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Top 5 Functional Ways to Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions 

By Shuvo Roy Last Updated -- Sunday, 2021-03-14
Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions

Restaurant supply chain management is a must for a restaurant business. But why? Suppose you are a restaurant business owner. Your business has some specific aims and objectives. Do you know what factors affect your business? Well, you have to communicate with vendors, suppliers for food materials. And your staff offers processed food to the customers. Between these, there are several steps you have to complete. Monitoring all activities alone is nearly impossible, but it is really possible. Then how is it? Your restaurant supply chain solutions are here. You will find the best-proven ways to improve your restaurant’s supply chain by maintaining the restaurant suppliers and other essential activities. It is obvious to arise a question: What are the restaurant supply chain examples?

According to the GEODIS Supply Chain Worldwide Survey, only 6% of restaurant business owners attained the supply chain’s visibility.

Management in the business sector is a crucial process. As a restaurant manager, the first and foremost thing you must consider is management. In a restaurant, supply chain management is a challenge. 

What is Restaurant Supply Chain?

The restaurant supply chain indicates synchronization between the supply and the demand. In this process, transparency and traceability are essential. The advanced technology leads to better visibility in the whole supply chain process. Without better visibility in the supply chain, you will face a big challenge to operate your business. 

Supply chain agility is essential as the high demand volatility is ongoing. When you have a strong network with your suppliers, it directly affects lowering overhead costs. In addition to this, it requires complete end-to-end visibility, collaboration, and business intelligence. 

The restaurant supply chain is a network that connects the restaurant suppliers, logistics providers,  and distributors. It enables the business owners to manage the supply chain in real-time. 

To develop an agile and productive supply chain, demand-based forecasting and real-time visibility play an inevitable role.

What is Restaurant Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management includes the flow of services and goods management that indicates the entire process from raw materials to desired products. The main purpose of supply chain management is to maximize customer value and achieve a competitive edge over competitors’ competitors. 

The restaurant supply chain management (SCM) involves an effective streamlining of its supply-side operations. SCM integrates planning and execution to drive raw materials, information sourcing, financial activities, demand planning, inventory management, transportation, and logistics. 

What is the Difference Between Restaurant Supply Chain and Value Chain?

When the supply chain accumulates all individuals to fulfill customer demands for giving the desired level of satisfaction, the value chain enables the business to gain competitive benefit.

Value chain refers to how a company receives raw materials, manufacturing, strategies to develop a product and deliver it to the customers. 

On the other hand, the supply chain indicates all steps to get the desired customers’ services.

The Key Difference Between Supply Chain and Value Chain

  • Value Chain: The process of adding value to its raw materials to create a final product.
  • Supply Chain: It represents all steps to get the product to the consumer.
  • Value chain: It provides a competitive advantage in the business.
  • Supply Chain: It leads to the overall satisfaction of the customers.

What are the Steps of the Value Chain?

Five steps of the value chain include

  • Marketing and Sales
  • Operations
  • Inbound Logistics
  • Outbound Logistics
  • Service

What are the Steps of the Supply Chain?

  • Developing the best service
  • Manufacturing the product
  • Transporting developed goods
  • Sales

What is the Importance of Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management greatly affects your business health. The significance of supply chain management is remarkable. As a restaurant business owner, if you want to keep your business growth perfect, you must manage the supply chain more efficiently.

Meet the Customers’ Demand

The customers are nowadays looking for quality food at a reasonable price. But is this possible to reduce the cost without minimizing the food quality? 

Yes, in this regard, supply chain management plays a crucial role. The restaurant can offer quality food to the customers at a minimal cost. Besides, the restaurant can meet the demand of the customers.

Meet the Customers’ Demand

Establish a Congenial Workplace

An effective communication system develops a strong relationship within the organization. If you are a restaurant business owner, you need to consider your staff and the customers’ relationship.

The proper supply chain management ensures cooperation within different operations and different departments’ staff. 

Establish a Congenial Workplace

Ensure Better Control

The management of your restaurant’s entire activities enhances your business performance and growth. Besides, the security of your business will be increased. 

Moreover, effective inventory management will help you decide according to your restaurant needs. It enables the restaurant owners to add some features that enhance your brand value. 


You can easily evaluate your performance when your supply chain will be maintained perfectly. Suppose you introduce a new product, but you don’t know the current market requirements. In this case, your new product line will fail to meet the objective. 

On the other hand, if you consider the customer’s demands and offer the new service based on their demands, you can satisfy your customers through the services and gain a competitive advantage over the competitors. 

Top 5 Ways to Improve Supply Chain Management in a Restaurant

Managing a restaurant supply chain is easier, but you need to handle it in this case systematically. The benefits of efficient restaurant supply chain management are inevitable. 

Besides, the competitive corporate world is a big challenge nowadays. At this very moment, your supply chain management assures sustainability and profitability. 

1. Administer Your Restaurant’s Suppliers & Widen Your Network

The restaurant suppliers are the key person you must consider while running a restaurant business. In this case, you need to develop a supply strategy and a good relationship with the restaurant’s vendors. 

In case your suppliers can’t provide you with the products you require. What should you do at this moment? So you need to develop a network with the suppliers. It ensures your supplies availability.

Administer Your Restaurant’s Suppliers & Widen Your Network

enlightenedKnow more to widen your network: 5 Easiest Steps to Create a Dynamic Restaurant Website & App

2. Optimize your Restaurant Inventory Management 

Inventory management of your restaurant should be your top priority. Inventory is a common thing for every restaurant. But how can you manage it properly?

Suppose you can identify your exact stock report and what you need.  It will be easy for you to collect your products from the suppliers. Effective optimization of your inventory helps improve the management of the supply chain.

Optimize your Restaurant Inventory Management 

3. Integrate a Powerful and Responsive Restaurant POS System

The question is how you can operate and monitor the entire operation properly?

The direct and hand to hand monitoring process increases the business’s transparency. Besides, if the system is fully responsive and secured, what are you waiting for?

A restaurant POS system is an advanced and digital billing software. It is a powerful software that will help you regulate your business successfully. It offers you a plethora of features, including

  • Product management system
  • Order management system
  • Purchase management system
  • Staff management system
  • Inventory management system

4. Utilize Effort & Time for Demand Sensing

It is the most important thing to consider the demands of the customers. If you fail to realize the contemporary market requirements, you won’t be able to increase your sales. 

The sense of demand is essential for your restaurant business. Sometimes it depends on your restaurant type and size. When your effort and the sense of demand work together, you can easily achieve your business aims and objectives. 

Utilize Effort & Time for Demand Sensing

5. Focus Majorly on Menu Engineering

Well, the food menu is one of the most considerable things to increase customer retention. Do you believe that?

For example, your competitor provides a lot of food items. But you have a few numbers of food items. In this case, what will be happened?

Your customer will undoubtedly convert easily to your rivals. So the food menu engineering is essential that you must consider. 

It includes recipe modeling, arranging the dishes, demonstrate the items, and many other things. 

Focus Majorly on Menu Engineering

Conclusive Tips for Developing a Successful Restaurant Supply Chain

Building a successful supply chain is essential. But how can you develop a successful supply chain for your restaurant?

Here, three practical tips are disclosed in the context of building a successful restaurant supply chain. 

Conclusive Tips for Developing a Successful Restaurant Supply Chain

  • Assure Purchasing Compliance

Well, you can feel what the exact meaning of assuring purchasing compliance is? It is easy to understand but difficult to control. 

The first tip helps you avoid the more significant risk of your business and your supply chain. If you can ensure tackling the compliance issue, you can save your brand consistency. Besides, financial and quality risks will be minimized.

Moreover, your corporate team should be well developed and dynamic. The skilled and agile team can solve the compliance problems as well as the larger threats. 

  • Food Traceability and Safety

The supply chain managers should, at first, ensure safety and traceability. The future of your business dramatically lies between these. Quality management is a big challenge for a restaurant business.

If you can assure the quality of the products, your entire business will be affected. It also affects your restaurant’s health. 

The ups and downs of your supply chain also depend on it. Quality management covers how you maintain your quality, manufacturing process, pricing, etc. Different quality management operations are available. You should practice what suits your business type and size.

Bhojon - Restaurant POS Software and App- World's Fastest Growing all in one solution for Restaurant Business - Check Out Now

  • Effective Framework for Promotions

The proper distribution plays a significant role in supply chain management. The visibility of distribution increases the chances of business success. 

Always consider the demand and forecasting before promoting your brand. In this case, planning is essential, and it can help you conduct the promotional activities with minimum time and cost. 

However, these three tips help you to improve your foodservice supply chain. Besides, it ensures creating your brand value successfully. Those protips can provide you a better outcome when you can accomplish the right technology, supply chain visibility, and partnerships. 

enlightenedTake a look: 7 Unique Ideas to Create a Restaurant Marketing Plan That Maximize ROI

Who are the Key Restaurant Food Suppliers?

Restaurant deals with perishable products. So it is a must to manage the inventory properly. Besides, the food suppliers of a restaurant are specific. Some of the key food suppliers are listed below-

  • Full Line Suppliers

You may hear the name of two giant suppliers, including US Foods and Sysco. The college cafeteria and the hospital need more supplies. So the full line suppliers have to deliver the products twice or three times a week. 

On the other hand, full-line suppliers provide the products to small or medium-sized restaurants once a week. 

  • Local Purveyors

Food is a perishable product. Some food items are highly perishable, like dairy items. In this case, you need to maintain a good relationship with local or smaller purveyors. 

These types of suppliers can deliver within 12 to 24 hours. So it can be your great option to get the supplies for your restaurant.

  • Regional Roastery

If you have a coffee shop, you can contact a small regional roastery. Sometimes, the smaller vendor offers different services like creating a restaurant signature. 

Moreover, some equipment can be got from the coffee distributors. But if you choose another vendor or purveyor, you should return the equipment to the desired vendors.

  • Softdrinks Vendors

The licensing policies and regulations of alcoholic products are different. You should also maintain a good relationship with the separate vendors who supply the wine, beer, liquor, and sodas. 

Besides, the soft drinks suppliers like Coca Cola and PepsiCo are big-sized suppliers. You can find them out easily from the website. 

  • Special Ingredients Importers

If you are a restaurant business owner, you know about different cuisine types. Some items are exotic and have to import from other countries. For example, Italian cheeses, Korean chill oils, Indian curry spices, Vietnamese noodles, etc., are available in different countries. You can easily find them on the internet.

What are the Alternatives to Traditional Restaurant Suppliers?

Traditional restaurant suppliers contribute a lot to the restaurant supply chain. But some alternatives that can be good for the restaurant owners.

  • Connecting with Farms Directly

Do you know the small producers are enthusiastic when they know they have a buyer? The local farmers are eager to grow new crops. You should maintain a good relationship with them. But one thing you must consider about their business licenses. Besides, it is essential to ensure that the USDA or FDA oversees their products.

Connecting with Farms Directly

  • Online Ordering Sites

Like Amazon, there are several online sites where you can find your restaurant supplies. If you are a small restaurant business owner, you can buy your ingredients from this type of online site. 

Food and beverage supplies are generally available, but you have to pay sales tax properly while buying from these sites. It is a more convenient service as sometimes the delivery fee is free and the products will be delivered right to your door.

  • Purchasing from Discount Clubs

Do you know some discount clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s? Well, when you should buy from a discount club that can be a question. 

Suppose you need a small amount of delivery. In this case, you will not have a free delivery option. When you are in such a situation, the discount club is your best choice. But you must remember, everything is not a good deal in a discount club for your business.

  • Buying from Farmers Markets

The farmers’ market is a popular place to buy the daily essentials, especially food items. The restaurant should be concerned about this step. If they offer fresh food to the customers, it is a common affair that they buy from the farmers’ market.

The chef of a restaurant directly contacts the farmers who produce organic and fresh food, and it would be a great image for any restaurant. Besides, if you continuously purchase from the same producers, they will ensure you offer the best services.

Buying from Farmers Markets

  • Purchasing from Small Businesses

Some products of your restaurant are not homemade. In this case, you need to purchase it from the suppliers. But the question is who the most suitable supplier is?

Small businesses like local bakeries can be your choice. It also helps you to maintain your labor budget. 

How Does Restaurant Supply Chain Process Work?

The restaurant supply chain is a comprehensive process. Although the process can be categorized into five specific steps, there are massive activities that you have to regulate.

How Does Restaurant Supply Chain Process Work?


The forecasting ability can assure your business sustainability. The customers’ demands and satisfaction are directly related to the supply chain process. So at the very first step, you should consider forecasting. 

When you can assume the future trends and customers’ demands, you can grab more customers. In this regard, you can increase your sales at a time. 

As a restaurant manager or an owner of a restaurant, the big challenge is to gain a competitive edge over the rivals. Forecasting is the first and foremost way to attain a competitive advantage.

Vendor management

Customers are your first target group as a restaurant owner. Then what is the second group you should focus on?

Undoubtedly, it is your vendors. The supply chain management greatly relies on the suppliers, and the vendors are one of the most considerable suppliers. 

The restaurant manager needs to maintain strong communication with the vendor. If you can manage your suppliers properly, your service to the customer will be proper.

Purchase order management

Suppose you buy from the local vendors, local purveyors, small businesses, and other sources. But you need to manage the purchase order properly. 

If you don’t manage your order correctly, you will face difficulty to ensure the ROI. Besides, the suppliers will be reluctant to deal with you.

So the supply chain process needs efficient order management. The on-time and accurate purchase order management help you operate the next step successfully.

Inventory management

Your business means your resources. Resource management is a critical task, especially human resources. 

But have you ever realize the importance of your stock management?

Inventory management directly affects the supply chain process. Because, without knowing the inventory status, you won’t look for the supplies.

Suppose you have a good relationship with the suppliers. But when you need the ingredients, the desired products are not available to the vendors. In this case, your customer retention rate will be decreased.

On the other hand, if you are aware of your stock status and what is required, you will make a preorder to the suppliers. Then a flow will be maintained. As a result, your supply chain process won’t be hampered.


The last step is evaluation and consumption. In this step, the customers will get the desired products. If the quality and price are proper, the customers will be satisfied. 

If you meet their demands properly, they won’t lose. Even they will look for your services. The evaluation is a significant stage as the outcome of the entire process can be proved in this step.

However, the restaurant food supply requires to maintain the supply chain process. Without maintaining the step by step guide of the supply chain process, your entire business operation will be defective.

About 90% of Managers Faced a Significant Challenge While Maintaining Restaurant Supply Chain in 2020. How Can They Overcome the Issue in 2021?

The best option is the advanced and digital system. You should have sufficient knowledge about the latest technology. The fully responsive and secured management system helps you reduce your cost and maximize your ROI.

The following days are more competitive. You must sustain in the long run by competing with the competitors. An automation system can ensure your victory.

The modern world is getting faster. So you must keep pace with this speed. This advanced management system’s ultimate goal is to make you more capable of chasing the present world. 

The restaurant supply chain solutions depend on the best restaurant management system, including all essential features that help you conduct your business operation. 

Before integrating an automated management system, always focus on your requirements. Besides, you need to be skilled and knowledgeable about restaurant management.

enlightenedYou can take a look here: 7 Proven Ways for Restaurant Management - Complete Breakdown.


Who is the Largest Food Distributor?

In the USA, Sysco is the largest food distributor that operates its business in 90 countries. Besides, some distributors are well known, including Performance Food Group, US Group, Gordon Food Service, etc. 

How do I Choose a Food Supplier?

The answer is simple. It depends on your requirements. First, you need to analyze your demands, like what type of supplies you require, what quantity, and how often you need deliveries.

Several types of food suppliers are available. You need to identify your daily needs, and according to this, you should deal with the vendors. You can compare a few distributors for quality, price, delivery time, and many more parameters. 

Where do Restaurants Purchase the Food from?

Generally, the restaurant buys from wholesale distributors like US Foods and Sysco. It can be small or local vendors, farmers market, and other. More importantly, it depends on the restaurant’s type and size and how much you require.

Which Tool is the Best for Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management indicates the entire business operation, from collecting the raw materials to delivering the products to the customers. It is a long process, and several activities need to be done. 

In this regard, the digital management system can help you manage all your restaurant’s essential activities. At present, supply chain visibility is required, and to do it, a restaurant management system contributes a lot. 

The best always depends on your requirements. You should identify your needs and go for the desired one. 

How Much Should I Spend to Adopt a Supply Chain Management System?

Cost is one of the most considerable parameters while choosing a POS system. The POS system can help you to manage the supply chain process efficiently. 

Now think, what do you prefer actually? Do you want to go for a monthly subscription system or a one-time payment system?

Okay, let me explain; if you choose the cloud-based management system, you have to pay a certain amount every year. On the other hand, if you go for the open-source system, you will get a customizable and responsive complete design through a one-time payment system. 

Now it’s up to you. But you can look here for a demo of an open-source restaurant management system. 

Last Word

According to David Waters, the supply chain is like nature as it’s all-around a business. 

Supply chain management is tricky, but the smart manager knows the supply chain solutions. The POS system helps the restaurant manager manage vendors, staff, and other suppliers. 

However, a restaurant’s supply chain management ensures your business productivity and profitability. Moreover, it includes all essential activities like food ingredients collection, vendors or suppliers management, inventory management, customer demands handling, satisfaction, etc. 

Would you like to know: A Details View of Restaurant Billing Software

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