October 9 2018
Many smaller, independent restaurants today are struggling to keep their food costs down. Particularly relative to much larger competitors with a great deal more buying power, independent eateries tend to pay more for the ingredients they need to create delicious meals.
That will often mean being forced to make sacrifices and accept compromises of various kinds to keep menu prices at a level the diners will still find acceptable. Over time, the downsides involved can cost a given restaurant a great deal in the form of lost business and unrealized potential.
Naturally enough, restaurateurs try to minimize the damage done by seeking suppliers who offer them lower prices. That will often be seen in the form of discounts extended relatively freely to restaurants that meet certain standards. While this might seem like an appealing deal, in many cases, there is almost always quite a bit more going on behind the scenes.
Attracting Seeming Discounts Only Tell Part of the Story
When suppliers volunteer discounts on food products and supplies to independent restaurants, they almost always do so thanks to the support they receive from others. In many cases, a restaurant buying group will have been responsible for negotiating rebates from a wide variety of the manufacturers whose products a given supplier stocks and sells.
Instead of being a sign of a supplier's generosity, a discount offered to an independent restaurant will more often be a reflection of participation in such a program. In fact, the discount that ends up in the hands of the purchasing restaurant will typically represent only a fraction of the cut that was originally negotiated by the buying group in question.
What that means, in practice, is many smaller restaurants are actually paying significantly more for their ingredients than they theoretically could be. With an independent buying group taking its own share of the discounts it negotiates, the special offers extended by suppliers only represent a portion of the true total.
A Way for Many Restaurants to Save Even More
Fortunately, there are other options that can easily allow particular restaurants to pay even less for the ingredients and other products that are so fundamental to their operations. One increasingly popular type of purchasing program is administered by a restaurant industry service provider that passes the full amount of every rebate on to members. This is enabled by tying purchasing activity to accounting services the same company also provides, with the discounts being credited against each member's balance.