“How do you make sure that the products you receive from your vendor are up to your standards? A few deliveries came in over the past few weeks from my produce supplier and they were not very good? What should I do?”
The email came from an owner in southern
Here are two examples of how two high-end vendors deal with customer problems and review their quality control standards.
Della Fattoria, an upscale bakery specializing in breads, pastry and cakes in
In another, separate incident, a product from Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s bakery gem in
Two problems with two different approaches to consistent quality control, one works for the restaurant owner, the other only works for the vendor.
The complexities of being a vendor servicing the restaurant business are unimaginable unless you have actually sold something to a restaurateur. Dealing with quality control standards, exceptional customer service and the art and diplomacy of finances are enough to make any vendor receive awards for business person of the year. Yet, vendors have to realize that their bread and butter lie in the hands of the customer.
Chefs, buyers and managers need to get to know their vendors in an attempt to work out a fair relationship that will not end when one party complains about the other. Finding out from the vendor if they can handle the increased volume, if they can deal with critics, and if they want to develop a long term relationship, are very important factors when choosing a vendor. If your vendor doesn’t want to have this discussion before you begin your relationship, it’s probably time to go elsewhere. And, once the relationship begins, check everything the moment it hits your floo. Its always easier to get satisfaction from a vendor when the driver is waiting for a signature on the delivery slip.
Tomorrow: Ten tips for choosing the right vendor.