Who Receives Product in a Restaurant?

Who Receives Product in a Restaurant?

The question, Who Receives Product in a Restaurant, is debatable and may theories differ on this subject depending on the restaurant’s size, structure, and management culture. Many different practices and viewpoints can influence the chain of command or hierarchy instilled in a restaurant and its kitchen staff.  The main goals of establishing and running a successful restaurant are customer service, marketing, and overall customer satisfaction. The kitchen is the heart and soul of the restaurant where the product that’s sold to each customer is received, combined and tweaked into a culinary miracle that is sometimes hard to believe. If customers receiving the meals are happy, satisfied, and are willing to come back, wouldn’t that make the business a successful one? Sales come from customers after all, and isn’t the product being received of the utmost importance to the overall success of the business at large?

Who Receives Product in a Restaurant spells out why a receiving manager is imperative to a successful hospitality industry business.

Brigade de cuisine

According to the classic French “Brigade de cuisine” or Kitchen Brigade, the hierarchy of a kitchen is very structured and commands respect from all the levels involved in the system. The Executive Chef or Chef de cuisine is on top and in command. The French term literally translates to “Chief of the kitchen.” The buck stops here.

Depending on the size and volume of the kitchen, the Chef may not actually be the person receiving the product. Yes, in smaller establishments the Chef can wear many hats and has to assume many roles. In a kitchen or restaurant large enough to have an Executive Chef, he will devote most of his time to menu development, recipe creation, and personal training. That same kitchen generally will have a Food and Bev manager, a Maitre d’ and a restaurant General manager.  Sometimes the Chef de cuisine is actually the Executive Sous-chef when an executive chef’s employed and many heads of the kitchen could be placing the restaurant’s orders. This still begs the question, Who receives the product in a restaurant?


The sous-Chef is the second in command and reports directly to the Chef himself. In many kitchens, the Sous-Chef’s considered the “Working Chef,” and helps the Executive Chef run the kitchen in its entirety. Some places have the Sous-Chef order and receive the product, however, many places that have a sous-chef in the real sense of the word, can not afford to take this person away from the duties of overseeing the kitchen staff.  Generally, the sous-chef is a chef, or a chef in training, and could run the kitchen in the chef’s absence. The Sous-chef may do many of the product ordering duties in many restaurants.

Food & Beverage Manager

Oftentimes a restaurant will have a Food and Beverage manager. I have seen this role take on many aspects. From head bartender to general manager, the structure of the restaurant and role of the food and beverage manager is unique to each establishment. I have had food and beverage managers that did all the ordering for the entire restaurant, as I have also met some food and beverage managers who are the Maitre d’. Generally, they are all involved in the product ordering as well as the menu development and customer satisfaction.

Restaurant sizes

Although the ordering of product from the many purveyors available can be shifted from job title to job title, most restaurants I have seen, have a combination of head chef and food & beverage manages to do the bulk of the ordering. Most of these businesses are in the gross annual income of between $750,000 and $5,000,000. These are not huge establishments, however, they are no joke either. The receiving of the bulk goods can fall to any number of staff members in these establishments.


The product receiving task in a restaurant is no easy task. Goods come in the door off of 18 wheel trucks with hand dollies and the packaging can weigh upwards of 50 pounds.

Many times the deliveries come within a short time frame of each other, and it is a rush to accept, inspect and sign for all the goods taken in. Items entering through kitchens back door are often very perishable, and a keen eye for detail is a must for the overall success of the business.  So Who Receives Product in a Restaurant? In a dinner service restaurant, this task is often placed on the “day cooks” or prep crew, who have a large list of tasks that must be finished before the service crew shows up for dinner service preparation sometime in the afternoon.

Receiving Manager

Consider staffing a receiving manager at your restaurant. A person that works from 9-5, and is solely responsible for the receiving of all the restaurant’s goods. As you can see, is a very time-consuming, physically demanding job which often times the crew is just to busy to handle. Alleviate the stress from your managers, your porters, and your saucier chefs, and create a successful work environment for not only your staff but your business.

Like Who Receives Product in a Restaurant? Check out Seven tips to include in your Kitchen Inventory Plan.

Sourced from Wiki’s Restaurant management.

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