’s food purchasing system; a tradition left by the late Simon Kerry.
Description of Carson Kitchen Carson Kitchen is located on 124 S. 6th Street downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. The restaurant is situated at the John E. Carson Hotel and the dining room is approximately 1800 square feet. The restaurant is divided into two levels both with a full bar. The ambience of the restaurant is warm and welcoming with competitive pricing for the food. The restaurant is relatively small as well as chef owned with a unique design. Despite limitation in size, the restaurant has a rooftop patio for live entertainment and dining. The restaurant can sit around ninety people.
Food Purchasing and Handling Supplies at Carson Kitchen Food purchasing standards have to be set prior to or during the operations of a restaurant. The amount of food to be purchased depends on the forecasts of sales which are derived from the restaurant’s sales history.
In the case of Carson Kitchen, Chef Courtney’s experience in the Las Vegas restaurant scene is evident as he has worked with numerous chefs in the region as well as in different restaurants as well as food trucks.
According to Jamelski (5), previous experience in the restaurant business is valuable for making accurate food purchasing forecasts. The process of food purchase at Carson Kitchen is a comprehensive one. First step entails contacting the food suppliers in order to discuss and possibly agree on concerns of food quality, price, time and mode of delivery as well as return policies.
Then, credits are established, and food is supplied to the restaurant and stored appropriately. Establishing par-stocks and re-order points is an essential process which is only achievable when the business is in operation (Jamelski 6).
Defining market prices of food is essential due to the perishable nature of these items as well as the increased competition in the restaurant business. The Las Vegas food industry is very competitive, which presents a challenge for most restaurants to acquire good quality food products and at competitive prices. Carson Kitchen has developed a strong and longstanding relationship with a few local farms and purveyors. The business negotiates long-term contracts with their suppliers. This allows the restaurant to endure rising food costs while maintaining restaurant prices. In some cases, suppliers of groceries and certain produces are invited to bid on these items for a given span of time which allows the restaurant control over the process (Jamelski 4).
The food purchasing system is an indispensable component of the entire restaurant system. At Carson Kitchen, the purchasing system is based on the menu as well as directed by the set food standards. Suppliers of food are selected based on their prices, reliability, as well as their honesty. Testing food samples is an important part of selecting suppliers for the restaurant. The responsibility of placing orders and receiving supplies is often given to the store keeper. Carson Kitchen has a well setup storage space which promotes maximum storage, the current inventory control system is considered effective, and the habit of checking every delivery of supplies is deeply-rooted within the staff.
Restaurants choose different vendors to supply for their various needs. Carson Kitchen similarly procures its food, beverages, and other materials such as linen and napkin from a number of suppliers. The business purchases its beverages from boutique vineyards specifically beers and wine in small batches. Carson Kitchen is more reliant on full-line purveyors over co-op buyers. Full-line purveyors offer a large line of items which results in time saving and easier billing. Las Vegas Spice Co. is a full-line purveyor of spices and herbs, Whole Harvest Foods and U.S. Oil Solutions supply bulk oil for eating establishments such as Carson Kitchen, Southwest Linens supplies napkins, kitchen towels, tablecloths, specialty linen and aprons as well as chef apparel and staff uniforms.
With regard to plans in changing food purchases, the restaurant does not anticipate to be making any changes in food purchases soon. However there is always pressure to keep making creative changes to the menu and this could influence the quantities and inclusion/exclusion of some of the food items purchased. As an upscale establishment, Carson reserves the right to change their suppliers in case they compromise on quality as this could threaten the survival of their business.
Monitoring quality of the vendor companies is important as it ensures the restaurant receives correct supplies for the orders and purchases they make. According to Chef Courtney, frequent inspections of the vendors in the form of visiting farms ensures the restaurant is aware of any changes involving the vendor companies that might affect their business relationship.
The Procedure of Ordering Ordering for food supplies is an important part of the food purchasing system for restaurants. Employing effective ordering technologies as well as making the correct reorder amounts while avoiding shortages ensures restaurant operations continues efficiently.
Carson restaurant deals with only a few suppliers who they trust and with whom they have cultivated a long-standing business relationship over the years. A good rapport with the suppliers is necessary to avoid issues of inaccurate supply quantities and quality which backtracks the restaurant business (Jamelski 7).
The business’s purchasing system also entails a purchase order; a form in multiple copies for different stakeholders involved in the delivery of a particular order such as the buyer, the supplier, and the delivery person.
Carson Kitchen has set re-order points for different food items such as meat and vegetables to ensure adequate supplies at the delivery of an order. The technology used to order purchases at Carson Kitchen is computer-based.
The comprehensive menu of the restaurant propels the need for such a system which is considerably more efficient than fax or the traditional paper and pencil. Purchasing Meat and other Products
The purchase and receiving of food, such as meat, groceries, and other produce requires a comprehensive system. Every food item used at the restaurant has a different shelf life and it is necessary to determine reorder information based on the amount necessary for use, product availability, and storage space.
Acquiring quality and fresh products and ensuring their proper handling, storage, consumption, then reordering is subject to well-established procedures as well as close monitoring (Jamelski 4). This is illustrated at Carson Kitchen.
Chef Courtney relates the success of the restaurant to a close working relationship with their purveyors. Considerable effort is put into improving linkages with growers by visiting the farms and other areas of food supply from which the restaurant sources its produce.
Carson Kitchen considers meat one of the most expensive items of food purchase and thus a lot of planning and specifications are drawn up regarding how it is acquired and handled.
Beef, poultry, and fish are among the main types of meat purchased by the restaurant and are used to prepare some of the essential items on the menu such as the steelhead trout cake mustard cream and crispy chicken skins smoked honey.
The cut of the meat, the tenderness, fat content, and form – carcass, ready to serve or wholesale cut, are important factors to take into account before purchasing meat items. Meat items are purchased every few days depending on their shelf life and quantity requirements.
Selecting fresh fruits and vegetables is similarly a daunting task as it is necessary to check for maturity and blemishes that might affect the produce. Canned fruits are a cheaper option to fresh fruit and have a longer shelf-life therefore a popular choice for many restaurants.
Vegetables and fruits are bought daily and stored at temperatures of 180F-200F. Potatoes and onions are bought every week in large quantities and stored properly. As one of the up-scale restaurants in Las Vegas, Carson Kitchen avoids using frozen meat and vegetables as these are considered to be of lower quality than fresh items.
There are also standard procedures to be upheld in the process of purchasing beverages for the restaurant. Carson Kitchen serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks which have to purchased and ordered. It is achieved through determining the order quantities and processing orders. For beverages, the period order method is applicable, which can be based either on fixed dates and different quantities or the perpetual order method can be used for fixed reorder quantities and variable order dates. At Carson Kitchen, formal purchase orders are placed and indicate the necessary supplies, their quantities and prices (Jamelski 7). In contrast to food items, such as meat and vegetables, perishability is not a critical factor in the purchase of beverages as most wines and spirits have long shelf lives.
Conclusion Carson Kitchen is one of the most successful restaurant businesses in the Las Vegas food scene. This is attributable to a number of factors among them an effective food purchasing system. The chef is responsible for making most of the purchasing decisions however he often consults with other relevant stakeholders before making any long-term changes. The purchase of food items like meat, vegetables and fruits is based on the shelf life of these items as well the amount needed by the restaurant which can sit up to ninety people. Making accurate purchase orders thus becomes an important element of the food purchase system. With an eclectic menu, having reliable suppliers is essential and this is the case at Carson Kitchen which is able to successful proceed with its operations without worries of escalating and unstable food prices.

Bill Carlson

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