We know sourcing for essential ingredients and produce in the catering and hospitality sector can be challenging for chefs and food buyers, especially with increasing pressures to keep costs low whilst ensuring there’s no compromise on service and quality, and not forgetting ensuring their kitchens are running smoothly!
With more people than ever dining out, coupled with more catering and hospitality outlets offering vouchers and seasonal promotions via apps such as Groupon and Vouchercloud, the pressure to keep up is on! And, with special occasions such as Easter and Father’s Day around the corner you may already be thinking about how to cater for your customers.
However, we know chefs and food buyers face many challenges in their daily jobs from trying to source ingredients fast, to getting the best price whilst trying to budget for busy periods. In this blog we’ve put together 3 steps you can take to overcome these challenges and meet the needs of your customers.
Step 1: Switch to online ordering of ingredients
Ordering ingredients and produce via phone, email, fax and other offline methods is still a common practice in the catering and hospitality industry, maybe you’re guilty of ordering this way! However, using these manual methods to place orders can often result in errors as well as being resource heavy with very little by way of tracking.
By switching to electronic purchasing tools, buyers can efficiently search for products and place orders online without having to phone or fax orders through to suppliers. With functionality such as fast-moving lines, emergency ordering and real-time availability of ingredients, you never have to worry about running low on essential items. Chefs and food buyers have instant access to the ingredients they need whilst central procurement can track every penny spent.
Step 2: Plan menus and budgets in advance
Budgeting ahead of busy periods and seasonal events can be challenging for chefs and food buyers especially if you don’t have access to the right tools to help you calculate costs per head for menus.
However, an integration between your purchasing system and a recipe costing tool such as StarChef can give you the flexibility to calculate recipes and menus in advance.
Using StarChef you can search for complete menu items and automatically get generated costs based on the quantities required for your chosen menu. You can then pull these quantities and items through to your ordering system and raise a requisition. Or alternatively you can use this information to plan budgets for your seasonal catering.
Step 3: Agree pricing structures with suppliers
Trying to drive savings is always high on procurement’s agenda, however if you don’t have agreed pricing structures in place with your suppliers, chances are you might be getting overcharged for ingredients. With catering and hospitality outlets having sites in multiple locations it brings with it complexities around pricing from suppliers. For example, suppliers may over charge different outlets for products based on their location.
To ensure you are always getting the best price and to help reduce costs, always pre-agree pricing for ingredients. At Wax Digital we’ve created web3 for Food, a central solution that is designed to meet the needs of food and beverage buyers, encompassing all the buying quirks of the catering and hospitality industry. With web3 for Food your central procurement team has the flexibility to pre-set agreed supplier pricing for outlets in different regions, divisions or brands within your group.