4 Important Factors to Consider When Looking for a Food Supplier


When it comes to managing a restaurant, inconsistencies in the dishes you serve and running out of food are the biggest no-nos you have to avoid at all costs. If you keep making these mistakes, retaining loyal customers and attracting new ones will be an obstacle that you may never overcome.

Since making sure your customers can order anything they want on your menu anytime and that will get great-tasting dishes every time, you have to work with only the most reliable food suppliers in Dubai.

With the right food distributor, running out of supplies during the busiest time of service is something that will never happen. You can schedule timely deliveries, which ensure your pantries and freezers are always fully stocked. You will be sure you only have the finest ingredients to use in all your dishes, as well.

You can also benefit from the other services your food distributor can provide too. They can recommend brands or manufacturers with ingredients that would be best for your dishes. They can also keep you updated on the latest food trends and new products that you can try in your restaurant.

More importantly, your food supplier may be able to give you discounts or deals that will enable you to save some money on your supplies.

Selecting a Food Supplier for Your Restaurant

To be sure you will choose the best food supplier to work with, look for one that stands out in the following:

1. Experience

There is nothing wrong with partnering with a distributor that is new in the market. However, if you want the best quality of service, you have to choose one that has been in the business for several years.

Check the website of your possible distributor to find out how many years they have been operating. You can also ask a representative this question and how many restaurants and other food and beverage businesses they have supplied or are currently serving.

Additionally, know the different kinds of food products they currently carry and which ones they have managed or handled in the past.

2. Prices and payment terms

Requesting quotes from all possible vendors is another excellent way to start your search for a distributor or narrowing down your list. When you know which company has prices that meet your budget, you will have fewer options to choose from.

While asking for price lists, request a sample contract, as well. By doing so, you can decide if their terms and conditions are reasonable and meet your requirements.

Make sure you also have a list of items you need regularly and their current or estimated process. Once you receive a quote, calculate how much you will save or spend more when you order them from a particular supplier.

If you are leaning towards a specific distributor but find their rates a bit high, don’t be embarrassed to negotiate. Make counter-offers, as well. You won’t lose anything if you try to bargain better prices from a food supplier.

3. Delivery schedules

Another key factor you have to consider is how often you need to replenish your supplies.

The delivery schedule you have to work out with your potential vendor usually depends on the type and quantity of ingredients you need. If you need fresh food items, you may have to arrange deliveries every day.

However, if most of your essential ingredients are frozen or have long expiry dates, you can schedule weekly or bi-weekly deliveries.

In both instances, choosing a local supplier will work to your advantage.

Make sure you already have your delivery schedule planned out, including the time the supplies need to be in your restaurant. Work this out with your supplier and set it as one of the conditions in your final agreement.

If you have a POS system with inventory management features, you will also have to link it with your supplier so that ordering will be faster and easier.

4. Quality maintenance

Finally, although you can get great prices and deals from a particular supplier and they can deliver on time, you have to find out if they can maintain the quality of their products.

As such, ask about the supplier’s facilities and equipment they have for storing and delivering their goods. Find out what kind of vehicles they have and if they are fully-equipped to keep temperature-sensitive food products fresh.

Bear in mind that even the slightest change in temperature can turn some food items, such as fruits, vegetables, and frozen produce into something that unpalatable and unsafe.

Your operations will then be hampered simply because you put your trust in a supplier with poor equipment and unsuitable delivery vehicles.

Because of this reason, before signing up with a supplier, check what type of delivery vehicles and equipment pieces they have and make sure these are all adequate for keeping ingredients fresh.

Having a reliable supplier can elevate the quality of food you serve in your restaurant and the overall service, as well. If you want to start running a better, more successful dining establishment, find the right vendor to partner with.


Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Bidfood UAE with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.