Any new business venture can present challenges, but when you're starting up a new deli restaurant, there might not be a challenge as important as determining which bread suppliers you'll use. Bread is very important to the success of a deli, and if you're not making it yourself, the companies that supply you with bread must have incredible products to make partnerships worth it. Ask these questions when considering suppliers in your area.
1. What is Their Baking Process Like?
Taste might be the most important thing on your mind, but if you plan to get into a long-term relationship with bread suppliers, you'll need to know as much as you can about how they create their products. What additives do they use in their bread, for instance? If they will be supplying you with gluten-free bread, is it made in the same area as bread with gluten? This kind of information will be helpful when you need to store bread or field questions from customers.
2. Are Any of Their Clients Direct Competitors?
You also want your dishes to stand out. That's why you might opt to discover whether you're considering a supplier that works with other delicatessens in the area. While a supplier may not be at liberty to disclose their client list, you can ask whether they are working with direct competitors of yours. While the answer might not make your decision for you, it's worth keeping in mind so that you can be sure to differentiate your sandwiches and dishes from similar restaurants.
3. What Changes Need to Be Made in Order to Use the Best Supplier I Want?
This last question is one you need to ask yourself before you sign a contract with a supplier. Your budget may be set and you might only have a certain amount that you can allocate to your bread suppliers. However, consider how important bread is to your business. If you hire a supplier primarily because of the price, you might lose out on bread that tastes better, which could result in more sales.
While you might be reluctant to spend a lot of money on the bread suppliers, it may help you to figure out how your business model needs to change in order to afford excellent bread. You might have to raise your prices a bit, for example. You may have to identify and reach a niche market of customers that are willing to spend a little more if the bread is superior. This may mean changes in marketing and advertising, but it may also improve your deli and its chances of success.
After asking the questions laid out above, be sure to talk closely with others in the industry to get recommendations and ideas about which suppliers may best suit your own business. With the right bread, your deli restaurant can have great success.