Running a restaurant is not easy. Most of us in business know that, of course, but that does not necessarily make the process any simpler. Something that a lot of new restauranteurs struggle with is getting supplies in their first few months.
It can be quite tempting to purchase supplies from a regular department store, especially when we are first starting out. That is what we are familiar with and changing things up can be intimidating. However, as we grow as a business, buying these supplies on an individual level like that just does not work.
That is where wholesale comes into play. If you are not sure what that is or how it works, you have come to the right place! You may want to check out a resource like this one before we dive in, just to get some background knowledge, but otherwise, make sure to stick around!
What is Wholesale?
When we are looking to buy items in bulk, wholesaling is usually the route to take. When we buy wholesale, it really means that we are purchasing these items in massive quantities for discounted prices rather than from a third-party store. As far as options go here in Canada, there are plenty of them. In fact, here in the Vancouver area, we have a few choices.
Something to keep in mind is that we are not purchasing goods directly from a manufacturer this way. Rather, we are utilizing a service that makes the process of buying much easier for us. That is because most of them offer discounts when we order larger quantities of goods.
How it Works
Whether you own (or manage) a restaurant or another type of business, buying wholesale will work the same. The first step will be to pick one that offers the goods and supplies that you need. Depending on what kind of restaurant you run, this could look different.
Plates, napkins, and silverware are just a few of the staples. You can find out about other ones by talking to customer service reps at whatever wholesaler you choose.
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Takeout containers are another common choice for most food-related establishments. Even if you do not offer “to-go” options, folks might not finish their meal entirely while they sit. Being able to provide them with a way to take their leftovers home is important in keeping customers happy and satisfied enough to recommend our establishment to their friends and family.
Additionally, if you run a bakery, boxes to help keep pastries fresh on transit can be helpful. There are just so many things that we could end up needing, it is a clever idea to start collaborating with a wholesaler sooner rather than later. That way, we can get familiar with what they have to offer and capitalize on any sales they have to offer.
Once we have sorted that out, we can worry about placing an order. Many of the options in Canada will ship across the country, even if you live in a different province, so hopefully that will not be a major concern. The biggest issue there might be shipping time, since the further away the warehouse is, the slower you might get your goods.
Of course, we can always pay for express shipping if it is that urgent, so again, not that big of a deal. Most of the time when we are placing bulk orders for supplies, it will be well in advance for when we get them – hopefully, at least. Certain retailers even provide options to schedule when we make our purchases, so you can have some supplies automatically ordered each month.
Is it Worth Shopping with One?
A question that frequently arises when we consider where to buy supplies for our restaurants is whether shopping with a wholesale retailer is worth it or not. Technically speaking, it is more expensive than buying directly from a manufacturer – at least, on paper. Realistically, things are a bit more complicated once we look deeper.
When you go to buy restaurant supplies directly from a manufacturer, you may notice that you’d have to find several different ones to get everything you need. The places that make cups might not be the same as the ones that manufacture other goods such as sushi containers or takeout boxes.
In that sense, the convenience that wholesalers bring is often enough to convince many businesses to shop from them. There are more reasons, though, if you are not convinced yet. As we mentioned briefly before, wholesalers will often offer exclusive discounts when you make larger purchases.
For restaurants and other businesses, this is quite an advantage. In fact, you can usually get the supplies you need cheaper than it would be buying from the manufacturer thanks to the specialized savings. In that sense, it is hard to say it is not worth it.
Next time that you need to order bulk supplies for your restaurant, bakery, or even café, hopefully you think back to this article. You do not need to stop by a department store to purchase over-priced goods at inflated prices – instead, you can find sellers that offer discounts for those specific items.
While it may look pricier, once you learn how to navigate this space, you will see that it often turns out to be more affordable! Talk about a deal, right? It saves us both time and effort when we are planning out the supplies we need in the future.