Establish Good Relationships with Your Food Truck Suppliers

A good relationship is based on the promise of long-term collaboration between your food truck business and suppliers. Orders get placed, trucks deliver products, and invoices get paid. Unfortunately, this type of business strategy does nothing to establish a strong association with your suppliers. Supplier reps need long-term partnerships to succeed.

Cultivating a healthy relationship with your suppliers can be very helpful as your business grows and market trends fluctuate. Leveraging your supplier relationships can produce both immediate and long-term results for your business because your suppliers often have access to research on industry news and trends as well as consumer behaviors that you can tap into to better forecast your business trends.

This research can be critical in terms of answering questions or resolving problems you run into with the products you receive.

For example: If the fish you use for your bestselling menu item has increased to $10 per pound or the Wagyu beef always has veins down the middle, having a good rapport with your supplier can help you find out the real reason behind these issues and help you make revised ordering decisions to improve your food prices and quality.

The best way to build a rapport with your suppliers is to become one of their valued customers by doing the following:

  • Paying on time: You can negotiate for favorable payment terms before you place an order, but after you place your order, be sure to pay for it on time.

  • Personalizing the relationship: Visit your suppliers’ offices and invite them to visit your truck while you’re at a spot close to them.

  • Sharing information: Keep your suppliers aware of what’s going on in your business. Tell them about changes in key personnel, new products you’re considering, or special promotions you’re planning.

Developing good relationships with suppliers isn’t a complicated process. Be communicative, treat them fairly, be demanding (coupled with loyalty), and pay them on time. It’s just that easy.

You have to be able to contact your supplier representative at all times during business operations, so be sure to have his office, cell, and home phone numbers at your fingertips. If a problem arises or you need to make changes quickly, you need to be able to reach your supplier rep promptly.

Also, getting to know your primary food reps and their bosses can emphasize their obligation to assist in making things right. Working with your suppliers is the ability to work together for mutual benefit in a variety of circumstances.

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