advice on food buying for a catering business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by marcylamontb, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. marcylamontb

    marcylamontb UKBF Newcomer

    17 2

    I'm planning to set up a lunch delivery/corporate catering business with my partner working from home in November. We may offer breakfast as well.

    I'm doing a business plan but wondered how to estimate fresh stock levels in the early stages when orders will fluctuate/be hard to predict. We want to prepare fresh food but worry about leftovers at the end of the day.

    Do you know how I might minimize this, we will encourage people to give us some notice (online ordering will be available) but don't want to turn away short notice orders.

    We will not be doing evening deliveries.
    Any experience of this problem and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks
    Posted: Aug 24, 2008 By: marcylamontb Member since: Aug 3, 2008
  2. integreatmedia

    integreatmedia Contributor

    123 9
    This is not easy - especially in the early days of a business, as you say it is unknown flow of business.

    The best way I can see this working is get your fresh foods delivered as late as possible for use and perhaps order +10% of the quantities you need. That way you can probably adjust your order slightly if you get notice the day before of a new order and have a little excess to meet at least some last minute orders.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2008 By: integreatmedia Member since: Apr 23, 2008
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  3. marcylamontb

    marcylamontb UKBF Newcomer

    17 2
    thanks a lot, sounds like a good plan.
    Posted: Aug 24, 2008 By: marcylamontb Member since: Aug 3, 2008
  4. snipe12

    snipe12 Contributor

    329 42
    I would be surprised if you could get a supplier to supply you with fresh items everyday as the cost of delivery is high. Most have minimum order values too.

    What I would do is get accounts with local suppliers such as the local butchers, veg shop, bakers etc and this way because they are local, you can buy what you need and pop back if you need more. The local shops will look after you since you are a small business just like them. It will unlikely cost you anymore than going to a big supplier in the early stages. Any problems and you can speak to the boss behind the counter, not some dipstick on the end of the phone on minimum wage that has no interest.

    Since a lot of your business will likely involve cash I assume, pay your suppliers on collection. This is a great way to keep track of costs and because they don't have to mess around with credit, you will get more offers and better deals that a big supplier wouldn't dream of offering until you hit a certain threshold.

    I make the suggestion of the small shops even though I am a supplier because it honestly works in the early stages.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
    Posted: Sep 4, 2008 By: snipe12 Member since: Nov 2, 2007
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