If you are running a restaurant business or dining establishment of any kind, you know very well that the suppliers you work with – and rely upon – can make a great deal of difference, not only to the quality of your offerings but also your reliability as a business. Imagine having something listed on your menu, and a customer orders it, only to find out that you can’t give them what they ordered because you’re out of stock. The quality of your food and drink items will also matter a lot, and it’s up to you to choose your supplier wisely so you can maintain the consistency and integrity of your products and offerings. But what does it take to choose the right supplier? Here’s your step-by-step guide to selecting the ideal food and beverage supplier.
- Get as much information as you can
You could start by asking around for referrals or goings on the Internet and doing a search, but once you find some prospective contacts, get as much information on them as you can. Check what kind of services they provide, what products they offer, and if those products are a good match for your particular requirement. Also, find out their ordering process, the MOQ or minimum order quantity, and how the products will be packaged. List down some other questions you may have, but don’t forget to find out the pricing and try to match and compare the supplier’s prices with other food or beverage suppliers. You can also ask other businesses in your niche if they have any recommendations.
- Consider the products’ availability and the specialities of the supplier
Remember that everything needs to be there at a specific time and schedule that adheres to your schedule and requirements. But another aspect to think about is whether they can supply you with some particular items that may be more difficult to find. If you need organic fruit juices or concentrate that can’t be provided by your current suppliers, it pays to look for a fruit puree or concentrate supplier that offers them and other related products along with a guarantee of traceability.
- Ask the right questions
When you have a shortlist of your preferred suppliers, it’s time to ask them the right questions. Mind you, be as specific as possible, especially in regards to their prices, schedule of delivery, order quantity requirements, and more. You may also need them to answer particular requirements such as seasonal fruits or vegetables, for example. Ask them about their credit terms and make sure it fits with your financial schedule and budget. Is it possible for them to make deliveries on holidays or weekends? For most dining establishments, holidays and weekends are the busiest times, so if you run out during this time, it can give you peace of mind to know that your supplier will be available.
You can also try negotiating a price, especially if you buy in bulk or have extensive orders. Finding a good supplier and partnering with them isn’t too difficult if you know what you are looking for and what will benefit you. Check out their website so you can already have a good idea of what they can specifically do for you, even if you haven’t contacted them yet.
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