How to Find Potential Suppliers for Your Food Truck
The ultimate goal in selecting a food supplier for your food truck is to find one who will offer you high-quality food with good pricing. You’ll have the opportunity to work with numerous food suppliers, and in some cases, you may choose to have multiple suppliers for your products, such as meat and produce.
However, you may be able to find a supplier who can provide you with the bulk of your food supplies from under one roof.
Large national suppliers, such as Sysco or US Foods, can provide highly discounted rates for their products because of the high volume of food they distribute, You may find that their minimum orders are too high for a single food truck, but if you’re friends with other food trucks in your area, you can group together to place orders large enough to meet their minimums.
Although you likely won’t be able to purchase all your products from a single supplier, keeping track of a lot of invoices wastes time and energy. Try to meet your needs with the fewest possible suppliers.
To prevent spending a lot of time trying to locate specific suppliers, you can use a number of quick and easy ways, such as the ones I discuss in the following list, to locate the exact suppliers you need for opening and maintaining a successful mobile food business.
Speak with fellow food truck and restaurant owners in your area. These professionals have been in the business long enough to have found the most proficient suppliers in your area and can make recommendations that are based on the experiences they’ve had and learned from.
Search online for local food and restaurant suppliers. Almost every type of product you require can be found on the Internet. You can take advantage of online business directories that list suppliers and even search for suppliers based on the type of supplies you’re looking for.
If you want to search specifically for a supplier in your area, many of these sites have an option for you to enter your zip code. Another benefit for using online business directories is that they often provide information about suppliers who offer very competitive prices on their products.
Check out the following sites to help find the suppliers (and supplies) you need:
Attend restaurant industry trade shows. At these trade shows, you can obtain information about various restaurant suppliers’ products and services. You have access to supplier literature and may even be able to talk to restaurant supplier representatives.
You can find a list of these trade shows at your local chamber of commerce or from the National Restaurant Association, which sponsors many of these shows across the country.
No matter which avenue you use to find a supplier, you must take the time to speak with the ones you’re interested in using. After you’ve created your supply list, write the name of at least two suppliers next to each item to create a comprehensive list of suppliers you’ll interview.