So, you’ve decided to open a restaurant? Congrats! And like any other restaurant owner, you probably wish to be known for your delectable cuisine. Having dishes where the meat is fresh and tender and each bite feels like paradise will surely set you up for success. That is why you must have a constant supply of fresh ingredients.
However, choosing the right wholesale food supplier as a first-time owner can be tricky. You start wondering, “How do restaurants choose suppliers?” and start searching online for answers. But there are a few crucial things you need to keep in mind when doing your online research. If you want to learn more, continue reading.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Wholesale Food Supplier
There are numerous factors to have in mind before selecting one supplier over another. And just like other necessary equipment like chest freezers, ovens and mixers, the cost will be one of the first factors you’ll consider. Your goal obviously would be to get high-quality products at lower prices, which is why you may want to start with exploring the local suppliers.
Local food suppliers have lower transportation costs, which will translate into lower (or even free) delivery costs. They also can offer local restaurants lower prices on their products because they won’t have to enlist interstate transport and deal with the additional taxes of selling their products interstate. This is especially noticeable if you need a supply of seafood. For example, if you are located in Brisbane and need a supply of seafood, then a local supplier like Thomas Foods International is a great choice. This leads me to the next piece of advice.
It’s crucial that your restaurant has a steady flow of food. No matter the season, or weather, everyone who steps into your restaurant needs to be served high-quality meat prepared with fresh ingredients. So, while doing your online research, try looking for all the local wholesale food suppliers.
As in the preceding example, if your restaurant is located in Morningside, Queensland, and you are searching for an organic meat wholesale supplier, you can consider Thomas Foods international. The fact that they offer organic meat means that the animals are raised in proper living conditions while eating organic food without being given any antibiotics or hormones.
But why choose local wholesale suppliers? Well, foods that are grown locally are much more sustainable. Also, the transport is much faster, providing you with fresher ingredients that your kitchen can use to prepare delicious recipes. Usually, with bigger food chain suppliers, food can travel longer which directly impacts the freshness.
Another advantage is the seasonal produce. You can change your menu seasonally and your customers can enjoy the seasonal dishes. Plus, everyone likes it more when they see “locally grown” on the menu. By choosing local wholesale suppliers you support the economy and build stronger business relationships. Based on that, you might get a discount on different products.
So, whether your choice is Thomas foods or another supplier, chances are you will find someone that is able to support your restaurant values and put you on the path of prosperity.
The Range of Products and Availability
When looking for a food wholesale supplier, you need to check the range of products they have available. For example, what type of organic meat do they have at their disposal? Apart from organic beef, do they offer an organic lamb as well?
Does it cover all of the core items you have on your list? Sometimes, you may need to look for more than one food supplier. One may have the needed organic meat, but you may need to get your other perishables from another supplier. Or maybe you try with one-stop shops. Also, make sure that you check whether they have all the core items available whenever you will need them the most.
The Services Offered
Before making any decisions, make sure you check all of their services. How easy is it to place your orders for restocking your restaurant? Do you have to do it over the phone, or do they have an online platform where you can easily select your necessary perishables and place the order in no time?
Also, how fast can they cancel an order? Maybe you’ve double-checked your remaining supplies and realised you don’t need some of the items on the list. Make sure you ask how much they charge for any order that’s cancelled. Also, if you work with bigger food suppliers, check whether they offer seasonal products. You don’t want to realise down the road that your seasonal menu will be missing its main products.
Okay, so far everything seems fine. They have the products you need and are available throughout the year. What next? Well, one of the crucial parts is the delivery options. Check whether they deliver on the days you need to restock your inventory. You don’t want to decide on one and be surprised later on that your supplier can’t deliver goods on the day you need them. Also, what about delivering on weekends and holidays?
Another thing to keep in mind is to check how fast is their delivery. You can do this by reading reviews from their clients. Also, make sure you ask about the delivery fees. How much do they charge when you exceed a certain amount? You need to know upfront since usually, you will be ordering a lot.
Once you’ve checked their prices, services, and deliveries options you can compare all the wholesale food suppliers and start eliminating one by one until you reach the ones that match with your schedule and restaurant values.
Always Consider Food Safety
This is one of the most crucial aspects since you work in the food serving industry. You want to know for sure that your customers are served the best quality food and leave your restaurant feeling satisfied, and not serve them any spoiled food. That is why you need to ask your suppliers how well they handle food safety. You can ask whether the food supplier is HACCP-certified upon which your suppliers should provide you with a safety certificate.
To sum up, being a first-time restaurant owner and making connections with wholesale food suppliers can be challenging. However, thinking about their product range and availability, quality of foods, services, and delivery options can help your restaurant business in the long run. So, leave your worries aside and start doing your research online.