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How important is selecting the right supplier for a winning restaurant?

Sourcing ingredients is one of the top priorities for any successful food business. Choosing the right food supplier is a critical business decision, as one has to guarantee the quality, safety, and value of the food offered. It’s a restaurateur’s responsibility to cater to customer and client needs. This have to comply with government regulations and quality standards, and provide quality meals, all while keeping the budget under control. As government and industry put a stronger emphasis on food safety and quality; so, evaluating and selecting the right supplier today has become even more complex.

Food safety is the most important aspect to consider and it’s something consumers are increasingly sensitive to. It is important to know how the supplier ensures the safety and integrity of its products, how it uses the temperature monitoring systems, and where it sources its products and raw ingredients from in order to be big on food provenance and traceability. It would be desirable to ask for food safety certificates and industry accreditations: a lack of awards doesn’t signify a lack of quality, but when a supplier does have awards, you can be reasonably sure the supplier is reliable. Could be also useful to find information about the company’s efforts to adhere to quality standards in the country: other customer references, both good and bad ones, could help you.

Trends, partnerships and flexibility

Suiting trends: you have to consider the potential clients and the market changes and verify if suppliers satisfy the latest sector trends; e.g. gluten-free foods.

Developing partnerships: trust is the key in the relationship between restaurateur and supplier; his success is also a restaurateur’s one. So they should share information, reports, and other tools to help manage their businesses, control costs, and track inventory.

Speed and flexibility are fundamental, as being able to make small orders frequently can prevent the issue of excessive inventory. If suppliers are flexible, we can answer to changes in clients’ needs quickly. This is a big advantage in emergencies.

For these reasons, selecting the right suppliers is a delicate choice. Often the support of a restaurateur consultant helps, particularly when the restaurateur doesn’t know the market he is entering. Thanks to the consultant experiences, competencies, and industry knowledge, they can provide a select group of reliable and winning suppliers.

Written by Stefano Potorti’.

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