Finding a meat supplier for your restaurant can be tricky. You want a reliable supplier. You want fresh, quality cuts and you want them at a great price. Your food is your reputation. Cheap, tough cuts will gain you negative feedback and kill your restaurant’s rating.
Cheap cuts are also tasteless and the wrong texture no matter how they are cooked. They come off giving your establishment and chef a bad name in the business which will destroy your customer base. If meat is on your menu then it had better be good.
But how do you get a great supplier? What characteristics do you look for and how do you find them? Most local meat suppliers will be listed in your local directory or on the internet.
Here are a few tips on things to look for to find the right supplier for you to keep you in fresh meat for your restaurant.
Ask for a Catalogue of the Meat They Offer
This is very important and will help you decide which company to supply your meats. You need to be able to see their seasonal selections and the inventory they always have on hand throughout the year. They should have enough for you to have plenty of freedom with your menu items.
A wider range of selections is crucial to your chef and the food you serve. Do they have a website? Can you order online? How easy will it be to order from them and get in touch with a customer service representative if the need arises?
Are They Dependable?
Do they have customer references or referrals? Do they have reviews that you can study? Reliability is necessary for the restaurant business. You want your suppliers to be honest with you. You want them to be dependable and have your orders filled and shipped in a timely manner. What are their delivery days and hours? Do they stick to that schedule?
Place a test order with them and see when they deliver. Did they fill your order accurately? Was there a problem? Use the information you gain on that test order to help you decide to go with the company in the future.
You want the best you can possibly afford. The quality of your recipe comes down to the quality of the ingredients used. You can visit the butcher houses and abattoirs to see their cleanliness. You can also visit the ranches that supply your meat to see how the animals are fed and maintained.
Is it necessary to take it this far? It is if you want the best quality for your restaurant. Ask other local establishments what suppliers they use and why. Do your homework to find the best quality for your customers.
You want a supplier that will be in clear and easy communication with you and that will tell you as soon as something in your order will be back ordered or will take a longer amount of time to fill. They should offer a rebate or refund on missing items.
You need to know their refund policy up front in case products come spoiled or damaged. A supplier that communicates well with you upfront and takes time to answer all your questions is a conscientious supplier in the future.
Of course, everything comes down to the money involved. Does the meat supplier have comparable prices to other competitors in the area?
Are suppliers a little farther out, offering a better price and will the product still be good when it gets to you? Does the vendor offer discounts if you have a large order? Are discounts given for other reasons that you may qualify for?
Remember, cheap prices often meat cheap quality and cheap cuts. But great quality meat does not have to be expensive. Find the supplier that will give you a great deal that will fit within the budget of your restaurant.
Ask them if the prices are a fixed price or if they are only introductory sale prices. Ask them if the prices they quote have a chance of changing in the near future.
Price, quality, dependability, great communication skills and a wide selection are all excellent qualities that your meat supplier should have. Keep looking for the right one to fit your business and do not settle for less. You and your business are worth it.