Having the best suppliers for your restaurant is imperative in running a stress-free business. A reliable supplier always ensures that you get your supplies on time, whether food or equipment, and that their price is based on the agreed terms. That leads to a happy business-to-business (B2B) transaction, which means you also provide the best service to your customers. However, choosing reliable restaurant suppliers is a process. First, you need to identify the restaurant supplies you need, the characteristics you are looking for in a supplier, and then explore the different available options. Here is a simple guide to follow.
Make a list of your restaurant supply needs.
Before you begin your search for a restaurant vendor, the first thing to do is to identify the supplies you need and make a list. Restaurant supplies range from food to non-food items, including food containers, coffee cups in bulk, pots and pans, first aid supplies, cooking gas, etc. Make an exhaustive list of every supply you need, and be keen not to leave anything out.
You can ask each head of a department to give you a list of what they need. Consider what your business needs to operate every day and take as much time to make this list. Failing to make an exhaustive list of your supplies will cause you to run to emergency suppliers who may not be the best option for your restaurant.
What do you need in a restaurant supplier?
Determine the characteristics you would want in your restaurant supplier. Here you will have to rely on many factors, including pricing. For instance, if your restaurant is new and needs many supplies, right from equipment to food items, you may need to consider one with affordable pricing. However, you will face conflicting options, such as balancing between quality and price. Here it would be best if you prioritized by looking at what is best for your business. You might have to sacrifice premium quality if it exceeds your budget.
Other things to consider include the convenience of the supplies. Does the supplier deliver, or do you have to pick the supplies yourself? Again, you would want to consider if you want a one-stop-shop to shop for all the things you need for your restaurant.
Don’t just settle on the first supplier you find, shop around. Remember that you have many options, both locally and online. Since a restaurant has specialties, it is okay to have different suppliers. With your priorities in mind, identifying suppliers that would suit your restaurant is easy.
Evaluate different suppliers
At least now you have a list of vendors to choose from. Start the evaluation process. Ask around from other businesses that work with the supplier how their experience is and how reliable the supplier is. You can also do online searches, check reviews to assess if the vendor is someone you can trust. If you are doing your research online, join other restaurant owners’ forums and social groups where you can get genuine reviews. Take recommendations based on the vendor’s availability, quality, and reliability.
Build a relationship with your supplier
When you find reliable suppliers for your restaurant, the last step is to build a good relationship with them. When you positively connect to your vendor, you will benefit from fair pricing and a good experience working with them.