Sticky Note

Save Time, Consolidate Vendors

Most small, independent restaurants buy almost everything locally. Not a bad thing necessarily. Buying local is good. Except for all the interruptions throughout the day accepting, checking and verifying orders with each different vendor.

Don't you sometimes get tired of hearing that back door buzzer? Many small restaurant operations will have eight to ten vendors. Think of all the time you spend placing orders, verifying in-stock inventory with each supplier, then accepting all those deliveries.

Not only is this process time-consuming, it can be a security risk. Your back door should never be open more than necessary and absolutely never leave the back door open while you go to take care of an operational issue - usually far from the back door.

Most delivery drivers are trustworthy. But I believe in the adage, "Trust but Verify". Don't leave open the door of "opportunity" to allow a driver to become dishonest by taking your products or not leaving all the items that you ordered.

There is a better way. It could possibly save you money. It will save you time. And time is money, right?

Consolidate the number of vendors that you have making deliveries each week. Even though you don't have the buying power of chain restaurants, you should still be able to eliminate some of your suppliers by combining their orders with your food delivery company.

Consider this: you probably have a bread man, a milk delivery, produce deliveries, a soft drink vendor, a wholesale food truck, and if you sell alcoholic beverages, you have the beer companies and liquor deliveries.

Whew! That's a lot of orders and deliveries. Most likely, you can't do anything about the alcoholic beverage companies due to state-mandated delivery systems. However, the other items can be blended in with your food delivery company. Then, you have one delivery which is customarily a specified delivery time for which you can plan. Also, you have only one invoice to post and one check to write.

Most reputable wholesale food suppliers will be able to supply your bread, dairy products, produce and soft drinks. The exception would be if you are having your bread baked locally to your recipe or specs. Although delivered frozen, food companies typically sell a good quality bread. Many even have artisan breads.

 So make a little time to save some time. Get with your wholesale food company and find out how they can help eliminate some vendors and supply you with the same quality products.

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