[This article was written by Anita Ginsburg.]
If you’re new to the restaurant business, you may be struggling to put together a list of necessary suppliers. Restaurants use vendors or suppliers to source their food, beverages, cooking equipment, and more. It’s important to choose quality supplies for the best price. Take a look at these 4 supplies that every restaurant needs to have on hand.
Meat can be sourced from small, local farms, or through large-scale operations. Based on the type of restaurant, both options can have their advantages. Buying from local farms allows you to purchases the freshest meat available. You also have the opportunity to form a relationship with the farm and support another local business. A large-scale supplier usually has more rigorous food safety requirements.
A restaurant wouldn’t be able to operate without cooking equipment. A grill, holding equipment, broiler, and deep fryer are just a few of the items every restaurant needs. It’s important to find the right supplier to provide you with quality cooking equipment. A cookware provider can supply you with commercial-sized pots, pans, woks, and griddles. A wire mesh baskets provider can supply you with wire strainers, fry baskets, and mesh baskets for serving food. Whatever equipment you need, there is a supplier for it.
Regardless of the type of food your restaurant serves, you’ll need to have fruits and vegetables on hand. Customers will be able to tell if your produce isn’t fresh, so try to choose the best supplier to get a fresh product. Again, you have the option to partner with local farms and get your produce fresh from them. Your produce options may be limited with small farms because you will only be able to buy produce that is in season for your area. You can consider partnering with a large-scale supplier if your needs surpass what you can get from a local farm. Many restaurants use a combination of both of these options.
If your restaurant doesn’t bake items in-house, you will need to find a supplier for your baked goods such as sandwich bread, rolls, buns, and any specialty pastries and desserts you’d like to serve. If available, local bakeries are a great option, but they may not be able to keep up with the demand of a large restaurant. You can buy buns and sandwich bread in bulk from a large-scale supplier, while keeping specialty items on order from a local source. Your customers are sure to appreciate the quality and freshness of local baked goods.
Setting up suppliers for your restaurant can be overwhelming, but once you find quality suppliers that you trust, your restaurant will operate smoothly. If you are just starting out, make sure to create a detailed list of necessary supplies so you don’t forget anything. Once your kitchen is stocked with food, beverages, and cooking equipment, you’ll be ready to start serving food to happy customers.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.