Starting a restaurant business can be exciting yet daunting at the same time. Many people dream of becoming their own boss one day, and opening a restaurant is just one of the many ways to go about it. According to research by the National Restaurant Association, 2 in 5 consumers say restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle. Almost all of us have visited a restaurant at one time or another, and many have favourites that they visit time and again. Repeat customers are one of the most important aspects of a restaurant business, and first-time customers only become loyal customers if the food, service and ambience of the restaurant are consistently good.
Many studies have shown that two of the most important factors in a dining experience are delicious food and quality service, so if you’re mulling over starting a restaurant business, one of the most important things to do is to secure the services of reliable vendors. Speaking of which, what are some of the vendors you would need to maintain a restaurant business?
Fresh produce vendors
Studies show that future food trends going into 2020 will include local sourcing, fresh produce, healthy eating and an emphasis on authentic items. So, if your restaurant business is looking to impress today’s discerning diners, it’s important to have a steady supply of fresh vegetables, meat and dairy products, with the occasional seasonal ingredients. High-quality ingredients make superb-tasting food, and this is what keeps customers coming back for more.
Most people can tell whether a dish was made from fresh produce or not, so it’s best not to stinge on fresh ingredients, regardless of whether the prices of your dishes are on the high side or not! You can keep the costs for purchasing fresh produce low if you buy in bulk from local farmers. They are usually able to give you a steady supply of fruits and vegetables at lower prices. Buying from local farmers also means that you get the freshest daily produce, something that can make all the difference in the food you serve.
According to research by the National Restaurant Association, 56% of consumers who say their primary reason for preferring locally sourced food is that it supports farms and producers in their communities. This also tells you that diners today are an informed lot who care about where their food comes from! It’s good to shop around before inking any deals with a supplier as it’s not as simple as choosing the one that offers the lowest price. You should also consider the quality of the fresh produce and the reliability of the supplier in keeping to agreed terms and conditions.
Having a list of local manufacturers from which you obtain certain ingredients or items is important to ensure that your restaurant business runs smoothly. For example, if you serve bread and other confectionary at your restaurant, it might be a good idea to look for an established local bakery that can supply you with freshly baked breads and cakes. Desserts are a big thing among the younger generation and having a reliable bakery that can cater for your dessert menu is certainly helpful.
Apart from food items, there are many other things that a restaurant needs to run smoothly. Serviettes, cutlery and dinnerware are surely a must, and if you manage to secure a local manufacturer that produces these items, try to negotiate a deal that is cost-effective for both parties. These are non-perishable items so they can be kept for a longer time so don’t be afraid to buy in bulk as that will definitely reduce costs.
To get a good local manufacturer, make a list of all the suppliers that you are looking to work with and carry out some research on their operations, company ethics and reliability. You can also contact other restaurants that a supplier has worked with to obtain further information on track records and dependability. Once you’ve set your sights on a supplier, negotiations should centre on food specifications, delivery times and terms of payment. Choosing a vendor with whom you can forge a good working relationship will make all the difference to your restaurant business in the long run.
Restaurant technology suppliers
Restaurant businesses today depend substantially on restaurant technology to ensure that daily operations run smoothly. Most people think of payment systems when it comes to restaurant technology, but in actual fact, payment systems are just part of what constitutes restaurant technology. There are also systems that assist restaurateurs to manage in-house and take-out orders by customers, track food deliveries, display menus and monthly promotions, manage inventory, as well as keep track of staff salaries and attendance.
According to a recent study by restaurant businesses authority Toast, 68% of respondents agree that server handheld tablets improve their guest experience, highlighting the importance of restaurant technology when it comes to making customers happy. Point-of-sale (POS) payment systems, server handheld tablets, mobile payment devices and electronic menu displays are all restaurant technologies that help restaurateurs everywhere provide efficient service such as quick on-and offline ordering and delivery, a fuss-free billing and payment process, and easy access to menus and special promotions.
There is a myriad of restaurant technologies available today that can help manage every aspect of a restaurant businesses and save you hours of manual work, but it’s important to select vendors who provide good during- and after-sales service. For example, vendors of the iPad POS system offer free system support services seven days a week, which is really helpful when users run into system problems. It’s also important to ensure that your POS system has three important characteristics: easy to set-up, easy to use, and provides timely and useful information. Finding the right restaurant technologies for your restaurant businesses entails doing plenty of research, comparing package prices and finding out about value-added services, so be sure to shop around before settling on the best supplier.
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