How To Select Your Restaurant Vendor

If you’re thinking about starting a restaurant or are in the process of opening it, the equipment and quantity of items you need to keep it stocked will surprise you. Whether you’re serving fast food or own a casual dining establishment, you need appliances, equipment and a continual supply of food and paper products to stay in business. Fortunately, there are numerous restaurant supply companies available to help you. The question is: How do you go about choosing one? Following are some tips that can help you make that crucial choice.

Limit Selection To One Vendor

Try to find a company that will service all your needs during the vetting process. It will make it easier to order and better ensure that everything will arrive at the same time. Find a company that allows you to order online, so you can automate the ordering process. Ask the company representative which other restaurants his company services. Contact some of those restaurant owners to get their opinions on the vendor. Make sure you check the references of the vendor you choose.

Study Their Industry Experience

Select a restaurant supply company that has been servicing the industry for many years. This wealth of knowledge is invaluable to you and can save you money, regardless if this vendor’s not your least expensive option. Ask your rep if his company offers consulting services–not just when you’re starting out but throughout your career as a restaurant owner. Companies that offer these services may not charge you for initial consultation if they know they’ve got your restaurant supplies business. In addition, choose a restaurant vendor who can also help you install, repair and provide routine maintenance on all equipment.

Seek Flexible Financing

Restaurants can cost tens or thousands of dollars and more to get started. And it will take some time to build your clientele before you recoup those expenses. Therefore, it behooves you to seek a supplier who offers flexible financing. Ask a potential vendor if it will take a down payment and monthly payments. You can then increase your payments to pay the equipment off more quickly once your revenue flow increases.

Take Your Time Selecting

True, your restaurant is opening soon and you need a vendor ASAP. But choosing the wrong supplier can cost you thousands of dollars and put you out of business. Take the time to check the company’s references. Sample their food products and test out the equipment. Learn about their packing dates and return policies. Make sure they can provide you a flexible ordering and delivering schedule.

If you follow these steps and negotiate the best prices for your restaurant’s food and supplies, you will dramatically improve your chances of running a highly successful restaurant.