Catering Industry Advice: What Are the Key Traits of a Good Supplier?

Finding decent suppliers for your catering business can be difficult. You need to strike a balance between price and reliability. The more reliable and the better the quality of the supplier, the more you pay. However, there are a few key traits that you can look for when choosing any supplier. If they do not exhibit these traits, then it’s more than worthwhile to look elsewhere.


Trait 1: Reliability and Quality

You will find that you pay more for quality and reliability. This makes sense because they are actually doing you a favour. By offering a reliable service, they enable you to run a stable, uninterrupted business, and this leads to profit (as long as your business is reliable of the right quality, of course).


You are much more likely to have these qualities offered to you if you use the supplier regularly. For instance, if you always buy your fruit from the same supplier, they are more likely to value your business, and will therefore ensure good service. However, the same supplier may not offer the same level of service to a customer that only uses them once in a blue moon – from a business perspective; it makes little sense for them to focus on a customer that only uses them once. If they do that, it detracts from their valued customers.


Trait 2: Quick and Flexible Response Times

When you contact a supplier they are quick to offer you solutions to your problems, and they can tailor the solution to your needs. For instance, if you need to buy commercial catering equipment UK, a good supplier will be able to source your item quickly. This is important in a kitchen, because a lack of equipment can mean a reduced menu, fewer customers, and then less profit.


This is something that you will learn over time, but you can contact potential suppliers and ask for their average lead times. Of course, there’s no guarantee that they’re being upfront, but over time, you will be able to work out whether they were or not. If they weren’t, then it’s probably a bad sign. Suppliers that lie to their customers in order to maintain a relationship are really just sabotaging themselves.



Trait 3: Price

Price is vital to your business, but it should only be considered after the first two traits. This is because, while price affects you immediately, a lack of reliability, quality, and quick turnaround will actually cost you more in the long run. So, while you might save on price with a particular supplier, you need to make sure that they have traits 1 and 2 if you really want to choose wisely. If not, you will find that you lose more money than you saved when buying the product/service.


Trait 4: Communication

When choosing a supplier it is vital that you choose one with good customer services. Businesses that lack good customer service are extremely problematic. You never know where you stand, and this can make it incredibly difficult for you to deliver on your own business. For instance, if you buy commercial catering equipment UK, and the supplier fails to inform you about a delay in the supply chain, it may well have disastrous effects on your business. You need to be told about problems as quickly as possible.


If you would like further help and advice about your commercial kitchen, please visit Garners