Locals Can Help Avoid The Coming Supply Crunch

Foodservice operators are able to improve the quality and value of food products by sourcing local vendors, and giving preferences to green initiatives. This is an important sourcing strategy that also supports an even more important initiative.
 

The world’s food growing limitations and coming inflation will politicize the production and distribution of many transported food products and commodities. We have already seen legislation controlling farming land development, cattle and poultry processing. These are only a few of the components that will change the face of the foodservice supply-chain.

Unless the foodservice industry reforms the menu and purchasing processes by supporting local and regional suppliers, America’s golden age of food product variety at reasonable cost will give way to product shortages and allocation programs.    

In our purchasing consulting practice and my previous experiences with Fortune 100 restaurant chains, there has always been a battle for a share of the world’s food supplies. The independent restaurant operator, and many emerging chains do not understand that we compete against international conglomerate farms/packers,both domestic and foreign.   

Will your foodservice organization be forced to change menu offering because of world-food management solutions? Did you realize that the largest food organizations already utilize closed buying systems for the purpose of expanding control over food supplies.  My consulting firm specializes in protecting our foodservice clients from price increases and supply shortages. However, we come across too many operators that try to match the popular menu items promoted by the major brands..Other restauarnt chains depend on distributors to manage supply relationships for them without realizing this does not provide the same price-volume protection as contracting directly with the supplier. 

What can be done? 

We are a creative and talented industry, isn't it time that we made changes in how product are selected for the menu?  Why create “false” markets and elevate common products like the Kiwi fruit , to exotic food status. Many restaurants promote bone-in chicken wings, once a throw away item, creating a high-demand and supply problems. Does every casual dining, sports bar, pizza and sandwich joint have to offer chicken wings?  

It's true that foodservice has been a "follow-the-leader" industry when it comes to products. The “me-too” product offerings inflate acquistion costs for everyone (ex: chicken tenders’ prices are now falling because the BK promotion has ended). When will product development managers and chefs follow the lead of procurement professionals who can identify best buys based on seasonality and product availability. Why not use more pork and  turkey for greater profitsand give the customer a break by discounting menu prices! 

A better solution is to make product selections in tune with seasoning farming production, protein availability. The new menu management process can start with chain Purchasing and Culinary departments working together in sourcing local vendors and buying more seasonally available products.   

Independent restaurants can also support the local and regional supply sources.  To jump start this process, consider developing a local supplier database of local green suppliers, independent farms, growers, packers, processors and re-distribution centers (ie: DOT Foods, Mega-Warehouses).

Send the local supplier data base from your part of the state to State Restauarnt Associastions and recommend that they support this initiative  and share information from around the state in an online database of suppliers.

I am confident that local suppliers can help prevent a supply-crisis if we prepare for the coming changines. The industry will  have to "do more with less product variety" and pay higher prices for the products that are available. This is why we must develop and support food sources closer to home.

The Foodservice community, more than any government program, can lead the way in preserving food self-sufficiency. And, in doing so,  assure the food supplies for the talented professionals that feed America.

A final suggestion: whenever your foodservice distributor or purchasing agent seeks a new source of supply, takes a competitive bid, grant a 5% cost preference to locally qualified suppliers and consider it a business investment.

                                                                                                                                                                       Sustainability,

Fred

 

Fred Favole is President of Strategic Purchasing Services (SPS), America’s most experienced foodservice firm specializing the outsourcing, rebate recovery,  staff support, and commodity contracting. His contract information: P: 912.634.0030, email: Favole@gate.net. Profile: linkedIN.com/in/strategicpurchasing

Views: 16

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Restaurants may feel the pinch of pricier coffee later this year

Prices for arabica coffee futures hit a 26-month high amid a drought in Brazil, which produces a third of the world's coffee  -More

McDonald's rules out all-day breakfast in push to simplify

McDonald's breakfast menu accounts for 25% of the chain's U.S.  -More

Easy ways to use 5 uncommon spring greens

As light, crisp greens arrive at farmers markets and grocery stores, chefs are finding creative ways to add them to spring me -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

National Restaurant Association Offers Training DVDs on Harassment Prevention, Social Media Use, and Customer Service

The National Restaurant Association has released three new DVDs that offer best practices in dealing with harassment and discrimination, customer service training, and the first of its kind video guide on the use of social media.

Yum! Brands Reports First-Quarter EPS Growth of 24% Excluding Special Items

China Division System Sales Increased 17% with Operating Profit Growth of 80%; Yum! Reaffirms Full-Year Guidance of at Lea

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service