How to Find the Right Suppliers for Your Restaurant

Finding the right vendors for your restaurant’s needs is vital. Finding the right suppliers will ensure that your orders are delivered promptly, priced for your budget, and on your terms – all essential to increase your restaurant’s success.

Finding a good Foodservice Ingredient Supplier for Restaurants can be challenging when you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for or what your restaurant’s needs are – that’s why we’re here to guide you through the process.

Make a List of Everything Your Restaurant Needs

Before you start to look for suppliers, you’ll need to make a detailed list of everything your restaurant needs.

This list will include essential food and non-food supplies – such as kitchen utensils, containers, crockery, cutlery, linen, ingredients, and anything else you’ll need. Try to make it as exhaustive as possible, and don’t leave anything out.

You should give your list a lot of time and consideration to prevent supply issues in the future – be proactive, not reactive. If you fail to identify items that your restaurant will rely on to operate efficiently – both in the short and long term – you may find yourself spending more money on emergency orders and being ill-equipped to serve your customers.

Choose Vendors Based on Your Priorities

When you have made the exhaustive list detailing everything your restaurant needs, you should consider what you want in your suppliers and determine your priorities. For instance – if you just opened your restaurant, chances are you’re looking for suppliers who are less expensive than others.

Another factor to consider is convenience – for instance, does the supplier offer delivery services? Does the company have the majority of the items you need, or will you have to use several different suppliers?

Conflicting priorities may arise, too – like cost versus quality. In these cases, try to find a balance. In some instances, you might have to sacrifice the quality if your budget is tight or decide if you really need the items if they aren’t absolutely essential for your restaurant.

Shop Around and Evaluate Different Suppliers

When choosing a vendor, don’t decide on the first supplier you come across. Shop around in-person and online to find the best vendors for your business.

Usually, you’ll have quite a few options to choose from in the restaurant supply industry, and most will have their own specialties – just keep your priorities in mind when deciding on new suppliers so that you can choose the right ones for your restaurant.

When you begin to research your vendor options, you’ll need to evaluate each company. Do some research online to establish whether the company is active, legitimate, and has a track record of good customer service. Check the online reviews on third-party websites like Trustpilot.

You can also get supplier recommendations from other people in the food industry in your area – most restaurateurs will share their experiences with vendors in online forums and other groups on social media.

Build a Relationship With Your Vendors

Once you’ve chosen your restaurant’s suppliers, you should begin to build solid business relationships with them. Communicating with your suppliers’ representatives is the best way to secure the best price negotiations and customer service.

An excellent sales rep should also be able to spot trends in your industry and give you valuable recommendations and advice.