F&B Business Management

A Restaurant Owner’s Guide to Finding Good Suppliers

Finding the right food suppliers for your restaurant can be quite a tiring task.

After all, it acts as a major determinant of your restaurant’s performance, which shows just how much effort and preparation that should be put into this selection process. This is to ensure that no time, money and effort will be wasted in the long run.

If you are looking for a thorough guide on how you should select your vendors, give this article below a read. 

What can you find in a good supplier?

Ultimately, the best food suppliers for restaurants must offer quality products. They should be able to match your menu offerings too while maintaining their product quality standards. Good suppliers should also provide great value for money. This is so that your budget planning can be optimised and prevent you from spending too much on food costs. A standard formula is that your ingredients should not cost more than 30% of the final price of each dish. 

Another defining trait that a good restaurant food supplier should have is to offer faultless service. They are expected to be punctual, organised and regulations-oriented. It is crucial to find suppliers that are detail-oriented, so that they will not miss any deliveries to your kitchen. 

Another valuable characteristic of good suppliers is that they offer added-value solutions. Instead of simply selling you fresh products or ingredients, choose suppliers that are able to provide extra value to your restaurant such as; technical information of their product, uses or innovative ideas to use their products. 

Key tips in finding the right vendors for your restaurant 

1. Identifying your needs 

Before you start looking for food suppliers, it’s important to come up with a detailed list of products that you’ll need. From daily to occasional usage, and even seasonal ones for certain dishes - these all need to be planned ahead. 

Ask yourself the following questions; do you prefer to purchase exclusively products? Do you need your suppliers to deliver your orders at certain times or on certain days? 

Such questions need to be answered first before you start deciding on which supplier to choose. In doing so, you’ll be able to save time and money, while at the same time preventing any miscommunication in the long run. 

2. Planning Your Budget 

Once you’ve come up with a detailed list, it’ll be easier to accurately estimate your spending and optimise your budgeting plan. The last thing you’d want is to overspend on ingredients that you’ll end up not needing as much. Be sure to consider overhead costs and your desired profit margin too in planning your budget. 

Based on what you can afford, consider the types of suppliers that you would like to find. Whether it is large-scale wholesale or small local vendors, be sure to have at least two options for each category of suppliers you’d like to have. 

3. Researching 

Consider doing a thorough research before finalising your options. From menu design, to purchasing methods, you’ll have to be as informed as you can. 

For instance, studies have shown that purchasing items in bulk can help restaurants reduce spending, though the amount saved varies based on the item size. For instance, a larger product can save up to a 5% decrease in the unit price. 

It is also found that buying seasonal ingredients can help restaurateurs to save money as prices tend to decrease as demand surges. Hence, be sure to take maximum advantage of your seasonal dishes as research also shows that they can generate up to 26% more orders. 

After researching, you can start scouring online for possible options. Seek any referrals from your fellow restaurateurs and find online reviews of the suppliers that you have your eyes on. It also helps to assess their credibility based on their LinkedIn pages.

4. Assessing your options

Once you’ve reached out to the potential suppliers on your list, be sure to ask the core questions first to save time. Your core questions should include; the suppliers’ credit terms, rate, availability (time and location) and also their quality (ie. where they source their products from). 

5. Aligning your visions

After shortlisting your list and having the final options, be sure to communicate your restaurant’s vision and branding story to your suppliers. After all, you should treat this relationship as an ally, a partnership of some sort. Make sure both your values and visions are aligned before finalising any deals.

What if we tell you this entire process can be made much simpler with Food Market Hub? 

Using our software, you'll not only be connected to your preferred suppliers, but you can even place and track all your orders in just one platform. Relying on our algorithm and AI-powered site, rest assured that we'll find you the right suppliers that match your exact needs. 

For more information, head to our website and contact us for a thorough explanation on how Food Market Hub can streamline your procurement process. To know more about us, give this arti