Few restaurateurs think about their restaurant supplier
unless they need some piece of equipment or furniture. That is a big mistake.
Suppliers have access to much more than just the “nuts and bolts” needed
for a successful dining operation. They can offer contacts for just about every
niche of the restaurant business.
Yes, most of your food products will arrive on schedule.
You will find a supplier and use him regularly. However, you can also ask your
furniture suppliers to provide you with a list of companies they use and
recommend. For example, right now, healthy drinks for kids are taking off. If
your food suppliers don’t look beyond their narrow borders, they may not know
anything about this.
Similar in nature to smoothies, these fruit and vegetable
drinks have been added to many school menus. With no added sugar or HFC, they
offer a great treat that packs a nutritional punch. Restaurants that serve such drinks have seen
a significant increase in revenues from kids’ menus; 20% and more.
Furniture and Equipment
Of course, most people think of furniture and equipment
when it comes to the supplier. This includes things like tables and chairs,
kitchen equipment and storage options. It also includes small ware; condiment
containers, signs, linens and coverings.
Your supplier should be able to provide you with all of
your restaurant needs. Furthermore, by buying professional grade equipment you
will get the best bang for your buck. Restaurant equipment gets used hard, and
it has to withstand the abuse, or it isn’t worth the
Don’t underestimate the
value of experience. You may be on your first restaurant, but your supplier
helps people outfit their new ventures on a daily basis. He can help you keep
within a budget, let you know when you are purchasing unnecessary pieces and
keep you from forgetting essentials.
Do you need a commercial food processor or a salamander?
Should you invest in an ice machine or a meat slicer? A full-service supplier
will help you to decide which pieces are critical and which are indulgence.
One thing you are sure to have in limited supply is time.
This is why it is especially important to have the right supplier. It is
equally important to have a good relationship with the aforementioned company.
Just like you want to make connections with your local
farmers so you have a shot at their best products, a long-standing and positive
bond with your supplier will make it easier to get the good stuff. If you are
looking for a piece, your supplier may be able to direct you toward a bargain.
If you want to upgrade, you will get better prices for your trade-ins.
Cultivate this kind of association and you will profit on many levels.
When you search for a good restaurant supplier, browse
online reviews as well as price lists. There is more to consider than up front
savings when making this decision.