Keep your operations running smoothly and save money in the process by refining the way you source your food supplies. Shabaz Mohammed, managing director of Pelican Procurement Services shares his expertise
1. Opt for Seasonal Food
You will be able to realise cost savings by purchasing produce when it is in season and therefore available in abundance. Ordering out of season can prove to be a costly exercise not only due to the costs of importing product from overseas, but also due to limited supply, which can make prices climb sharply as a result.
2. Supplier Reviews
The hotelier may already have good relations with specific suppliers, but how do they know they are truly getting the best prices and service from them? It is important to monitor prices so they are in-line with the market, particularly as they can quickly change due to supply and demand. Many businesses use third-party purchasing agents to work around this. They are able to review supplier relationships and negotiate highly efficient and profitable deals. Due to their collective purchasing volumes, they can obtain premium produce at competitive prices, plus are in an ideal position to regularly review product price changes and seasonal availability across the entire sector.
3. Continually Review Menus
Undertake regular reviews of your menus and recipes in case any changes can be made without impacting on quality. Small changes can potentially be made that will have a positive impact on your bottom line, for example swapping branded ingredients to less expensive own-label alternatives, where quality is not an issue.
4. Waste Not, Want Not
Review portion sizes being served in the restaurant to ensure they are appropriate. If customers are leaving unfinished food, ask for their feedback on the size of the dish being served in case it can be adapted.
5. Formal Supplier Agreements
A professional and formal approach is needed to generate competition among suppliers and this means writing a detailed service level agreement or tender document that outlines the product needs and the exact service levels required. To keep a grip on rising costs, ensure that the contract agreed with your supplier contains a price hold for at least six months.
6. Embrace New Technologies
Does the hotelier use a system to easily track what is being purchased, supplier invoices and overall purchasing spend, whilst ensure expenditure is aligned to set budgets? There are now a number of systems available that maintain control over supply chain and payments. Some not only capture supplier invoices electronically, but also enable greater analysis of the resulting data. This provides greater transparency and also saves a great deal of management time.