What did Napoleon know about restaurants?
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said that “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 huge 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 solid and robust supply chain and relationship with your suppliers is crucial in managing a business. Look, it’s fair to say that we all have good days and bad days. Sometimes things happen in business that are outside of our control, like a van breaking down, and of course these have knock on implications at the restaurant, but working in partnership with your suppliers is crucial.
A solid relationship works both ways, with suppliers delivering on time, every time, and restaurants paying on time. Additional suppliers should work with restaurants to get quality ingredients and share order requirements. If you want a solid supply chain you have to help yourself.
At inamo we have worked very hard at our supplier relationships and seeking to be fair with them, in fact treating suppliers as partners. Does each side get it right every time? No, of course not, but you have to look at trends and history. We must be doing something right as we’ve been with the same Fruit and Veg supplier for 10 years, the same Butcher and Fishmonger both for 9 years, and the 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 up front thoughts and changes on menu development to ensure we get 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 our best to keep order sizes consistent and iron out the peaks and troughs
All this helps them manage their teams and vehicles and reduce their costs so they can pass the savings on to us.