5 steps to finding your perfect food supplier for your Food Business

Whether you’re running a restaurant, a food truck, or any other type of food preparation business, your choice of food supplier will make a huge difference to the success of your business.

It’s not just about the price you pay, although you obviously need to think about your bottom line. It’s also important to consider when the food will be delivered, how well it will be looked after, and what quality it is.

What To Prioritize When Looking For Food Suppliers 

Without food suppliers, your food business won’t exist in the first place, as you’ll need another business to source your raw materials from. As customers are becoming conscious of where restaurants and food businesses source their ingredients, it’s important to find suppliers that align with their ideology and sentiment, particularly toward local produce. 

Ideally, it’s better to support local businesses aside from considering customer preference. Also, you’re guaranteed that local produce is fresher, lasts longer, and tastes better. To reduce shipping costs and its environmental impact, find local suppliers near your area, which also ensures speedy delivery right when you need your ingredients. 

If you plan to find more than two suppliers, use a supplier quality software to manage all your supplier transactions in one, organized workflow. This type of software guides your business through different processes of optimizing your supply chain, from coordinating with potential suppliers to providing feedback on their products and services. 

These are the factors that can seriously affect your reputation as a business and make the difference between success and failure.

Make sure your business is a success by following these 5 steps to find the perfect supplier for your food business.

Know What You Want

Even before you open your business you need to know if you’re going for environmental awareness, local food suppliers, or simply cater to the mass market at budget prices.

Your decision, regarding which market you’re aiming to conquer, will define the type of food supplier you need. Make sure you know before you start looking. This should also help you to define a food budget.

The funds you have available for purchasing food will be dependent on what you sell, and how much you sell food for. Make sure you prepare yourself properly before you start searching for food suppliers.

Check Delivery Schedules & Transport Types

Ordering the right food is great but it’s not of much help if the food delivery schedule doesn’t match with your needs. 

If you need a daily fresh delivery and the supplier only offers twice a week, then they’re not the supplier for you.

As well as establishing if their delivery schedule matches, you should consider what method they use to deliver the food. Ideally, they should be using refrigerated transport as this will keep the food fresh and help if there are any delivery issues.

Also, choose a local food supplier nearby your business location to avoid spoilage and reduced quality, while still ensuring that your products are priced fairly. 

Look At Certificates

All businesses working with food should have accreditation confirming they understand food hygiene rules. It’s important that you see these to ensure your supplier is encouraging cross-contamination.

But, you also need to check in case they have any certificates or awards for their produce. Not having an award doesn’t mean they don’t provide high-quality food, but, having one does help you to know what you’re getting. 

Aside from inspecting your supplier’s safety standard, look for organic certification from suppliers to check if organic standards in the manufacturing and production, storage, and sales aspects of their business had been complied with. 

Check The Supplier’s Reputation

You probably have a social media presence, because it is essential in the modern digital world. Your potential food supplier will also have a social media presence and you need to take a look at it.

This will help you to assess their business and decide if they’re as good as they think or say they are.

Social media works nicely with friends and other contacts to confirm that the food supplier is reputable and looks after its customers. You should find genuine reviews online that will help you to confirm the food supplier looks after its customers.

They don’t all have to be positive, as long as the majority are.   

Test The Food

Finally, you should ask any food supplier for samples. Despite all the talk and checking, the best way to confirm the food is as good as you think it will be is to test it.

Get a few samples of foods that you intend to order and then cook them like you would in your restaurant. You’ll soon know if they give the desired result or not.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.