As you know, the best vendors aren’t just suppliers; they’re strategic partners. The quality of your partners is a direct reflection of you, so it’s important to thoroughly vet your options when going through the vendor selection process.
Here are key criteria you should use to identify a go-to list of strategic vendors:
You count on your vendors to make you look good. If they’re reliable, they make your job easier. Having confidence that they’ll deliver on their word helps you deliver on yours. If you’re on the hunt for a new foodservice vendor, seek out trusted, first-hand recommendations. If you don’t have access to those, rely on reputation, but do your research. Reliability is one of the most important qualities — if not the most important quality — to look for in a vendor.
While you need your vendor to be reliable, if they don’t have quality products, you’re in hot water. If you’re bringing subpar products into kitchens and establishments, it reflects poorly on you. To avoid this situation, research leaders in foodservice equipment and find trusted vendors that have a history of delivering high-quality products. As insurance, check into vendor warranty policies to make sure your bases are covered.
As with all relationships, communication is key. Not only that, but it’s the cornerstone of good customer service. When you’re purchasing equipment, you need foodservice vendors to over-communicate on delivery status so you’re in the know and can manage expectations on your end. As you’re going through the vendor selection process, take note of prospective vendors’ communication habits. If their communication is top-notch, it’s a good indication of how they’ll operate in a working relationship.
Of course price is important, but as you’re shopping around, factor in value. If your vendor sells equipment on the cheap but its shelf life is short, you’re hardly getting a deal. As they say, “you pay for what you get.” Price matters, but it’s not everything and if you’re not assessing long-term value along with it, you’re not getting the full picture. Do your research to find a foodservice vendor that can strike the balance between the best value and a reasonable price point.
Find the best partner.
As you go through the foodservice vendor selection process, take the time to find vendors that meet these criteria. Ideally, you’ll be entering into a long-term partnership, so don’t settle for less than the best. And if you want a sure bet, Hatco’s the place to go. Since our founding in 1950, we’ve prided ourselves on best-in-class products and knock-your-socks-off customer service. Learn more about Hatco and our tradition of excellence.