When you are new to the restaurant, cafe, hotel business you want to make sure you get everything right. One of those things is finding the right coffee supplier for your business. Quality is one the first key ingredients and so is choosing a reliable supplier that can respond quickly.
Below we have listed a few key ways to select a coffee supplier that is right for you.
1.Choose a supplier with knowledge and passion
A good supplier will really know their beans. A deep understanding of coffee and a passion for the product is something that you can trust. You will then be able to learn from them and then pass that on to your customers. Your supplier should be able to tell you where the beans are from, how to get the best from them and explain the aromas and flavours to help you sell more effectively.
2.Try before you buy
Drink the coffee to see if you like its taste. Your business instincts matter, so trust your palate and that of your staff. Get sample packs and ask for a tasting session. Make the coffee yourself in your own machines to get a real sense of what your customer will be drinking. A good supplier will bend over backwards to come and see you and discuss their product with you.
3. Do your homework
Once you think you have found your supplier, ask them who else they supply and if you can get hold of them try and get some references. This may seem a bit much for buying coffee, but one phone call could save you a lot of fuss later down the line.
Ask these other customers about the consistency of the product. Customer service and responsiveness to communications, delivery times and added value to the customer. Do they go above and beyond to help e.g: provide training. Buying locally is of course important these days. A local provider will care more about their local reputation so is more likely to be more reliable BUT only choose them if they are the right fit and their product is great.
Learn about the coffee being offered to make the most of the free time being given to you by the supplier.
4. Do you like them?
Having a good relationship with your supplier is fundamental, so get a feel for their business style and personality. If you like them and they are courteous and helpful then chances are you will have a good relationship. Find common ground can help (kids, sport etc) and make sure they like you too. There are far too many fly-by-night coffee suppliers that are only interested in the payments. So choose one you like, that you know where they are based and that understands the pressures on your business
5. More than just coffee?
The main event is the product but there is no harm in finding out if there are other things provided. Can they provide any other products like machine servicing, teas and chocolates, syrups and free training. Is their point of sale products or other loyalty bonuses (not always important but worth asking about)?
It is a relationship so think of it as a long-term one, you need to feel comfortable and valued within it.
- Try the product first with your staff and friends
- Ask the supplier’s other customers about the service provided
- Make sure you trust and like them
- Make sure they passionate and knowledgeable about their product
- Ask what else they can do to help your business
- Keep focused on what you need and don’t be charmed into things you don’t need
To really make sure all of these boxes are checked, come and talk to Hessian Coffee Co.