Purchase specification

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Purchase specification
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Purchase specification is detailed list of exactly what you will buy and the conditions under which you will buy them. It comprises the company's standards and rules for purchasing goods. Purchase specifications will depend on the market, just as the menu does. For example, while hamburgers are offered on many menus, the quality and size of the burger the operation's purchaser buys will depend upon whether it is for a roadside truck stop or an upscale urban restaurant[1].

Purchase specification includes all product information, but, in addition, it includes information regarding the pertinent supplier services buyers who sell them products. They usually seek long-term relationships with several primary sources and intermediaries and, before entering into these relationships, want to iron out every detail concerning product characteristics and desired supplier services[2].

Elements of purchase specifications

Purchase specifications typically contain these essential elements[3]:

  • a description of the item to be purchased
  • quantity of the item to be purchased
  • physical specifications
  • performance specifications
  • the minimum acceptable quality of the item to be purchased
  • documentation that is to be provided with the purchase
  • services provided at delivery
  • terms of acceptance
  • terms of payment
  • shipping information
  • warrantee information

Part of purchase specification

Part of a purchase specification may include:

  • details of ethical sourcing
  • food air-miles
  • fair trade products
  • sustainability

Many customers are interested in these areas and if details can be included either on menus or other promotional material it can create additional marketing advantage[4].

Purchase specifications for beverages

Generally beverages are sold and purchase by the brand name label of the product, each having a consistent quality and quantity standard of content for each selling unit. Specification for wines also includes the details of vintage and shipper country of origin, alcoholic content and with the exception of France the grape variety.

It should be particularly noted that as the quality, consistency and quantity are virtually guaranteed the price to be paid for the product is very important, as it the one factor that is not constant. It is for this reason that close attention is given by the purchaser to offers by suppliers of quantity discounts and promotion.

The purchasing of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, like that of foodstuffs, has the aim to purchase the very best quality of items, at the most competitive price, for a specific purpose. As beverages will frequently contribute more to profits than foods, and as they require considerably fewer staff to process them into a finished product for the customer, it is essential that adequate attention be given to this area [5].


  1. C. Ojugo 2010, pg.55
  2. B. Davis, A. Lockwood, I. Pantelidis, P. Alcott 2008, pg.189
  3. F.F. Reeder, A.E Joos 2019, pg.362
  4. B. Davis, A. Lockwood, I. Pantelidis, P. Alcott 2008, pg.190
  5. B. Davis, A. Lockwood, I. Pantelidis, P. Alcott 2008, pg.192


Author: Daria Polewka