A well-thought-out theme, decor, and ambience can attract diners to your restaurant. However, when it comes to keeping your patrons loyal to your business, the quality of your food and customer service are the factors that spell a big difference.
When you speak of food quality, a lot of that depends heavily on the ingredients you use. This is why it is critical for you to find reputable vendors, especially wholesale food products suppliers, who can supply everything that your kitchen needs.
For restaurants and similar establishments, one path to success is finding the delicate balance between price and quality. Cut some corners, and food quality suffers. Have no regard for the costs of your kitchen needs, and you hurt your establishment’s bottom line.
The importance of finding the right food suppliers
When your restaurant begins its operation, you will have to purchase food products (including meats, seafood, spices, fruits, and veggies) on a regular basis. Unlike kitchen equipment, you will need to continually restock your pantry.
Finding the right food suppliers to partner with will ensure that your food items meet or even surpass client expectations. And in that regard, your partnership with trustworthy vendors is one of the foundations for success.
Qualities to look for in a food supplier
One of the critical mistakes that you can make is to base your choice of suppliers solely on price. Beyond price, quality is of the utmost importance. At the end of the day, you and your customers should get value for what you pay for.
Trust is essential for both suppliers and their buyers. For your restaurant, you need to have the assurance that you are getting quality ingredients at the best possible price. Aside from that, you would want a food trading company that has your back when problems arise.
Starting your search
Before beginning your search for vendors, it is a good idea to list down all the ingredients you will need for your kitchen. From there, you should create a budget for supplies, taking into account overhead costs and profit margins.
After completing these two vital tasks, you can now request quotes from suppliers operating in your area.
Make sure that you sample their offerings. This will allow you to make an objective assessment of each candidate on your shortlist.
It is also a good idea to visit each vendor’s warehouse. With this step, you can learn about the food vendor’s capacity and capabilities as well as the efficiency of the measures they enforce to protect food quality.
Whittling down your shortlist
Apart from price and quality, there are a few other considerations you will need to take into account before you settle on your final list of vendors.
While longevity in the industry is no barometer for the reliability of a vendor, a more established one is more likely to cater to your needs and provide you with adequate support.
Ask about each vendor’s minimum order requirements. Some suppliers require you to order a specific minimum amount you should order while others have none. Related to this are the payment terms; again, some suppliers allow payment terms, while others do not.
It is also crucial to know what a vendor’s delivery policy is during inclement weather and other unfavorable conditions. When it comes to ingredients and other kitchen supplies, even the slightest delays can throw your staff’s schedule off-kilter.
In terms of pricing, some companies have a set policy while there are others that offer a substantial discount when certain conditions are met, like a set amount of orders or frequency of ordering. Do not hesitate to ask.
The right partner for success
The importance of finding the right food suppliers cannot be overstated. A reliable and trustworthy vendor can prove to be an invaluable ally for your business, making sure that you maintain superior food quality by supplying your kitchen needs. And in some cases, these vendors can offer you helpful advice that can make your restaurant stay competitive.
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at BidFood UAE with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.