Chef Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im relatively new to this world and my uncle has asked me to work alongside his headchef and help manage his restaurant. Currently the way they both orders supply is very time consuming and tedious. They both spend about 6-8 hours a week doing price comparisons and talking with sales reps to negotiate and order his supplies. SO my question is: Do you typically place orders online, through a distributor, or directly with suppliers? And how often do you make those orders – daily, weekly, monthly, or something else? What are the advantages/disadvantages for both online vs sales rep.
I'm also wondering about the challenges and considerations you face when it comes to ordering supplies. Do lead times, delivery schedules, or minimum order quantities play a role in your decision-making process?
Any insights or personal experiences you can share on this topic would be really helpful. I'm just trying to get a feel for how other restaurants and take-away shops handle their supply chain management, and see if there are any tips or tricks I can use at my own establishment.
Thanks in advance for any input you can provide!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
5,652 Posts
There’s a big difference between a rep from a mega- purveyor and a rep from a smaller, locally based one. Think of the expression: Giants play best with giants, dwarves play best with drwaves. That’s not to say all can’t get along, but each play best with their own size. The mega purveyor rep is almost always interested in sales total, and if the money isn’t there, interest dissolves. You can tender bids with the big boys, but they almost always want a guaranteed quota of X per year. ( ie, a contract) The smaller purveyor is interested in growing WITH the customer, the mega purveyor is interested in how your needs can accommodate their interests.

The rep , both big and small is paid indirectly .
by you, both have valuable information: What items are going up in price in the immediate future, what items are going down or holding steady, what items will be discontinued, and what items will be introduced in the future. If you know that, say canned tomatoes will go up next month, you can order more in to buffer for the inevitable price incease. It is up to you to extract this information, online ordering may or not provide this.

If you have ample storage, it makes sense to order in a month or two worth of dry goods, if you have good freezer space, it makes sense to buy in several cases of frozen product instead of partial cases.
If you have an accountant ( or owner) who hates to cut cheques, the pressure is on you to order from just one or two suppliers: dry goods, produce, dairy, proteins , coffee, and cleaning supplies. Financially, you will always get a better deal by splitting your purchases with multiple, specialized suppliers. Practically, this not always possible.

All this to say: It depends. Every kitchen is different.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Unless you are over 3 million in sales, it shouldn't take but 2 hours a week if you're organized sheet to shelf (best thing you can do to streamline your business). I always feed my supplier, they negotiate in your favor when they've been fed. Always take the opportunity to have a beer with them too, you'd be surprised what they can do for their friends...especially if you're a big operation.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top