Deciding a vendor for your restaurant is like choosing your restaurant’s lifeline. The success of your food business is pretty much dependent on your Restaurant Vendor as the taste of your food depends on the quality of the raw materials. The raw material supplies have a direct impact on your Food Costs, the quality of your food, and also affects the overall service you to provide to your customers. Thus, it is necessary that you choose your restaurant vendor with much thought. In this article, we’ll discuss the essential points to consider while deciding the Vendor or Food Supplier for your restaurant.
1. Credit Period
The Credit Period essentially gives you a running capital to operate your restaurant kitchen. You can get the raw materials from the Restaurant Vendor on credit and pay them later with the money you make from your restaurant sales. The Credit Period is usually between 15-30 days, but can also exceed depending on the Vendor. A long Credit Period comes in very handy, especially for new restaurants. However, if your restaurant business isn’t doing well, you can also have the risk of running a high debt.
Before you sign a contract with the Food Supplier, decide on the rates of the items. The rates of the items across different vendors can vary, and you need to find the best price for yourself. Since the price of raw materials, especially the perishables vegetables varies greatly, it is better to go for Fixed Rates. You can purchase the goods at a Fixed Rate on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. It is better to have Fixed Rates for seasonal vegetables since the price of vegetables varies drastically throughout the year. Having Fixed Rates helps to keep your Recipe Costs in check and controls Food Costs.
3. Quality Check
Before you decide the Restaurant Vendor and sign that contract, remember to discuss the quality of the food supplies. Pre-decide on the size, grade, and type of the raw materials wherever applicable to avoid any disparity later. Also, consider that different menu items require different quality of raw materials. For example, firm and fresh tomatoes are used in central dishes, but old (not rotten!) tomatoes can still be consumed in making tomato puree.
4. Timely Delivery
Choosing the right Vendor for your restaurant is crucial as a lot is at stake. Timely delivery of raw materials is essential as running out on items during business hours is harmful to the business. You not only lose out on orders but is also a major turnoff for customers. To avoid such instances, it is recommended that you ask for references from your Vendor. Since Vendors usually serve in the local areas, you can also get in touch with neighboring restaurants to get a feedback.
While looking for a Vendor, restaurateurs often overlook the Reporting of the entire raw material supply. Choose a Vendor who gives you clear reports about the quantity of the items purchased and received, and at what rate. You should also keep a track of the Daily Bills to give you an insight into the overall expenditure.
Apart from these points, you should also consider directly contacting the manufacturers or local farmers to get the raw food supplies farm fresh and at wholesale prices. You can also try a few Vendors in the beginning, and procure the food supplies at a weekly rate, and then choose the one that suits you the best. However, it is always better to stick to one vendor, since the quality and the taste of the food gets altered while trying different restaurant vendors.