Do you have the right food suppliers and distributors for your business?
Finding the right food suppliers and distributor is probably an important part of your daily job if you are a grocery store or a restaurant manager, since the cost of food procurement impacts a large proportion of your bottom line.
When should you consider switching?
You know it is time to switch to a new supplier or distributor if you are currently experiencing one or more of the following:
- If you are finding prices are out of line or unreasonable
- If you are not happy with the quality and you want better quality goods
- If you are not 100% happy with the timing of the delivery
- If you are experiencing too many errors with the order and returing items
- If you have experienced supply shortages in the past and don’t want to be dependent on just one vendor for a particular item
- If you are experiencing cash flow issues
- If you are a new retailer or restaurant looking to stock up
When considering a new vendor consider addressing the above issues first. Next on the list to consider are items like the food packaging, sustainability, and the origin of the item to see if the freshness is being preserved.
Let’s investigate some of these items in more depth…
1. When looking at quality, make sure to sign a contract with each vendor. Certain products like seafood, dairy products, or eggs are likely to carry dangerous pathogens and must undergo strict shipping and handling requirements. These requirements are regulated by the FDA Food Code. It’s highly recommended to make sure that your suppliers comply with them.
2. Have suppliers with broad and diversified assortments to reduce the chances of a chaotic ordering schedule
3. The ideal price usually represents the best compromise between quality, cost, and service. Consider ordering in larger volumes to decrease the cost.
4. Think about the packaging in which you receive your products. Does it preserve quality and ensure food safety? Is it eco-friendly?
5. Healthy products are trending. Consider working with suppliers whose assortment includes ingredients like superfoods, natural, or allergen-free products.
6. Go with suppliers and distributors whose delivery times make it easier for you to run your business. Getting food delivered to your retail shop or restaurant doorstep may be the most convenient for you; and order from a more flexible supplier.
7. Find suppliers and distributors who have flexible payment terms and allow you to order now and pay later – with 30 or 60-day payment terms.
8. More customers today are conscious of the environmental impact of food. They are looking to buy brands that are sustainably produced. When eating out they are looking for sustainably produced ingredients – which means that you need to check on your supplier’s carbon footprint, water usage, food miles, and animal welfare.
Download an ordering app to simplify your ordering, ease your sourcing and find new trusted suppliers.