Running an F&B business is hard work, and very rarely a one-man show. It’s one thing to secure the F&B business premises, and another to actually get the F&B business up and running. The cost of operating an F&B business outlet can be substantial, but prudent expenditure can help you cut monthly expenses down to a manageable amount. One way to save on your monthly F&B business expenses is to find cost-effective and reliable suppliers for your F&B business needs. Although not an exhaustive list, here are a few basic suppliers that you would need for your F&B 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 F&B business is looking to impress today’s discerning diners, it’s important to have a steady supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, with the occasional seasonal ingredients. You can keep the costs for purchasing fresh produce low if you buy in bulk from local farmers as there would be no middle-man fees involved. Besides, it’s always a good thing to support local producers. Buying from local farmers also means that you get the freshest daily produce, something that can make all the difference to the flavours in your dishes.
If you’re looking to serve meat in a few of the main dishes in your menu, it would be a good idea to source for the meat from local suppliers as well. 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! To get the best prices for your meat supply, try contacting local butchers or suppliers who are keen on a long-term partnership. Although it’s helpful to lock in favourable pricing before market prices start to fluctuate, it’s good to shop around before inking any deals.
Coffee and tea producers
The coffee and tea scene has really boomed over the past decade, catalysing a significant rise in the number of cafés the world over. According to the Tea Association of the USA, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all US households. Meanwhile, coffee is the most popular drink globally with more than two billion cups consumed every day! For an F&B business, it’s especially important to source for a supplier of good coffee beans and tea leaves, as coffee and tea would inevitably be the highlights of your F&B business when it comes to beverages. To reduce costs when sourcing for these commodities, it’s good to buy in bulk. However, it’s not as simple as choosing the supplier that offers the lowest price. If you’re not familiar with what constitutes good coffee beans and tea leaves, as well as the reasonable price to pay for these items, get someone who is an expert in the industry to guide you.
Part of running a successful F&B business is to know what’s popular with potential customers at the moment. So, besides coffee and tea beverages, you would also want to consider offering a good selection of delicious yet Instagram-worthy desserts at your restaurant. The pervasiveness of social media has encouraged people to post photos of the food and drinks ordered at an F&B business on their social media pages, so food presentation is everything in today’s F&B business scene. Cakes, pastries and freshly-baked breads are a big thing among the younger generation today, and having a reliable bakery that can cater for your dessert menu is certainly helpful. Having breads, beverages and desserts on the menu helps to generate revenue during the slow hours of a business day, so even if customers do not order mains, they would at least have a dessert with a beverage, and this keeps the profits rolling in for your F&B business!
POS system vendors
When it comes to payment systems for an F&B business, a cash register no longer makes the cut. In fact, having a cash-only payment system is a big no-no in today’s competitive F&B scene, and could well put you and your F&B business on the backburner! The pervasiveness of mobile devices and on-the-go payment options such as mobile wallets have fuelled customer demand for payment systems that are cashless, efficient and easy-to-use. Even cashless payment options such as the credit and debit card are slowly being replaced by mobile payment methods. As such, it’s important to source for a reliable payment systems supplier that can offer you point-of-sale (POS) technology that can cater to cashless and mobile payments. These POS technologies not only speed up the payment process by its ability to accept all forms of payment, it also comes with inventory management capabilities that prove to be really handy when making orders for F&B business supplies. Some POS technologies are also capable of managing staff attendance and payroll, leaving café business proprietors plenty of time to focus on other matters. It’s important to select a vendor that offers great after-sales service to ensure that you have easy access to assistance in the event of a system issue.
Customers today expect dining out to be an experience in itself, and will usually take photos of the F&B places that they’ve visited. And because almost everyone has a social media account, many of those photos will end up on their social media pages. As such, having a well-designed interior with perfect lighting helps to create the perfect ambience for photo-taking, which will really help to boost publicity for your F&B business. There are many vendors that specialise in interior decorating and offer an extensive selection of furniture such as chairs, barstools, table tops, bases and booths for F&B businesses. These vendors usually keep a large inventory available and are able to offer cost-effective options and quick delivery for your required seating numbers. Some vendors also offer custom-made restaurant seating such as banquettes and booths, as well as reupholstering services. Be sure to shop around and compare prices before settling on a vendor that meets the requirements of your F&B business.
Finding vendors could be a hassle and sometimes quite time consuming, head on over to ThunderQuote to find the best suited vendors for you today.
ThunderQuote is the most comprehensive business services portal in Singapore, Australia and ASEAN , where hundreds of thousands of dollars of procurement contracts are sourced every month by major companies like Singapore Press Holdings, National Trade Union Congress and more.