Do You Live to Eat or Eat to Live?

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Live to eat article written for Supply Chain Game Changer by, and permission to publish here provided by, Debbie Wilson, Advertising Consultant.

Nowadays, restaurants, and specifically food, have taken such an important place in our lives, that the answer to that question isn’t obvious anymore.

 For some people, the kind of groceries, wholesalers and time of delivery are crucial conversations’ subjects. Indeed, food has become the most important part of their discussions, of their thoughts and even for some of them, of their lives!

But let’s not forget that we do eat to live and don’t live to eat. An excess of food can lead to dangerous diseases such as obesity and like any other good pleasures in life, it needs to have boundaries.

Food has positive and negative impacts on life. Indeed, it is a beautiful way of providing the nutriments needed to our body in order to live. But not all the food comes from fresh and healthy products. When we buy groceries for our home, we can meticulously check every fruit or vegetable we want to put in our shopping cart according to how they look. We can also know where the product comes from. And last but not least, we can also see the expiration date written on it.

Whereas when you go to a restaurant, it is a completely different story. Indeed, the products in our dish have already been cooked and we don’t know how they looked originally, if they were fresh or combined with other synthetic flavors to cover an unpleasant taste. 

As a customer, when we go to a restaurant, it is easy to forget the food supply process behind it. Indeed, when we sit in a restaurant, we don’t really wonder where the products in our dish came from. We simply order a dish and eat it as it comes in our plate.

But when we have a closer look at what happens behind the kitchen, we realize that the preparation of the dishes has a long process behind it.

In this article, we will focus on the stages restaurants go through to order a product.

FOOD SUPPLY CHAINPROFIT
Precise check listHIGH PROFIT. No food waste. Only fresh products are served.
Relationship with your supplierHIGH PROFIT. They will supply the best products and will offer nice discounts to maintain a good relationship with you.
DeliveryHIGH PROFIT. Check it carefully and return the products you are unhappy with.

Check list

 If you own a restaurant, you should avoid as much waste as possible. Indeed, people still die from hunger and it is never a nice feeling to throw food away.

Also, ordering the right amount of food needed will save you a tremendous amount of money. Therefore, it is important that you check in the restaurant’s kitchen what is missing and make a precise checklist of it.

It will help you see where you stand and give you an approximate idea of what your daily needs are in order to be able to serve all the dishes appearing in your menu.  It is recommended to order a little bit less grocery than too much. It will always be possible to add some missing products later.

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But a very important point to keep in mind is that you need to build a strong and trustful relationship with your supplier. If you do too many last minute orders, it won’t be a nice feeling for you (that will not look professional) and for the supplier who by that time, will start being annoyed by these last minute requests and might sell things to you at the end of the day, when products are not so fresh anymore.

So, a meticulous checklist is needed as much as a trustworthy supplier.

Finding a trustworthy supplier.

Finding a good and honest supplier you can rely on is not easy.

You should check with two or three different suppliers before deciding which wholesaler you want to work with. Choose one according to the price he is asking for, his rapidity to deliver and of course the kind of products he is providing you.

You need to take into consideration that your relationship with him needs to be transparent from the beginning so your collaboration will go smoothly.

Therefore, remind him that according to the season changes, the groceries that you will order might vary and so its quantity. As an example, a soup won’t be sold as much in summer as it is in winter. Your supplier can forget that, and as a Chef, it’s your place to remind him that you’ll need to adapt your menu according to the season of the year. For instance, a soup in winter and a gazpacho in summer!

Another option restaurants have decided to go with is mobile apps as food suppliers in order to save time and money. It is no surprise that some businesses have chosen to order their groceries through their smartphones given the importance of new technologies nowadays.

“Cheetah” , a very successful mobile app, is able to take your order and deliver the very next day to the place of your choice. You simply need to select the product and its quantity and order it.

Whether you decide to use a mobile app or a human being as a wholesaler, the process is the same and the choice is yours.

The next step is to wait for your delivery to come and check it properly.

Delivery

When your delivery arrives, it feels like Christmas, more specifically, when the very exciting time to open your presents has arrived!

It’s the time to look happy and (fake) surprised at the same time but more importantly to make sure that you got what you were wishing for!

On the contrary to Christmas gifts, you paid for your delivery so if you are unhappy with it, you must speak up.

As a restaurant owner, you have a responsibility towards your customers, and it starts by serving them the best products you can find. Therefore, you need to meticulously check the groceries your suppliers deliver to you.

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Firstly, you need to check that no mistakes occurred and that you got the exact number of products you ordered. Secondly, see if you got products that you didn’t order by mistake. And to finish, check the quality. Make sure that the products you get look fresh and good and suitable for people to eat.

If you got products that you didn’t order, and/or that you are unhappy with by the way they look, do yourself a favor and return them right away to your supplier.

It is never a nice feeling to point out a mistake but if you don’t speak up fast then you won’t be able to return what you want to your supplier, you will be stuck with products that you don’t need and you’ll have extra work since you’ll have to figure out a way to improvise and make a new dish with products that you were not expecting.

Another point to keep in mind when you get your delivery is that sometimes, it is better not to be fooled by discounts that your supplier can suggest. Indeed, the supplier’s first goal is to build a professional partnership with you, but his second interest is also to sell all the products that he has.

End Users Consumption Rate  

In a food supply chain, the end-users are the ones who consume the end product. Consumer actions determine the food consumption rate. But what does the food consumption rate mean? It refers to the amount of food people eat and the frequency or how fast the food supply lasts. 

Since the pandemic, more people have become more health-conscious because of the realizations brought about by the COVID-19 experience. Many people are on varying diet plans. They’re more aware of intermittent fasting tips and the importance of using health and fitness apps.  

People nowadays are more food-conscious, which helps raise awareness about controlling food consumption to avoid spoiling and wastage. Eating too much or too little can both harm health. Such behavior has a direct relationship to the food supply chain. 

Many people find more value in choosing nutritious foods because of their health impacts. The demand for organic and healthy food ingredients is increasing because more people choose to live healthily. But how does such demand affect the food supply chain?  

The consumption rate and behaviors of the end-users have a significant impact on the agricultural sector. For example, if more consumers prefer organic products or the demand for organic foods is high, the farming sector should adopt sustainable farming practices to keep up with the demand.

Live to Eat or Eat to Live?

In conclusion, the food supply chain behind a dish is very long until it comes to our plate!

Price, quality, and availability are the most important factors to keep in mind when you choose your supplier. When you’ve finally found one, keep it and make sure to hold on to the deals you made with him.

The fresh products you will serve in your restaurant will surely be rewarded and appreciated by your customers.

More importantly, if you don’t overstep the food supply chain, your restaurant should become profitable very fast!

Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on October 10, 2019.

One thought on “Do You Live to Eat or Eat to Live?”

  1. Nutrition is the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism, and repair. In the form of food, we take nutrients: macronutrients and micronutrients.

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