Startup: Reasearch your Suppliers

So, as some of you might remember, I gave you business-frogs some basic ideas on how to manage your restaurant or commercial kitchen inventory in another post. I have some more handy tips for you to get your restaurant, bar, pub, deli, sandwich shop, etc, off the ground!

My next bit of frog advice is this: RESEARCH YOUR RESTAURANT OR COMMERCIAL KITCHEN SUPPLIERS (sometimes called a purveyor). Purveyors, or suppliers, will ideally be willing to work with you. Do your research. Instead of settling on the first person you talk to, be selective (these are your profits we’re talking about after all).

Suppliers are sellers too, Frogs, and they are trying to make a sale, but they want your business – and they want to keep you as a buyer. They will usually work with you to make sure you are given a fair price and are well stocked. Most purveyors specialize in a certain kind of product:

Meat and Poultry
Fruits and Vegetables
Fish and Seafood
Dairy Products
Bakery items
Convenience Foods (which we talked about before)
Ethnic Products

Many suppliers sell more than the products they specialize in (or maybe the products they produce themselves). Your seafood supplier might even sell frozen vegetables. And hey, your meat supplier might sell seafood.

We here at One Fat Frog, recommend that you contact at least three restaurant or commercial kitchen suppliers for every product you need. Try to meet with a sales rep (much like our own sales reps) and have them see your operation. Sometimes it helps to take a one on one approach with your sales rep when getting the best prices for the supplies needed for your restaurant or commercial kitchen.

That’s all for now, but check back tomorrow for tips on better negotiating!