Ordering wholesale restaurant supplies is a balancing act between under-ordering (and disappointing customers) and over-ordering (and losing profits).
Since high-quality protein can quickly add up when your restaurant is serving hundreds of dishes per week, it’s crucial for your restaurant menu planning—and your overall bottom line—that you find a meat distributor who can keep you fully stocked while also minimizing loss due to waste or spoilage.The following tips will help you solve those ordering headaches and restore your confidence that you are getting the most out of your restaurant’s budget.
Compare Order Minimums
The large majority of meat distributors will require minimum order quantities for both individual items and overall shipments. Examples of the former would be pack sizes for items like burgers or poundage for items like chicken wings. The shipment minimums are based on the minimum cost your order must reach before the distributor is willing to deliver to you.
The order minimums may vary greatly between distributors, but will generally be higher the further away the distributor is located from you. This is due in large part to the fact that many distributors operate based on set routes, so if your establishment is too far off of that route, it may not seem worth it to them to deliver to you for less than a certain order value.
Compare Delivery Frequencies
On a similar note, even if they are willing to deliver to you, they may still limit the frequency or even day and time slots of their deliveries in order to better fit their own schedules. This is a big reason why so many restaurants opt for local distributors, as they offer greater flexibility on both order minimums and delivery schedules to better accommodate your needs.
Many restaurant owners and chefs have run into scenarios that they could not have predicted, such as inclement weather or sudden rushes, that result in the need to either skip a delivery or get an extra shipment fast. Partnering with a local distributor comes in handy in these situations due to that added flexibility as well as due to the generally faster responsiveness they offer.
Stay Updated on Market Prices
The cost of protein may fluctuate based on seasonality, production shortages, or other variables that affect availability or demand. Knowing these trends can help you adjust your budget to plan for price variations or allow you to make menu adjustments ahead of time.
The easiest way to stay updated on these happenings is to subscribe to a newsletter from a trusted industry resource, such as Native Maine. That way you’re always one step ahead and can ensure that you’re properly prepared for whatever happens.