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01 March 2017

Wholesale purchases of foodstuff for the cafe

Where and how to find a reliable supplier foodstuff for the cafe? Supplier selection is an important and serious, and even more so when it comes to children's cafe, where the quality of the dishes, and hence the products from which they are made, special attention is paid.

What are the criteria when choosing a supplier of products for your cafe? What documents and certificates a firm-supplier must provide you with? And what pitfalls exist when choosing a partner company? We will try to clear up these questions and give you some suggestions that will allow making the right choice.

Once you have confirmed the menu, make a list and make a calculation of the required products. It should be borne in mind that in the first month after the opening of the cafe is the maximum load, followed by a small decline. Into a separate list, select products, that should be available at all times, regardless of the menu. For example, always buy in bulk bread, buns, non-carbonated water, juice, and milk.

There are several variants:

• Buy wholesale foodstuffs at large wholesale bases or directly from manufacturers;

• Buy food in bulk at small wholesale depots or farms;

• Buy products from the population.

Most often, companies (both large distribution centers and small distributors) involved in the sale of food products at the best prices, are also looking for partners and offer their services. You can find suppliers of products yourself, following the recommendations of other restaurateurs. But in both cases, producing analysis and making a choice in favor of one or another supplier, you should pay attention to the following criteria:

• the availability of all necessary documents and certificates,

• product quality,

• the price of products, discounts,

• terms of payment and the opportunity to delay payments

• speed of delivery of goods,

• response to the problems and their solution,

• prompt informing about the absence of the goods, the change in purchase prices,

• the possible return of substandard and expired goods

Purchase of products in large wholesale depots or manufacturers

Large restaurants and restaurant chains will most likely work on such a scheme:

• the range of products is divided into groups: fresh fruit and vegetables, delicatessen, meat, dairy products, etc.;

• the supplier for each group is chosen via competition, with which the contract is let for one year.

 This variant has several important advantages:

• restaurateur has the ability to buy products from the supplier at competitive prices and get maximum discounts on products

• quick solution to the problems associated with low-quality products and returning the goods,

• large providers have a flexible delivery schedule and rarely there are faults with the delivery of products.

For small cafes or restaurants, this option is acceptable, but most of the major vendors are reluctant to have contracts with small and opening up businesses, the fate of which is unknown.

Purchase products from small wholesale depots or farms

If your town has a small bakery or in the neighborhood, there are a number of farms where you can buy wholesale dairy and meat products or herbs and vegetables, we recommend that you pay attention to them.

Small producers and suppliers cannot compete with large distribution centers and conclude partnerships with them, you can get a number of offers:

• fresh and quality product (as they say, straight from the garden);

• able to get the best price for meat, milk, etc.;

• they are more likely than large vendors, go to the risks of working with new cafes.

Working with small suppliers, it is necessary to take into account the existing disadvantages of such a partnership:

• not always small suppliers deliver goods themselves, you can increase transportation costs;

• difficult to arrange a refund or replacement of low-quality goods;

• potential supply disruptions.

The selection criteria are the same as in the case of large suppliers. Additional points may be visiting a bakery or a farm personally to see where and how to produce the products that you buy in bulk. 

Buying products from the population 

Many small restaurants and cafes are enjoying individual services that grow in their backyards and sell at competitive prices herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Most often it occurs seasonally. For example, in spring it can be fresh herbs, summer - strawberries or berries, and in the fall - apples, etc.

For you cafe you can make deals with individuals, observing all the legal grounds are available for this.

When purchasing food from the population, should be guided by all available legal acts and documents:

• resolution of trade;

• document on the results of laboratory examination of dairy products, including a passport for the maintenance of the cow;

• an act of veterinary-sanitary examination (meat and poultry).

Just pay attention to the correct registration of invoices and purchase documents. 

On the market today there are many companies supplying food. Finding the perfect supplier in the ratio of price and quality can take some time. Many of them offer their services, others you will find on the recommendations of fellow restaurateurs.

Remember the main selection criteria, you should follow:

• the presence of all legal and sanitary documents, certificates of quality, etc.

• product quality and price,

• mutually beneficial cooperation. 

And, of course, follow the main rule: fresh and quality products should always be in your cafe.


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