It is not uncommon for a restaurant to use at least three suppliers for each type of perishable food (fish, meat, fresh produce, dairy) in order to assess the best current prices. The steward receives daily market quotations (descriptions of weight, price, quality, etc.) from these suppliers, often via fax or e-mail. This data is entered into a market quotation list or directly on an ordering form. The appropriate vendors are selected depending upon price, quality, and reliability.
Through daily inventories, the steward can determine the food on hand for kitchen use and can order accordingly. The purchasing system should be designed to ensure: