While gas prices plummet across the country almost as quickly as they soared we should all be half-way rejoicing, since all of our vendors stopped the added surcharge fees they had been charging for the past months. Oh, your vendor didn’t do that?
Of course not. Let’s get real here. When you raise your menu price because the cost of goods has significantly increased, do you reprint the new menu with the new prices as soon as the commodity decreases? No, never. So why expect your vendor to decrease his fuel surcharge when gas prices decrease as they have over the past few weeks? The simple answer is we never would think, for the most part, to ask the surcharge to be removed. But we should.
I had a friend over last weekend and fortunately for me, he is one of the best restaurateurs in the country. He knows the price of a tablespoon of Mayonnaise and is continually playing with the ingredients and the numbers on not only his menu, but on his entire balance sheet.
When I asked how business was he said he had just finished calling all of his vendors, asking them when the surcharge would be alleviated.
Mike Zucchini, Jimmy Linen, and Bobby London were all shocked to get the call. Yet, they all agreed that when diesel fuel hot $3.00 a gallon the surcharge would come off the bill.
Guess what? That’s where the price of diesel fuel is today, according to the national average. Now it may not be easy, in your mind, to go to your vendor and ask when the surcharge is coming off the bill. But, it needs to happen. And, for the most part it only takes a single phone call to negotiate the charge. The fact that you owe the vendor a huge sum of money has nothing to do with the fuel surcharge and that should not make you hesitant to call their accounting department. We have all been there- we owe a bill so we avoid the accounting department at all times. Drop those evil ways: It is time to negotiate the subtraction of future surcharges and to make a deal with your vendors so you can pay them and survive the cash flow crunch.