By Cory Dellinger. Published on 4/30/2018 in Hotel Management.
Creating memorable guest experiences while maximizing operational efficiencies is a constant balancing act for asset managers, especially those operating full-service hotels with restaurants. Today’s chefs and food-and-beverage directors are adding flair to traditional menus not just to create experiences and drive loyalty, but also to boost occupancy and increase revenue per available room for the hotel. So, while kitchens focus on creating the trendiest menus, hotel purchasing departments should focus on sourcing now-in-demand products at the best prices. Knowing when to buy and how much is just as critical as what to buy and from whom.
Even the most well-coordinated purchasing programs can hit a snag, especially when last-minute menu changes are requested by a group or a health epidemic raises beef or poultry prices without warning. One way to ensure that an asset is performing consistently and improving profit margins continually is for the purchasing department or its procurement-services provider to take a deep dive and assess its distribution channel processes. Oftentimes they will discover that many of the products routinely bought can be purchased much cheaper from other suppliers with the proper disciplines.
Here are a few cases in point:
- Bacon is an in-demand high-spend product. Buying it last minute from a local, specialty distributor can significantly impact food costs. When incorporating products like bacon to the menu, it pays to source from channel partners that are leveraging volume. During a recent distribution-channel audit, a property discovered that it could buy a similar hardwood-smoked bacon through its master food distributor at 27.5 percent less cost than the hotel was paying from its preferred specialty vendor.
- Canola oil is a kitchen staple. During a routine distribution-channel audit, a purchasing team found that it could save 21 percent on this commodity purchase by buying through the master food distributor versus the hotel’s specialty goods supplier.
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