Picking Dependable Products
It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it!
Ever wonder how food suppliers choose their products?
You might assume it’s all about the bottom line.
Cost is definitely important, and so is availability. But in every case, our decision to distribute a product always boils down to quality. It’s the impeccable flavor, freshness, and consistency of the food that keeps our partners (and their customers) coming back for more.
Let’s just say, we take pickiness to a whole other level!
And to find the best ingredients, we start with intense industry research.
The Dependable team is always keeping up with the latest food trends to find out what’s in, what’s out, and what’s about to catch fire. Staying ahead of the curve also gives us time to consider local and global producers, negotiate the best prices, and make strategic recommendations to our partners.
But what happens when we’re stuck between multiple products?
Call in the taste testers! 😛
Over the years, we’ve learned that there’s no better way to figure out the ‘best’ than to vet each option with the help of real, working industry professionals. Chefs, servers, managers, and of course, the business owners themselves are our greatest lifelines.
So, if you’re wondering—why did my rep suggest this specific barbecue sauce? Or, why are they so passionate about these pine nuts? You’ll know that it’s not by random luck, but because it won the popular vote.
And don’t be surprised if you’re handed a spoon next time!
Food Startup 101
Dependable ways to open your dream foodservice business.
Besides our role in the industry supply chain, one of our most rewarding duties is helping people kickstart their very own food businesses. When you’re new to the game, having the support of a reliable, experienced mentor is worth its weight in saffron. 😀
And since we’ve been doing this forever (since 1992 to be exact), it’s a pleasure sharing our expertise with those who have a similar passion for the culinary arts.
The first hurdle every hopeful must overcome is the simple fact that foodservice is super cutthroat! So many businesses fail before they ever get off the ground, which is why we’re committed to helping food entrepreneurs get started the right way.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking into quick-service, full-service, or fast casual. People who flourish in this industry follow the same path to successful launch.
Of course, there’s so much to say, and we hope you’ll give us the chance to guide you through the complexities of the startup process. For now, consider these 5 practical tips for opening an eatery with Dependable.
Write a detailed plan. Perform industry research, get to know your community’s tastes, determine your food niche, and craft a serious business plan that will make investors fall in love with your concept.
Secure funding. Money might come from crowdsourcing, family, friends, business loans, or your own personal savings. Make sure you have enough cash to cover operations until you’re able to turn a profit (note: that takes a while).
Focus on the food. Patrons won’t care how nice the place looks if the food is crummy! Get back to basics, practice your passion, and enlist the help of Dependable to come up with a menu memorable for all the right reasons.
Value honest feedback. In the early days of your operation, trust the opinions of close family, friends, business partners, and staff. If certain ingredients or aspects of service aren’t working, address them quickly and enthusiastically.
Advertise early. Our people are really great at this. You don’t need to spend a fortune on marketing—but you do have to spread the word as soon as possible. Use social media to build your presence, post pictures, and run promotions.
Why it’s hitting the hottest menus now, and how to harvest it for your eaters.
Foodservice rule #1: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
But what if it tastes really good? And it’s really good for you?
Okay, totally different story!
Welcome to the wonderful world of plant-based pasta. You’ve likely seen it in the grocery store, but would you ever incorporate such a polarizing ingredient on your restaurant’s menu? Before you write off the trend, understand why these noodle alternatives are having such a hot moment.
To start, plant-based varieties taste somewhat similar to the ‘real’ thing (aka grain-based pasta). The main differences are they’re lower in carbs and packed with protein and fiber. Beyond their healthy appeal, plant-based pastas are also becoming more common because of Americans’ growing food allergy awareness.
Restaurateurs should account for dietary intolerances and restrictions by offering patrons at least one alternative. Instead of stacking on the pounds or suffering through their favorite Italian dish, people can enjoy pasta that’s just as yummy and hearty—but significantly lighter. Not to mention, low-calorie vegan and keto menus are incredibly popular in recent years (no surprise there).
So, you think your diners can handle these heavenly varieties? Check out our list of the hottest plant-based pastas hitting restaurant menus. Pick your pleasure!
Menu inspiration: Chickpea fusilli with spinach, garlic, and herbs
Menu inspiration: Red lentil spaghetti with clams and rosemary
Menu inspiration: Thai peanut chicken zoodles
Menu inspiration: Creamy caprese quinoa noodles
Menu inspiration: Edamame fettuccine with crimini mushrooms
Menu inspiration: Roasted beet linguine with walnuts and parmesan
Lemon garlic cauliflower penne
Never Serve Alone
Why a supply partner like Dependable helps you succeed.
Run a food business without a supplier? Now that’s a half-baked idea!
So many eateries rely on a bunch of different vendors and producers to keep their pantries stocked. But ordering your ingredients piecemeal—or worse, doing the shopping yourself—is a surefire way to run your business into the ground.
Whether you’re operating a humble bakery or aiming for a chain of restaurants, it’s important to understand the crucial role of a food supplier. As your dedicated foodservice partner, Dependable does so much more than the run-of-the-mill distributor.
Here’s a small sampling of how this partnership benefits you, the food entrepreneur:
One-stop shopping. Get all your essential ingredients and supplies from the same source. No more juggling multiple contacts or invoices.
Convenient deliveries. Food always arrives on time, undamaged, at safe temperature, and in perfect quantity for your space and needs.
Consistent quality. Maintain a reliably delicious, uniform menu all year long with access to seasonal and hard-to-find products in various grades.
Stress-free supply chain. We manage inventory, logistics, and warehousing, so you can focus on cooking, plating, and serving (you know, the fun stuff!).
Bulk pricing. Because we’re able to order in larger quantities, our partners enjoy the absolute best bargains in the business—all across the menu board.
Heartfelt guidance. Knowing this business (and YOUR business) like the back of our hand, we bring so much more to the table from ingredient recs to startup support.
In other words, we supply every last thing your business needs to succeed, so you can get back to The Joy of Serving 🙂.
Taste Joy Again
How to get back to the joy of serving that inspired you in the first place.
We love the food industry for the flexibility and fast-paced environment. But like any public-facing job, it can be downright grueling.
Pair long hours with financial woes, employee drama, and (sometimes) unsavory customers, and you have a recipe for foodservice burnout. But there you are, still serving, day after day.
So, how to taste joy again?
We all feel foodservice fatigue from time to time. That’s why it’s important to reconnect with the passion that originally landed you in this industry. It’s been there all along—but you need to keep feeding it!
Here are some great tips for reigniting your service spark.
Enforce breaks. Food servers, hosts, managers, cooks, bussers, and the business owners themselves are notoriously overworked. Make sure that you’re taking regular breaks to recharge your mind and body—and ensure your staff do too. Everyone will be infinitely happier and healthier.
Eat family meals. And by family, we don’t just mean your next of kin! Sitting down with your employees and serving them the occasional meal is not only great for team morale. It’s also a satisfying opportunity to test out new recipes, receive genuine feedback, and show them that you care about their wellbeing.
Talk to customers. As a universal language, food brings communities together. Chatting with patrons will remind you of how much your business is appreciated, and how much your food is craved. All too often, we find ourselves communicating with disgruntled customers (as opposed to delighted ones!).
Keep learning. Taking formal classes or just reading about the latest food trends helps garnish your skills, build your confidence, and rekindle your passion. Of course, your friends at Dependable can help with all of the above! Continuing your education is a great way to bring joy back to the table.
How can we serve, save, and support?
Whether you’re growing your business, chasing efficiency, or just starting out, we want to be your Dependable partner for life.
Start by sending us your latest invoice (or first purchase order). We’d love to save you money as our way of saying hello.
A newsletter you’ll devour.