Stocking fresh ingredients is the first step toward serving up memorable dishes that your customers will want to come back to. The stronger your relationship is with your meat and produce distributor, the more confident you can be that you are getting the highest quality ingredients at a fair price. Ask your distributor the following questions to make sure you are receiving the respect, reliability, and prices you deserve.
Where Are Your Products Coming From?
Knowing where your produce comes from means knowing both where the food is grown or raised and where the distributor’s warehouse is located. If their warehouse is far from where you need your goods delivered, it may limit when or how frequently they are able to deliver to you.
A local distributor gives you the greatest amount of flexibility when it comes to stocking your kitchen with fresh ingredients. For example, Native Maine delivers seven days per week to most areas, and can even have a turn around time of only two hours in some cases.
Using a local distributor also allows you to continue to support diners looking to eat locally even when the ingredients aren’t indigenous to the area.
How Do You Come Up With Your Prices?
All reputable distributors are going to provide their customers with high-quality ingredients at every price point they offer. This means that the cheapest option doesn’t have to be of lesser quality than the more expensive options, and it also means that those more expensive options may not be that much different from a less expensive alternative.
Oftentimes, if you know how to look. it’s possible to find a comparable product for a lower price that maintains the right flavor profile without sacrificing an ounce of quality.
Still, your distributor should be completely transparent and consistent with their pricing so you never have to worry whether you’re being taken advantage of. Fair pricing is not only crucial to helping you run a profitable business—it’s a testament to how much your distributor respects you and your business.
The reality is that wholesale restaurant distribution is a highly competitive market, meaning that you will very likely be able to find a company willing to undercut their competitors’ prices. But beware of the long term implications of choosing a distributor who competes on price-cuts alone. Their offers may seem enticing at first, but there is an unquantifiable value from a distributor who offers exceptional service and consistent pricing over one whose primary selling point is based on unstable and unpredictable pricing.
Who is Going to Be Delivering It?
There are great benefits to having the same driver making deliveries to your restaurant. Not only will they come to learn your name, but they’ll know who to go to with questions, who to ask for a signature from, where to unload everything, how to keep things organized, and more. Essentially, they won’t just see you as just another stop on a route—they’ll become a part of your team, always happy to see you and help your business succeed.
Restaurant owners and chefs understand the value this level of service provides, as it is exactly the kind of service that keeps their own customers coming back time and time again.
If you want to learn more about the exceptional service and products you can receive from Native Maine, please contact us online or give us a call at (207) 856-1100.