Receiving inspection: challenges and obligations for restaurants and bakeries

Since November 2023, food safety controls have been stepped up. Control at Reception is a regulatory requirement, but also a means of ensuring better cost control for restaurateurs and bakers.

Sophie Gaaloul

Sophie Gaaloul


Mar 2024

Receiving inspection: challenges and obligations for restaurants and bakeries
In this article :

Goods receipt inspection is mandatory. Why is this? Because the restaurateur is responsible for all goods entering his restaurant. The incoming goods inspection is the first inspection you need to carry out to guarantee the application of the HACCP method. It meets a dual obligation: traceability and cold chain control. It's also a key stage in stock control: if you want to keep your costs under control, you need to control the price and quantity of products delivered to you.

We take a closer look at the importance of this crucial stage in inventory management, which is sometimes underestimated. 

What are the challenges of incoming inspection?

There are many reasons why the quantities delivered and the prices invoiced do not correspond to the purchase order: temporary shortage, substitute product in case of shortage, price change, etc.

Missing products? You'll have to place a last-minute repair order at a higher price.

Are others defective? If a faulty item has been delivered to you, and no check is made on receipt, you're increasing your losses without realizing it, with products you can't use. Last but not least, credit note claims are quickly lost on paper, a sum that should not be overlooked, as it can be substantial over the year.

Break in the cold chain? There are several types of compulsory HACCP checks to be carried out on incoming raw materials: you have a traceability obligation, and a duty to check the integrity of raw materials.

How do you carry out an effective incoming goods inspection?

#1 Check quantities received

This quantitative control involves counting the units received, and sometimes using a scale to check the actual weight of the goods received. This is the case for pieces of meat, for example.

#2 Control merchandise quality

The aim here is to check that the products are indeed those ordered and that there have been no substitutions. Are the products faulty? Some of the fruit, for example, is too ripe.

#3 Locate the price indicated on the delivery note

Is the cost of raw materials delivered in line with negotiated prices? This control is essential for all products, especially fresh produce, which is subject to more frequent price variations.

Today, many restaurants and bakeries are digitizing all this information and entering it into their inventory management tools, such as Inpulse for efficient tracking. The more accurate your goods-in processes, the more you can optimize your sourcing and purchasing.

Inpulse offers a fully digitised incoming goods control module to:

  • check that the quantity delivered corresponds to that ordered,
  • note the price corresponding to the delivery note sent by the supplier,
  • generate credit memo requests automatically sent to the supplier,
  • Reconcile supplier invoices with quantities delivered
  • keep a digital record of delivery note photos

You'll considerably reduce errors and overpayments, and save precious time in managing credit note requests.

Regularly performing receptions then enables you to benefit from a dedicated analysis of your suppliers' service levels.

 "Inpulse has simplified inventories and incoming goods control. As a result, our inventories are as close to reality as possible, enabling us to identify consumption discrepancies. One of our franchisees saw his discrepancies drop by 44% on beef, in 4 months of using Inpulse." Inès Gauthé, Franchise Operations Manager at PITAYA

What are the mandatory checks to be carried out when receiving raw materials?

As far as traceability is concerned, all you need to do is keep your delivery note detailing the goods received.

As far as checking the integrity of goods received is concerned, you need to check at the very least that the cold chain has been respected. To do this, you must either record the temperature of the truck delivering the goods, or check the temperature of one of the products in your delivery. In both cases, the temperature must be recorded either on paper, or on an HACCP applicationapplication, such as Octopus HACCP. Whatever the method, you have an obligation of result.

We also recommend checking :

  • the packaging of delivered products is undamaged (dented cans, torn or soiled cartons, unsealed pouches), 
  • traceability labels are present and legible, 
  • that the goods' best-before dates are not too short or exceeded

What should I do if the goods I receive are not compliant?

From an HACCP point of view, if the goods delivered present the slightest hygiene and food safety risk, you must refuse them. For example, if the use-by date is too short or exceeded, if the cold chain has been broken, if the can has been dented, if the pouch has been opened, if there is mold, etc.

As the restaurateur is responsible for the merchandise he brings into his restaurant, it is important to identify risks as soon as the merchandise is delivered, and to refuse risky merchandise.

From an inventory management point of view, it is necessary to take a photo of the defective product and generate a credit note request with the supplier. This credit note request is automated on the Inpulse software, saving precious time for operational staff and helping the accounting department avoid overpayments.


To go further

More than 2,500 restaurants and outlets use Inpulse every day