Dwight D. Eisenhower once said "you will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics", and Napoleon is alleged to have said "an army marches on its stomach. To be effective, an army relies on good and plentiful food." The issues of logistics and supply chain have always been a massive consideration for leaders of any successful organisation to deal with over the centuries and hospitality is no different. Get your supply chain wrong, and you have very dissatisfied guests in the long term.
Having a stable and robust supply chain and relationship with your suppliers is crucial in managing a business. It's fair to say that we all have good days and bad days, and sometimes things happen in business that are outside of our control - like a van breaking down and of course, these have a knock on implications at the restaurant but working in partnership with your suppliers is crucial.
A stable relationship works both ways with suppliers delivering on time every time and restaurants paying on time. Suppliers are working with restaurants to get quality ingredients and sharing order requirements. If you want a stable supply chain, you have to help yourself.
At Inamo, we have worked very hard on the relationship and being fair with our suppliers, treating them as partners. Does each side get it right every time - no of course not, but you have to look at the trends and history. Generally, it is a positive partnership, and we must be doing something right as we have been with the same fruit and veg supplier for 10 years, same butcher and fishmonger both for 9 years and same drinks supplier for 8 years.
So how do we manage this at a time when margins are being squeezed harder and tighter than ever before?
1. We pay on time every time.
2. We complete price comparisons on the basket and have regular feedback sessions.
3. We discuss upfront thoughts and changes on menu development to ensure we get the best advice on trends.
4. We aid them by letting them deliver at the time that best suits them even if it means we are not on site.
5. We try at best to keep order sizes consistent and iron out the peaks and troughs.
All this helps them to manage their teams and vehicles, and reduce their costs so they can pass the savings on to us.