How do you figure out which supplier you should work with?
It isn’t as simple as just picking a number out of the phone book and hoping
for the best. You want to find someone who knows about basics, like tables for
restaurants, and also is familiar with the specialty pieces that only
restaurants use. Here are some things
you should expect from any good restaurant supplier.
When you need something from your supplier, you want to know
that you can get in touch with them, easily and reliably. Not only should you
have phone and fax access, you should be able to get in touch by email and
text. For emergencies, you need nearly instant access. Can your supplier do
that for you?
Intimate Understanding of Their Products
A good supplier will know their products and be able to
anticipate your needs. That may not sound like a big deal, but it really is. If
you are thinking about a change of theme you want to be able to call your rep and
have them ready with ideas. They should know their product line and how it can
fit in your space and your budget. This kind of knowledge can save you a lot of
time and help you avoid making mistakes when purchasing equipment.
Another advantage of knowing the products is that they can
help you minimize what you need to make your business run efficiently. Can they
help you cut energy use by recommending more efficient appliances? Maximize
dining room space by providing the right tables for restaurants, regardless of
theme, size or shape? Know which items come with rebates or are about to go on
sale to help you save money? If you can answer yes to those questions, you are
on the right track.
supplier will keep in touch with you, not only when you want to place an order.
You should hear from them shortly after the meeting and again to confirm that
your order arrived on time and correctly. If there is a problem they should be
ready to fix it immediately, not make you chase them down repeatedly to get
what you need.
Finally, you want to know that the person you speak to this
week will be available again next week, and the week after that. In an ideal
world you would develop a relationship with the restaurant supplier you use.
This helps them provide the right service and products on a regular basis. If
you have to deal with different people all the time, make sure that company
policies are consistent across the board. You don’t want to be in a position
where one person offers you a specific deal, but someone else doesn’t honor it
when you go to make your purchase.
A good restaurant supplier is invaluable to a restaurateur.
Since most offer a lot more than just tables for restaurants, it is a good idea
to connect with the best one you can find.