When it comes to the food and beverage industry, finding the right suppliers is just as important as providing impeccable customer service. The amazing food, great wine lists, and award-winning chefs can easily become secondary if your supplier costs aren’t sustainable.
Looking for opportunities for negotiation is crucial and most of the time, you’ll realise that better deals don’t always go hand in hand with low prices.
For successful supplier negotiations, it’s also best to set clear expectations from the start. Let them know what you’re looking for, how much you want to purchase and when you want it. This way, the suppliers can evaluate your requirements early on and can determine if they can meet them or not, saving you time and effort.
Here are our five ways you can try to haggle and get what you want.
Find out the average market prices and decide on how much you’re willing to pay. Are the prices fixed or do they change depending on the season or demand? Arming yourself with the right information gives you the upper hand to negotiate better fees.
Ask for catalogues from other known suppliers and distributors – reviews are a good indication of their reputation.
Request samples to check the products’ quality and determine if they are suitable for your needs.
The more consolidated your list of suppliers the better. This means buying in bulk from and choosing companies that can provide a variety of products and services that you require.
If you work with only select suppliers, you can build stronger relationships and negotiate better prices. You can also spend less time with administration and accounting tasks and allocate more resources towards higher-priority jobs and goals such as improving your menu, focusing on marketing, and training your staff.
Managing a small number of suppliers also allows you to monitor closely and enhance their quality, efficiency, and performance, avoiding critical operations issues and delays.
When discussing deliverables with suppliers, don’t forget to take delivery schedules and payment terms into consideration.
If you can’t adjust the costs, opt for fast, reliable and consolidated delivery instead. You don’t only pay less delivery fees, you also lessen disruptions to your business.
Negotiating payment terms with suppliers is also key to managing your cash flow during slow seasons or costly business expansions. For instance, offer to increase your order volume or arrange meetings with other industry contacts when discussing flexible payment options.
Think about what you can provide to your suppliers to convince them to agree on your terms.
Do they need help to launch a new product? Offer your venue and provide them with an event discount. Do they need more brand awareness? Connect them with journalists you know.
This opens up a conversation for a stronger business relationship and further incentive for the supplier to provide better rates.
If you’re having a difficult time looking for beverage and alcohol suppliers, it’s always best to use technology to your advantage. You can spend hours googling on your computer or sign up instead to WINEDEPOT MARKET, the world’s first Vineyard to Venue™ online marketplace.
The robust, intuitive, and easy-to-use platform provides you with access to thousands of beverage products from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and beyond and allows you to restock in 60 seconds.
It lets you order from multiple suppliers and consolidates them into one delivery schedule at your preferred window, with same and next day metro deliveries also available. It also offers a broad range of flexible payments including debit, credit and the “interest-free buy now, pay later” option via Zip.
More importantly, you can connect with various suppliers, develop relationships, and negotiate exclusive deals and prices, all on a single and powerful platform.