A restaurant depends on various channel partners or restaurant suppliers for its smooth functioning. Restaurants purchase groceries, packaging, housekeeping materials, and services like pest control and utilities from their channel partner. The Restaurant suppliers must be punctual, reliable, cost-effective, and provide quality service or products to the F&B business for it to succeed. These factors make vendor management an essential component of running a restaurant.
Attributes to look for in a good restaurant wholesale food suppliers
Restaurants need to buy products and services from channel partners, who must be trustworthy and reliable. Below mentioned are some of the points a restaurant needs to keep in mind while selecting a restaurant suppliers :-
a) The right mix of product offerings:- Nothing more annoying than not finding the right kind of product assortment which you need for your restaurant.
b) Reasonable rates:- Restaurants must get competitive rates from their vendors if they want to price their dishes competitively and to make profits.
c) Proper storage: Ingredients, especially perishable products used in restaurants, must be stored carefully to maintain quality. Restaurants need vendors and supply chain partners who supply quality Ingredients without compromising quality.
d) Timely and error-free delivery:- Providing timely and correct deliveries is as important as quality and price competitiveness. A channel partner who cannot keep their commitment and supply goods on time can negatively impact a restaurant’s brand image.
e) Multi-vendor portfolio:- As a vendor management strategy, keeping a multi-vendor approach is always advisable. Price comparison from multiple vendors helps restaurants get the best deal and also helps keep and tab on vendors overcharging.
Requirement checklist every restaurant vendor should qualify:-
Below are some of the checklists every restaurant must evaluate before finalizing the restaurant wholesale food suppliers.
Best Prices for All ingredients:-
A restaurant channel partner must provide, if not all, most of the food ingredients at the best rates so that shopping under one roof becomes possible. The restaurant supplier should also be ready to shell out further discounts if restaurants are willing to buy in bulk. Keeping multiple vendors in the contact list is always advisable as this helps make price comparisons and get the best deals from the market. Every time you get a better deal while purchasing your restaurant ingredients, it contributes to your business’s bottom line.
Product quality of ingredients provided by restaurant wholesale food suppliers:-
Restaurants must not induct restaurant vendors solely based on providing the product at cheap rates; quality, freshness, and hygiene are equally important factors. If the supply of food ingredients is not fresh, the dishes would not taste that great, negatively influencing customer feedback. Restaurants deal with perishable products having high chances of getting infected by pathogens; hence vendors need to be extra careful when shipping and handling the ingredients. State and local governments set safety standards for F&B outlets, and restaurants must buy goods from channel parties that strictly follow SOP when handling food.
Wide product variety offerings with restaurant wholesale food suppliers :-
The restaurant should have a few vendors who sell various assorted products and ingredients. Vendors who sell assorted products are usually the preferred options, as the restaurant can choose from the quality and price they want. However, this doesn’t mean ignoring the vendors who provide niche and unique ingredients. The key to selecting the restaurant suppliers is the correct level of diversification. Getting all your restaurant commodities like food ingredients, housekeeping materials, and packaging at the correct price and quality from the same vendor may not be feasible. The restaurant can procure veggies, fruits and grains from mandis and imported products from high-end niche suppliers.
Restaurant Vendor Location:-
Vendor location from the restaurant should also be considered when enlisting a vendor in your panel of channel partners. Suppose a vendor’s location is far away from the restaurant; the transportation and the delivery time increase, which may impact the functioning of the restaurant. Ideally, select a vendor who provides free doorstep delivery, so they don’t pass on the additional logistic charges to the restaurant.
The distant location of the vendor also affects the products’ delivery time. While giving orders to such vendors, the restaurant should try not to make last-minute purchases as there may be a delay in order delivery. A set of protocols must be established to avoid miscommunication and missed or delayed orders.
Terms of contract of restaurant wholesale food suppliers:-
Contract terms are essential in every business, and restaurant vendors are no exception. It would be ideal for the vendors to present the contract terms to the restaurant and allow them to come back with changes if any. Contract terms should include the credit terms, modes of payment, credit limits provided, etc. Usually, restaurant vendors are more skeptical about providing deep credits to new businesses. As the volume of business increases and if the restaurant is diligent in making their bill payments on or before the due date, the vendors increase the credit limits on a case to case basis. Usually, restaurants return stale and defective commodities with full refunds; all these terms must be mentioned in the contract.
How to find new channel partners for your restaurant:-
There are numerous ways of finding new restaurant suppliers for your eateries, but before that, the restaurant needs to finalize the list of products they need to buy. Restaurants ideally have two categories of products they need to buy: commodities bought frequently, like food ingredients, packaging materials, and housekeeping articles. The other category is kitchen equipment, furniture, tableware, and upholsteries, which are usually not purchased very often. Create a list of at least 2 to 3 prominent vendors, get a quotation and then compare the same to get who gives the best deals and at best terms.
Possibly one of the best options to find a restaurant channel partner is through referrals. You can get a list of restaurant vendors from your fellow community of bars, restaurants, cafes, or members of the F&B industry association. There are also online restaurant markets where you can buy products online on a trial basis and see their reliability before inducting them into your vendor panel. You can even take references from new staff members who may have used some vendors in their last restaurant job.
The easiest way to get access to different varieties of vendors is to search online. While few restaurant vendors have their websites, the most prominent players are on the yellow pages, especially the one business page. You can get to know the kind of products that vendors sell by going through their websites, and you can call the ones that have their info on business pages and request their catalog. Some vendors have their pages on social media sites like Facebook, and restaurants can get in touch with them through that medium.
Mandis & Fairs:-
When buying your perishables, especially your veggies and fresh fruits, it is not always advisable to depend on wholesale food vendors alone. Mandis or vegetable markets are the best options for purchasing veggies and fruits fresh at much more reasonable rates. Restaurant suppliers and food and hospitality fairs are the other suitable source of procuring credible vendors. One can interact with the wannabe channel partners and learn more about their product offerings through one-on-one discussions.
Hope the above practical tips about the qualities to look out for in a restaurant wholesale food supplier and the ways to select one help you in better operating