What is the first thing you should do when receiving a food delivery?

Stand-Up Training: Receiving a Food Delivery

Inspecting food that comes into your establishment is crucial to food safety. You don’t want to accept contaminated food. This training will help you and your employees understand how to properly inspect and receive food in your establishment.

Learning Objectives

You may choose to read these learning objectives with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

After this training, employees will be able to:

  • Inspect received food for signs of contamination
  • Know when to reject food

The Facts

You may choose to read these facts with your employees as a part of the stand-up training.

  • A knowledgeable, trained employee should complete the inspection.
  • Inspections should not be rushed. Schedule the deliveries before or after peak hours.
  • Inspections should be completed before the delivery driver leaves.
  • All food should be ordered and received from approved suppliers or providers. Approved suppliers are inspected to ensure that they produce food safely.
  • Take and record the temperatures of all foods that need temperature control.
  • If you notice any signs of possible contamination, reject the shipment. No amount of cooking can guarantee that the food will be safe.

Training Activities

Choose the activities that will be most beneficial for your employees. Modify them as needed to fit the training needs of your establishment.

The “Why” of Inspecting Food Deliveries

Discuss: Why is it important to inspect our food deliveries?

Watch: Receiving video

Discuss: What is the inspecting and receiving process at our establishment? Are there any steps we can improve?

Record: Write down ideas for improvement from the discussion and make a plan to implement them.

Receiving Temperature Quiz

Read: When we are receiving food deliveries, record the temperatures of all perishable foods in a Receiving Temperature Log.

Discuss: Who can remember the correct receiving temperatures for refrigerated food? Hot food? How do you take the temperature of eggs? Flat foods?

Review: Read these facts as needed to review the correct temperatures and how to take them.

  • Frozen foods should be received frozen.
  • Refrigerated food should be received under 41°F (5°C).
    • Eggs may be received at an ambient air temperature of 45°F (7°C) or lower. Check the air temperature inside the refrigerated equipment to make sure that the eggs are safe to receive.
  • Hot foods should be received at 135°F (57°C) or higher.
  • The temperature of flat foods, such as bacon, can be taken by placing the thermometer between two packages.

Practice (optional): If possible, have employees practice taking the temperature of some food items. Have employees record the temperatures in the temperature log.

Contamination Investigation

Demonstrate or role-play: Have your employees watch you receive food or do a role-play in which you demonstrate how to receive food and look for signs of contamination.

Review: Help your staff understand which items to inspect and how to recognize signs of contamination. Signs of contamination include:

  • Time/temperature control for safety (TCS) foods that are in the temperature danger zone, between 41°F and 135°F (5–57°C)
  • Abnormal color or smell
  • Meat that leaves the imprint of your finger when you push on it
  • Frozen food that has thawed or has ice crystals in the packaging
  • Shellfish that are very muddy, have broken shells, or appear to be dead
  • Damaged packages
  • Signs of pests (droppings, gnaw marks, etc.)

Discuss: What should you do if you think a delivery item may be contaminated?

Following Up

Use these ideas to follow up with your employees and make sure they’re receiving food safely.

  1. Supervise employees when a shipment is being received. Be sure that they inspect the shipment properly. Once the food is received, ensure that employees store it properly. Praise your employees if you see them receiving and storing food properly. Correct any behavior that could result in contamination.
  2. Create a log for receiving or use the Receiving Temperature Log from the resource list below. Logs are a convenient place where employees can record times and temperatures for the food they receive. They are an excellent way to remind employees of the safety procedures they should follow. Logs also help you track whether food is being received safely.

Make sure your shift managers and supervisors can answer questions that other employees may have about the receiving. Encourage employees to ask questions when they need help instead of guessing at the right answer.

As needed, review this training with your employees.

Training Resources

The Receiving video covers basic guidelines that will help you and your employees inspect and receive food safely. View the Spanish version of this video: Recibiendo.

Use the Receiving Temperature Log as a guide for your employees to follow.

Did you use this stand-up training in your establishment? We’d love to get your feedback! Take a minute to do our feedback survey.

What is the first thing you should do when receiving a food delivery?

— Alyssa Erickson

Even before 2020, delivery service was looking like the way of the future when it comes to the restaurant business... and then COVID happened. Restaurant-to-customer food delivery was already anticipated to explode in the early 2020s, and market research now forecasts global market growth of over $40 billion by 2023. 

So even if your business made it through lockdown and social distancing without setting up food delivery, now is truly the time to jump on the delivery train. If you haven't tried it before, it might seem like a hassle to set up - but Typsy's made food delivery easy with this simple guide.

What is the first thing you should do when receiving a food delivery?

Jumping into this market can be daunting. This list of hospitality tips on setting up delivery in your restaurant will help the transition go as smoothly as possible. Keep reading to make sure you've considered everything before launching your service.

1. Upgrade your POS system

The POS system can be one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal when it comes to expanding your business. There's a number of great systems on the market, but you need to make sure yours is tailored to your business's specific needs.

If you want to deliver food, you need a POS system that can handle delivery. There are plenty of routes your business can take when starting delivery, and your POS system will help handle:

  • delivery options
  • online ordering
  • customer information
  • operation control

2. Check your kitchen line

This is an often overlooked step in setting up a delivery business. Not every kitchen line staff is built to be or is capable of the rigors of delivery service. You need to make sure yours does before you start.

Smaller restaurants could expect to see much higher than normal volume at specific times of the day and of the year. While more late night orders and large orders on event nights are great, it may mean making tweaks to your typical kitchen line. The employees on the line need to have the proper food service training to keep workflow streamlined, efficient, and productive at the drop of a hat.

What is the first thing you should do when receiving a food delivery?

Having a great service and operations plan is important, but it's pretty meaningless if you don't have a well-trained team to back you up. When you communicate new standards and practices, you need to be able to do it quickly, accurately, and consistently. 

Learning with Typsy is practical, effective, and fun! And best of all, you can access Typsy's 1000+ lessons as and when it suits you.

Learn your way - starting today.

3. Pick from delivery service options

There's a number of ways to start building up a delivery service. If you're interested in outsourcing your delivery, Menulog, Deliveroo, Grubhub and UberEats are just a few of the many options available. However, both in-house delivery and signing up with a third party have pros and cons to consider.

Going with an existing delivery service offers you access to two vital resources: market and drivers. However, studies have shown that using these third parties comes at a potentially steep cost. These services take a high cut of the extra sales you're making, and they control your menu and pricing. On top of that, you lose access to valuable customer data.

If you can make the investment, looking into hiring drivers and upgrading your POS might be the way to go. The upfront cost will be higher, but so will ROI.

4. Decide who provides transportation

When it comes to hiring employees for delivery, there are a couple of different paths to take. Businesses have the choice of hiring someone to be a part-time delivery person or a full-time person who does nothing but delivery. These employments closely resemble using a contract worker.

However, a big question to consider is whether to have delivery employees use their own vehicles or to invest in your own company cars. Regardless of how you hire drivers, transportation is necessary.

Having workers use their own vehicles is convenient and cheap, however, there are some serious downsides. You can't force an employee to maintain their vehicle properly or have a car with enough room for your products. And you also lose out on a chance to use a branded company car as an additional advertisement.

5. Package food in branded wrapping

Unlike a traditional restaurant setting, delivering food requires a business to find viable solutions to get their dishes to a far away customer quickly while still maintaining quality. This means investing in sturdy, temperature controlled, and possibly branded materials to keep food intact and delicious.

6. Design a take out menu

Not every restaurant has a menu that can be delivered. But while there are some classic foods types that are commonly delivered, there is always a creative solution for getting your rack of lamb or bowl of soup to a customer at home.

If you’re not ready to invest in high-end packaging for your food delivery, consider creating a select take out/ delivery menu from your already existing options. This would prevent the harder-to-carry items from slowing down the kitchen flow, and make things easier for the customer. Of course, you could always just start making delivery-friendly options.

We've also posted an in-depth explanation of why a takeout menu should be different from a dine-in menu, and how to make sure your takeout options maximize revenue.

7. Don't forget the tips

One of the most important parts to consider before starting delivery is the tipping policy. It’s custom in many places to be ready to tip your driver, but with an increasingly digital world, many customers pay with card and may make things complicated by having to add a tip to an already run check.

Also, having an employee leave for upward to an hour at a time while on the clock will start to add up in labor costs. To avoid this, many restaurants have a required minimum order amount before delivery is an option. Some restaurants also include a delivery service fee.

With an ever-changing market, it’s hard to decide on the best directions your business should go in. But just like your drivers, it's up to the business owners to decide the best route their business should take.

Alexia Carr is a strategist with 7 years of hospitality and managerial experience. Passionate about reaching goals and promoting coherence, she has spent many years working with clients in a number of industries by assisting them in maximizing their efficiencies and training staff in both high level and day-to-day activities. 

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