For a restaurant, dining room, bar, or cafeteria to be successful, they need to obtain reliable, good quality, and reasonably priced restaurant supplies. In other words, the providers they have are critical to their success.
There is no general formula for finding it because every business is different and has different needs. But in general, some guidelines can help you make better choices.
For example, you should know in advance what problems the provider has most often and what features make it good. Likewise, it’s also important that you know the complete needs of your premises, what suits your case and what doesn’t, and even which ones you ignore.
Initial selection process
From this list, you will be able to visualize which basic products represent the majority of your daily expenses and which products are occasional, depending on demand or seasonality, etc.
Next, the easiest thing is to create a short, medium and long-term budget and set a cost margin. You need to know what you invest in, both the most profitable and expensive products. Remember that budget is important. In this section, these tips will also help you.
Likewise, it is important to prepare a “Standard Specification Catalog”, in which the general specifications of all inputs, with their organoleptic characteristics, using different brand references, presentations and options are reflected by category and subcategory.
Involve the chef
Kitchens, cooks, or cooks should ideally be involved in supplier-related tasks, especially since they are the first to be fulfilled by the supplier.
The person responsible for dealing with suppliers in your kitchen should have good communication, negotiation, and understanding skills. Ideally, they are the ones who directly accept suppliers with restaurant supply products to maintain more unified criteria.
Evaluate and choose as you like
Then comes verification and research to find the right provider, which starts with knowing potential providers’ references, licenses, certifications, and experience.
Contact your industry contacts to determine the vendor’s reputation, search the internet for reviews, and inquire about relevant licenses and accreditations.
Next, locate them geographically so they can choose the closest supplier, which will benefit the quality and freshness of the raw materials and possibly increase the price. In addition, using local products is a strong trend nowadays for environmental and health reasons. If so, make sure your supplier certifies the origin of the product, as well as inform your customers.
Trade with them
Lastly, the prepared budget should be the basis for selecting suppliers whose prices are adjusted accordingly. Also, as a rule, the investment in raw materials does not exceed 30 percent of the final price of the dish. While it’s legal to have some words that can exceed that percentage in terms of cost, it’s important to monitor sales and their role in results at the end of the month.
So you may have to negotiate. Don’t be afraid to do it. There will be suppliers with whom you can set seasonal prices, or discounts based on demand levels, for example, and others, whose products vary widely in price, among which you will have to constantly search for the price that best fits your budget, so for some supplies restaurant, you will benefit from several vendor options.
The choice of a restaurant supply supplier is a factor that can make the difference between a mediocre restaurant and a fantastic restaurant or, conversely, hinder day-to-day operations, costs, and dining experience. They are your partner in your goals with clients; choose them well!
Having a good supplier for a restaurant is almost as important as having the best cooking skills. These two things go hand in hand, as the quality of the raw materials and their price and availability are fundamental to the success of a gastronomic offering. Does a good supplier serve any restaurant? We would say no because every business has its own needs and characteristics. This article shares some keys to choosing a good supplier for your restaurant and keeping your table full.
Characteristics of a good supplier
It sells you the best products. A good supplier always remembers your restaurant and can make an exclusive selection of products they know will perfectly match your gastronomic offering.
It is well aware of your needs, service times, and kitchen requirements and therefore makes the necessary moves to meet deliveries despite setbacks.
Work with honesty regarding the price and origin of the product. You can trust this supplier in pricing the product and in the same quality and origin.
In conclusion, good restaurant suppliers understand that their performance is critical to the success of their customers (restaurants). And if your customers are doing well, so is your business.
Know your needs perfectly. Before stocking, it’s important to determine which basic products represent most of your daily expenses and occasional products according to demand, season, event, etc.
Make a budget for the short, medium, and long term. It allows you to set your spending margin over time, knowing how much you will invest in the more profitable product and how much in the more expensive product and why.
Arrange work together with the chef. The most important relationship will always exist between the cook and the supplier. Communication, negotiation, and understanding must flow between them, so you must prepare your kitchen staff for this job.
How to find a good supplier?
Evaluate supplier company references, licenses, and experience.
You can check the provider’s good reputation through peers in the sector, opinions on the internet, and even annual evaluations that this type of company should pass. You can also request licenses and accreditations from major reviews. That the company is always up to date with food safety regulations is important.
Raw material quality will always improve if you choose suppliers for fresh produce and local purchases. If your customers see a difference in the dish’s quality compared to other restaurants, they will be happy to pay the price you charge. On the other hand, cooking with local products is also a trend that is in great demand today. If so, make sure your supplier certifies the origin of the product, as well as inform your customers.
Negotiate a good price
The second most important variable when looking for suppliers is their prices within the business budget. Achieving that, at most, 30 % of the final cost of the dish is invested in raw materials, for example. With certain suppliers, you can set prices based on the seasons; with others, such as fish, fruits, and vegetables which are always changing, you have to choose a good supplier according to the price that suits you best.