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Category: Catering

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3 Ways to ‘Level Up’ Your Savings

Our team is always looking for ways to help our members increase savings and utilize all we have to offer at Source1 Purchasing. Here are 3 ways to maximize your membership:

1. Utilize your Program Development Manager

Each member has access to a Source1 Purchasing Program Development Manager (PDM) who serves as the point of contact to a one-stop-shop for supply chain-related solutions. Discuss your goals and needs for the month, quarter, or year, and collaborate with him/her to develop a strategy that works.

Discuss your goals and needs for the month, quarter, or year, and collaborate with him/her to develop a strategy that works.

A Descending Dollar Report is one of the tools your PDM uses to ensure you identify the items or suppliers with which you’re spending the most amount of money. For instance, the program development manager can help you select different toilet paper and sugar packet options. Although your choice of toilet paper outspends sugar packets 20 to one, the impact you see on the bottom line may not be as significant from a return on investment (ROI) perspective. In that case, it could be more beneficial to align on contracted items that offer leveraged pricing and/or rebates for this category.

Another way your PDM can help is by connecting you to suppliers and partners to leverage their expertise.
Suppliers possess invaluable product knowledge that can result in cost savings or in better-quality options. Recently for example, a supplier for trash bags/can liners shared with us that 40 percent of the trash liners purchased today are too heavy or big.

If you look at kitchen trash bags (with the most common sizes being 55 and 33 gallons), there are about 40 different SKUs being purchased of all different sizes just to fill these trash cans. Working with those experts can ensure appropriate choice of bag size and density to deal with the type of waste you’re putting in the can. Purchasing the right one can result in cost savings.

2. Leverage Your Data

Evaluate the second or third distributors that you’ve consistently been using. By sharing your purchasing data with us, we can utilize analytics that will identify where there are contracted opportunities. The data will show whether to buy that exact product from a different truck or to identify a new supplier to handle the same category and quality of the item you’re already buying. Thanks to the Source1 Purchasing program suppliers and distributors, the cost will be at a leveraged rate.

Additionally, for members interested in learning more about our program after regular business hours, visit the Source1 Purchasing online community. All of our supplier programs can be found there along with the categories they cover, overall program benefits, and ways to access those programs — either through your broadline distribution or a supplier you buy from directly.

By sharing your purchasing data with us, we can utilize analytics that will identify where there are
contracted opportunities.

3. Leverage Supplier Relationships

While product quality and price are important, safety is something that may not be at the forefront of members’ minds. There are a lot of programs that certify safety. One of the top ones is Safe Quality Food (SQF) and it has different levels. We work with suppliers by asking them what kind of food safety or product safety certifications they have to ensure the product reaching the end user every day is safe; and, what product recall procedures they have in place, should something happen.

One of Source1 Purchasing’s alliance partners, Fresh Concepts, is able to activate on produce recalls within 45 minutes of getting the first notification and communicating it to the distributors and end users. This quick product recall procedure response shows how Fresh Concepts takes consumer safety seriously.

Take maximum advantage of contracted programs to reduce your costs and add those cost savings straight to the bottom line to improve your margin. Evaluate your products so you have the right mix and quality of ingredients. By raising the quality, sales going through the pipeline increase as does your overall revenue.

At Source1 Purchasing, many of our members are management groups for which we provide custom analytics. We can customize dashboards and update them monthly for management companies that have their own direct deals in place or MDAs with their distributors that allow for incentives like drop size or house brand usage. If you’re an existing member, inquire with your Program Development Manager or, for prospective members, speak with a sales manager.

Take maximum advantage of contracted programs to reduce your costs and add those cost savings straight to the bottom line.

If you’d like to find out more about your Source1 Purchasing solution or maximize your participation, contact us at 888-411-9987.

How are you going to maximize your Source1 Purchasing membership in 2019? Please let us know by commenting, below.

Steve Larkin possesses 15 years of experience in hospitality including the restaurant and food services industries. His culinary background as a chef brings a unique perspective and approach to the business. Currently, he serves as the Director of Purchasing for Source1 Purchasing.

 

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How to Increase Margins and Revenue Growth

Do you have the desire to increase the bottom line? Or maybe you need to decrease expenses, but don’t know where to start? Here to tell us how to increase margins and revenue growth is Steve Larkin.

Steve possesses 15 years of experience in hospitality including the restaurant and food services industries. His culinary background as a chef brings a unique perspective and approach to the concept of business profitability. Currently, he serves as the Senior Director of Purchasing for Source1 Purchasing.

We talked to Steve about how to increase profit margins and revenue growth and he shared these three tips with us:

1) Reduce Costs

Decreasing costs on items you are already buying directly impacts the bottom line. However, when you increase revenue, there are items such as labor, product, and service costs to consider. Therefore, not all of the revenue influences the bottom line.

In the hotel industry, if you raise room rates $10 to $20, there are other charges, amenities, and disposables to account for in that rate increase. As a result, those costs would not be realized in the bottom line. For restaurants, while it may be tempting to offer a flat menu price reduction, you have to stay consistent to your brand. Customers may get the impression that the food quality has been sacrificed or isn’t worth the price you’re offering it for during regular hours and decide to come instead during a slower time when a discounted price is available.

Earlier in his career as a chef, Steve created seasonal and special menus rather than discounting the entire regular menu. By utilizing these special menus to pique customers’ interests they began to recognize each one had a story to tell. Then, they came back to try other menu items. The identity and branding of each of these menus was consistent without compromising the quality of the food offerings the brand provided.

A few months ago, Source1 Purchasing helped one of its customers increase margins through a cost reduction of thirty-thousand dollars per year by switching from what they were buying to offering a consistent product across all locations.

Steve and the team met with a management group in Ohio and chefs from the company who were conducting a product cutting exercise. They analyzed the top three costly items the group was purchasing, which were bacon, sausage, and French fries. Then, they included the supplier in the discussions about the product to obtain the client’s feedback for each of the different options that would be a fit. They selected three new options that would work for them and a significant cost savings resulted.

2) Utilize Built-in Incentives with Suppliers and Distributors

Take advantage of drop-size discounts, private label incentives, or quick-pay discounts. Inquire with someone in the accounting department about the feasibility of adjusting payment due dates. Instead of having invoices held in a ready-to-pay mode until the due date, during his days as a chef, Steve arranged to pay all invoices with a produce vendor weekly and was able to capture a 1.5 percent discount. These are some viable options to consider for increasing margins.

Rebates worked for Source1 Purchasing customer Wilderness at the Smokies Hotel & Waterpark Resort. Steve explained how the team also conducted vendor price comparisons and the resort could save money on items he was already purchasing from vendors he was already using. Between Q3 and Q4 of 2017, the resort increased overall savings by over 7 percent.

3) Raise the Quality of What You’re Providing to Justify a Price Increase

Stay true to your brand yet don’t be afraid of quality and value. When Steve worked as a chef at the family-friendly restaurant, Crayola Café, health and wellness was increasing in popularity. The team conducted a great deal of research to determine ways they could involve kids more into food selection at the restaurant.

He led the menu revision process which went from traditional American fare (chicken nuggets and French fries) to one that incorporated a healthier, build-your-own-salad component. Kids were engaged in the experience and had fun being a part of the decision-making process. Since a higher quality product was being offered, they were able to raise prices on the entire menu 5 to 10 percent. This is one way to increase revenue.

The Source1 Purchasing Solution

At Source1 Purchasing, we can help you in your quest to increase margins and grow revenue. With no charge for membership, we can supply everything from the parking lot to the roof top. Being a part of our group purchasing program means you’re eligible for pre-negotiated, national account pricing with suppliers.

You can realize discounts on nearly every category that hotels and restaurants already purchase from for food items, operating supplies, equipment, small wares, and services. There’s no long-term contract required and our supply partners collaborate with you to ensure your product mix is the best while maximizing returns.

Are you already a member? If so, make sure you’re optimizing your purchasing program with the tools available within the community Marketplace, mySource1Purchasing.com, such as the Contract Product Match Report. Steve pointed out the likelihood of items that are available at contract prices that you are currently buying at a higher cost.

There are items you were buying yesterday that you can make better purchasing decisions on today to increase your margins tomorrow. Another valuable resource is the Performance Report. It shows how much you’re spending on contracted items versus your total spend. The idea is to be able to grow that metric. In order to do that, Steve suggested capturing as many discounts, savings and rebate opportunities from the Source1 Purchasing program as possible.

If you are not a member of the Source1 Purchasing Program, let us work with our supplier partners to determine if you’re utilizing the top items and obtaining them at an ideal price. Signing up allows you to tap into our suppliers. Steve reminded us that it often requires a small change from you to venture out and order with someone new. With the possibility of a 7 to 12 percent savings, you have everything to gain including increases in margin and revenue growth.

Contact Us today and get a free purchasing analysis.

Are there any other ways you’ve increased margins and revenue to meet your goals?  How are you going to utilize the tips we’ve shared to help you in 2019? Please let us know by commenting, below.

 

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Purchasing–You Don’t Have To Do It Alone

Owners and operators are hampered by being “small fish” in a big purchasing pond, lacking the collective buying clout required to be able to negotiate the best prices. They’re discovering that “do-it-yourself” procurement is not as simple as they had hoped and are now realizing that they don’t have to do it alone.

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A Fresh Take on Purchasing

This combination of unpredictable external factors and evolving customer demands are creating problems for hospitality professionals. Food service operators need to stay aware of consumer preferences and try to source the trending and popular ingredients from local suppliers, all while managing their food budgets in a volatile market with ever-changing commodity prices.

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The Benefits of Supply Chain Management for the Food Service Industry

In order to have a competitive advantage over other restaurants, you need to offer high quality goods at the lowest price possible. Supply chain management is necessary to restaurant operators because of this need to minimize product costs and bring order to what too often can be a chaotic business. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that all of the costs of the product life cycle are kept low so the company can offer reduced prices to their customers, resulting in profits. The following are the benefits you can reap by partnering with a strategic supply chain management group focused on cost management.

Reduced Costs. Food service supply chain management requires identifying the processes that increase cost without increasing the value of the final product. These processes do not add value and should therefore be eliminated.

Increased Efficiency. Resource consumption leads to increased production costs, which is more often than not the result of improper planning. A company that uses supply chain management can achieve efficiency of its operations since only those value adding actions are encouraged. This ensures that the organization’s processes flow smoothly and output keeps inline with the needs of the company.

Increased Output. A company that employs supply chain management can develop stronger close relationships with both its suppliers and customers. You will have better alignment of your needs with your selected suppliers, more options, better pricing and timely completion of orders. A company with a well –stocked variety of popular menu options will deliver on their brand promise to their customers, and will grow as a result.

Increased Profits. One of the best ways to increase a company’s profits is by making sure that costs are kept as low as possible. By embracing and applying strategic restaurant supply chain management to your operations, you are able to reduce costs because you are getting rid of wasteful processes. Since these are operating costs for the company, the savings on these costs reflect increased profits for the company.

Food service supply chain management can help you transform a traditional linear supply chain into an adaptive network, providing you with increased visibility into the supply chain so you can sense and respond quickly to changes and quickly capitalize on new opportunities. Moreover, you can lower operational expenses with opportune planning for procurement, manufacturing and transportation. Better product, ordering process, and execution tracking can lead to improvements in performance and quality, resulting in lower costs.

Source1 Purchasing is a leading strategic sourcing group focused on cost management, savings and operational efficiency for the lodging, restaurant and food service industries.

 

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3 Ways to Improve Retention in 10 Minutes

Written by Chris Butsch

As a leader, you’re probably already aware of the countless ways to improve your culture and inspire loyalty. But who has the time? As a friend and director of purchasing recently put it: “How am I supposed to build a great culture when I don’t even have time for lunch?”

Luckily, small tweaks can make a big difference in employee retention rate. To create a culture of retention, you don’t need to hire a resident yoga instructor named Artesia, or pay to send your whole team to learn fire-walking in Bali. Rather, by applying some clever positive psychology, you can improve your culture and boost retention in 10 minutes or less. Here are three ways to increase employee retention:

1. Show Some Extra Gratitude

According to the World Health Organization, burnout occurs when effort outstrips reward, relaxation, and recognition (source). So to keep your best people, you need to give them more money, more time off, or curiously, more thanks.  Will saying “thank you” really make a difference? Researchers from Harvard and Wharton found that when employees of a fundraiser were simply thanked for their hard work, their outward call volume increased by 50%. The researchers also found that when thanked, people are twice as likely to offer help to a colleague (source).

Gratitude releases a cocktail of neurochemicals increasing emotional intelligence and reversing stress (source). When you thank an employee, you’re giving them an espresso shot of joy and motivation. So to reap the benefits, consider starting your next meeting sharing 5-10 minutes of sincere gratitude for your employees. In your expressions of gratitude, be sure to use “because” to illustrate impact. For example: “Melissa; I sincerely appreciate how you took initiative to reach out to our upset client because you alone might’ve saved the account!”

2. Start Meetings with Deep Breathing

Purchasing demands lead to stress, stress leads to burnout, and burnout leads to turnover. Demands are inevitable, but you can prevent your best employees from burning out by helping them nip stress in the bud. Luckily, one of the most effective ways known to science takes just 2 minutes. When stressed, you subconsciously take short, shallow breaths. Problem is, “thoracic breathing” for hours doesn’t provide your brain with enough oxygen; performance suffers, and stress increases.

Help your team break the cycle with 2 minutes of deep breathing. When you deliberately fill your lungs with air, oxygen and nutrients rush to the brain, increasing performance, creativity, and calm. Furthermore, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that consistent deep breathing practice helps permanently improve calm and productivity (source).

To reduce your team’s stress, try starting your next meeting by asking everyone to perform ten deep breaths from the abdomen; 4 seconds in, 4 second hold, 4 seconds out. Watch how stress melts away; did you notice a difference in the mood and tempo of the meeting?

3. Share Your “Why”

Millennials are the canaries of the corporate coal mine; if something’s “off”, they’re generally the first to go. As a result, the ability to retain top young talent is a hallmark of a strong culture.

So what’s missing?

According to the Deloitte Millennial Survey, in most organizations it’s a sense of purpose. “Millennials believe a business’ sense of purpose should be far greater than is currently the case.” (source). Retention is achieved “when employers demonstrate a strong sense of company purpose beyond financial success.” You may think purpose is easy to cultivate when you’re saving the rainforest or performing open-heart surgery. But how do you cultivate purpose in the purchasing world, and moreover, how do you do it in less than 10 minutes?

Ask yourself: who do we help? How do we help them? What suppliers, manufacturers, or patrons’ lives are improved by our work? How can I share their story with my employees? A 10-minute story via email or during a meeting illustrating how your team’s work impacted the greater good is an essential ingredient in a positive work culture. Find a way to share your “why” with your team and you’ll be giving them a zero-cost, high-ROI driver to stay loyal and hardworking.

In Summary

In an ideal world, you’d have countless hours to devote to improving work culture, employee engagement, and retention. In the high-stress reality of purchasing, however, spare time is measured in minutes. But if you can fill those cracks in the calendar with gratitude, purpose, and a few minutes of deep breathing, you’ll quickly improve company culture and inspire your best people to continue happily working hard for you.

 

Chris Butsch is a professional speaker and business author helping companies slash disengagement and turnover by keeping their best people happy.

 

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The Future of the Greek Yogurt Trend

The Greek yogurt market has seen incredible growth in the past few years and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. People are drawn to Greek yogurt for its unique texture and health benefits. Like traditional yogurt, it is available in a wide variety of flavors as well as plain. The plain version is a popular addition to savory recipes like marinades, dips, and dressings. It’s no wonder this versatile product has become a staple in many consumers’ kitchens.

Greek yogurt is popular amongst health-conscious consumers because it’s low in carbohydrates, packed with probiotics, and rich in protein. Protein helps you stay full longer, which is one of the reasons why Greek yogurt is a common staple for dieters. And because it comes in a variety of flavors, it can serve as a healthy replacement for pastries and other sweets.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about Greek yogurt is its portability. Grab-and-go items are incredibly popular, especially amongst millennials. Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are working to meet the increased demand for more portable food choices. Many have turned to the Greek yogurt trend as a way to offer their customers with a healthy, satisfying meal or snack that they can take with them as they go about their day.

Chobani was largely responsible for popularizing Greek yogurt in the United States. Today, the company continues to produce new variations of their popular product to meet the demands of the ever-growing culture of convenience. Some popular options include Greek yogurt-based smoothies and products made specifically for children. Based on their latest product releases, it’s clear that snacking is going to be the next big trend in the Greek yogurt market.

“As the No. 1-selling Greek Yogurt in the U.S., Chobani’s mission is to provide better food for more people by making affordable, nutritious, delicious yogurt with only natural ingredients. We’ve spent the last decade reshaping the dairy aisle and we continue to push the yogurt category forward with market-leading innovation.” -Alaynah  Tombridge, Corporate Affairs Manager at Chobani

To learn more about how Source1 Purchasing can help you secure preferred pricing from Chobani and quality suppliers, contact us today for your free supply chain analysis.

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The Benefits of Working with Regional Suppliers

There are many factors to weigh when choosing suppliers for your hospitality business. Pricing and quality products are always a high priority, but what about their geographic location? Partnering with regional suppliers can benefit your business in many ways. In many cases, regional suppliers are able to provide higher quality service and value than their out-of-town competitors, making for a more stable supply chain for your business.

Working with regional suppliers can have a direct impact on customer experience. Strategic sourcing of regional food products ensures that your business receives the freshest supplies available. Farm to table initiatives are very popular with diners today, so supporting local growers is a great way to draw more guests into your restaurant. Chefs will benefit from building menus around seasonal local produce because they know they will be able to access items that have just been harvested. Shifting to a more local-centered menu will not only appeal to customers, it will ultimately allow restaurants to serve a higher quality product.

Decreasing the carbon footprint of your supply chain is a good way to help your company’s conservation efforts. Additionally, utilizing a supplier that is located close to your business will help you save on shipping costs. This alone can add up to huge savings over time. Aside from cost savings, local suppliers can help you create a more stable supply chain. Having a supplier that can deliver orders quickly can help safeguard your business from inventory shortages. The same goes for service providers. In the event of an equipment failure, it’s imperative that your service partners can respond to your call as soon as possible.

Working with regional suppliers has a positive impact on your community. Partnering with local businesses can make for deeper supplier relationships. This can make it possible to collaborate with your supplier in ways that go beyond just purchasing. For example, restaurants can partner with local beer, wine, or spirits company to create pairing menus. The two businesses can then cross-promote each other. Many customers, whether they are locals or visiting from out of town, are more likely to support your business if they feel like they’re receiving an authentic local experience.

Find out how Source1 Purchasing can help you with your regional supplier relationship management while saving you over 9% on the cost of your hospitality supplies. Request your free Market Basket today.

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4 Things to Consider Before Working with a New Supplier

There is a lot to consider when seeking out a new supplier. The right supplier will have more to offer than just competitive pricing. Even small details are a big deal in the hospitality industry, so every supplier, large or small, must be thoroughly vetted to ensure they meet your business’s quality standards. Here are four things to consider when evaluating a potential supplier:

Pricing

Pricing is a significant deciding factor when it comes to choosing a supplier. Securing preferred pricing status will ensure that you never overpay for your hospitality supplies. The lowest prices are typically offered to businesses that can place high volume orders or are part of a large chain. However, even if you own a restaurant or boutique hotel that can’t commit to that type of volume, there are still ways you can access preferred pricing. Identifying vendors that are part of a large purchasing network, like Source1 Purchasing, will give you access to deviated pricing and rebates that you typically would not be able to take advantage of on your own.

Quality Control

You know how important it is to work with suppliers with a solid reputation. However, even when working with a well-known supplier, it’s important to do your due-diligence and understand how they handle incidents related to their products. For example, ask potential food suppliers what their process is for executing recalls in the event of a salmonella outbreak or similar incident. They should be able to tell you how quickly they would be able to notify you that an affected product should be pulled from inventory.

Order Process

One item that is often overlooked when researching new suppliers is how orders are managed. With so much on their plate, Purchasing Managers need to streamline their ordering processes as much as possible. Whenever possible, work with suppliers that offer online portals or other tools that make ordering from them more efficient. Whenever possible, you should seek to work with suppliers that will give your company priority status. Customers with priority status typically get their orders expedited and can get order minimums waved when necessary. Being part of a large buying group can help you achieve this status even if your company doesn’t typically make high-volume purchases.

Versatility

Special consideration should be given to suppliers that are able to meet multiple needs. Limiting the number of suppliers you work with will typically save your company both time and money. Aligning with a purchasing partner like Source1 Purchasing can help you consolidate your current list of suppliers and streamline your ordering process. If you have suppliers that you already know and trust, Source1 Purchasing can manage their quality and service metrics and negotiate pricing on your behalf.

To learn more about how Source1 Purchasing can help you manage your supply chain while helping you save money, contact us for a free supply chain analysis. We are typically able to identify savings of 9% or more on all your hospitality supply needs.

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When Product Substitutions Can be Good for Your Business

Brand consistency is an important factor to success in the hospitality industry.  Customers will continue to return to an establishment if they know they can rely on a consistent experience each time they visit.  Striving for consistency can make many purchasing professionals sticklers for brand loyalty. However, there are times when product substitutions can not only be acceptable, but beneficial to your business. Subbing a brand name product can often be done without compromising quality. In addition, using a substitute supplier may offer both price advantages and increased stability to your supply chain.

Hotels, restaurants, and casinos put a lot of work into identifying suppliers that meet their quality standards. Suppliers of everything from food to linens must align perfectly with a company’s brand. The need for brand consistency is so imperative that many purchasing departments are reluctant to consider any substitute products once they’ve found a supplier they like. They are often unaware that there are alternative suppliers that can offer them a nearly identical product, often at a lower price. Once you’ve identified a company that offers products comparable to your current inventory, request a sample so you can thoroughly assess whether the supplier can meet your quality standards.

While cost savings is the main appeal of subbing a product, the substitute supplier may be able to offer values in other areas as well. For example, the company may carry a variety of products that your company currently purchases from multiple suppliers. Consolidating the number of suppliers you work with makes purchasing more efficient and can lower the costs of your hospitality supplies and services. If the alternate supplier is part of a large purchasing network, you can increase your cost savings even more by opting into their program to take advantage of discounts on items like food, linens, and maintenance supplies.

Even if you’re happy with your current supplier and pricing structure, it could still be beneficial to vet substitute suppliers. If you ever find yourself in a position where your current supplier experiences an inventory shortage or a significant price increase, having an alternate source for your essential products can help you avoid costly inventory shortages.

Identifying new strategic suppliers can be a difficult task, however, the purchasing specialists at Source1 Purchasing can help you identify the best suppliers for your business. Get to know our network of quality suppliers by contacting Source1 Purchasing today.