Suppliers malady

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by andrew wareham, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. andrew wareham

    andrew wareham

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    Being a supplier to the trade and having been on both sides of the fence I abhor those small minded operators who will cut down on their stock levels for month-end stock takes. Their main reason being that they've got to protect their food cost (really they mean - less stock to count!)

    Invariably they end up going to the "shop on the corner" to replenish stock shortages which will definitely spoil their food cost, let alone staff members who have to go and collect such goods, let alone cash disbursements which obviously affects management control.

    laziness will never be rewarded good results!!!!
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    In many cases the local market is cheaper. Why should I stock my shelves with a case of # 10 cans at lets say $35.00 when I need 1 can of the product that I can buy local for $7.00. Why buy a case of frozen peas when I only need 3 Pounds?  Why should I tie my money up in inventory on the shelf, it's not working capital? Why should I buy at the end of the month and only have 10 days to pay when if I buy at beginning of month I have 40 days to pay? The more you pile in the more you have to keep track of (Shrinkage). Some of the purveyors as you know have 4 or 5 different  prices for same items. If your small, you pay the most, where as at COSTCO you all pay the same. Sure you pick it up but then the purveyor  is charging for the delivery to. These operators are not as you say "Small Minded" but are simply using good and sound  business practices. Surprisingly you as a private chef should know this.
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    I see both points, however a lazy and unorganized Chef who regularly sends staff to the grocery store for forgotten items is a recipe for high food cost at the month's end.
     
  4. andrew wareham

    andrew wareham

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Private Chef
    I reitterate..."operators who will cut down on their stock levels for month-end stock takes. Their main reason being that they've got to protect their food cost (really they mean - less stock to count!)"
     
  5. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    284
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Andrew,

    I understand what your saying, But, this is just our industry following business trends. For years now this has been happening,

    especially now that there is a large number of owners managers who understand business but not necessarilly food service.

    This is a bean-counting result of the economy. The simple fact is (inventory is money).

    my 2 cents
     
  6. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,054
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    So your main beef is that the Chef doesn't want to count inventory at the end of the month?

    Well, why should he count more than he has to?

    Large operations have purchasers or people specialized for this, it is part of their job.

    The small guy? He's shivering in a stinky overcoat with a clip board in the freezer at 1 am after a busy night.

    Great introduction to the professional Chef's forum, by the way.

    Love, love, love your customers  
     
  7. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    284
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I don't recall the OP referring to small operators. He talked of small minded.

    A large number of operators have software to calculate inventory. Not only monthly, but daily.

        I also believe that if the OP were actually on the other side there wouldn't be the disrespect towards  operators. Unless there were failure somewhere.

    I praise any operator grueling through this economy.

    My suppliers pass on all of there extra costs, higher minimums, gas, fewer deliveries. Most of the time they are pretty grateful

    to get an order and just happy that my phone is still working.
     
  8. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Sounds like the op is pissed that he did not win the contest for pushing useless crap on his accounts that they normally don't order and don't want to try.

    How many of you have come across this scenario? Or been gouging on items that he know you can't get elsewhere?

    No Hawaiian vacation this year!
     
  9. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,054
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    C'mon Buba, tell us how you really feel....
     
  10. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Chef Bubba, You probably have seen what I have over the years"""The old bait an switch''' You order Hellmans mayo 4/1s and you get Sysco Imperial. They claim they were out.  BS they don't run out of Hellmans thay want to push their house brand because they make a lot more on it. The rep says to you '''but its the same thing''' more BS If I wanted their brand I would have ordered it. I tell them staright out ''No substitutions will be accepted''' period, end of story. Other practice they try and pul is driver is not allowed to take anything back. Fine then leave it but I don't sign invoice as accepted, as I am not accepting but i'll simply hold for rep to pick up. Or they tell you they will issue a credit and it will be picked up next delivery. They figure by next delivery you will forget. Another one I used . Vege guy delivers 30 cases of 6s persian or honeydews I spot 1 or 2 bad in some boxes and wet spots on boxes.. I then open every box, pull bad ones and put them all together in crates and deduct from total boxes and send back. Purveyor calls me up and says I held his driver up and it cost him money, I tell him my staff cost me by wasting time having to go through them , so we are even. I tell him send good melons and I wont have to. Never got bad ones again.  I tell all of them we do not pay you with broken money or spoiled checks so don't send me broken or spoiled products.  Fight fire with fire.! They will hate you but respect you
     
  11. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    And might I add ChefEd, that if the pickers had done their job correctly the night before your delivery, there would be no rotten melons delivered in the first place. It all trickles down the line doesn't it?
     
     
  12. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    284
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Chefs

    The minute you become complacent venders will run over you.

    Some of my cohorts in the business will say " shoot, you don't work anymore" . Heck, I work harder now on the administrative aspect of business

    then ever before.

    I check in product as you do.  I adjust all invoices that need it. The problem I had was not spoiled product but shorts. I would make the adjustments

    and send in payments at weeks end, even though I was on 30 day. I would  then receive the monthly statement and get frustrated because there was always a balance.

    Their system was to have the sale rep submit the credit. Well the rep would wait sometimes weeks to submit credit which created the balance on the statement.

    I finally got fed up! like you say, fight with fire. I now go through the delivery, walk across the street to my office and generate a check. They said it was a lot of work to give me totals before del. The driver doesn't care because he's still by the hour. I now receive the monthly  statements and mark them return to sender and give it to the driver unopened. My sales rep must have gotten a reaming because I usually get mailed a copy of credit days after del. I won't go back to the old way because it will happen again.

      My job has really changed over the years. I spend a large percentage of my time doing work for the government and state. collecting theirs monies and doing all the ever changing

    calculations then sending everything in. Oh, and if there is a dicrepancy! you are guilty until  proven innocent. I now find myself shopping for energy, phone service, waste disposal,

    insurance,etc. These were basically, for the most part, a pretty standard cost in the past. It doesn't leave much time for vendor bid sheets on regular product.
     
  13. chefbuba

    chefbuba

    Messages:
    2,238
    Likes Received:
    516
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I pay COD for all my groceries, Couple of weeks ago USF substituted something, I sent it back, short paid the invoice, Now I get calls from the rep asking why I short paid. Had a substitute driver that week, he never adjusted the invoice on his hand held device at delivery when he should have.
     
  14. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Likes Received:
    391
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    There may be other good reasons.  Since you've been on both sides you shouldn't be so quick to criticize.
     
  15. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    5,054
    Likes Received:
    601
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    But Ed, you forgot MY favorite line:
    "Prices have gone up"

    Have.

    When I hear that one, I launch into mode 4,

    "Say Earl, when you make a left hand turn, you put out your indicator light, right? You do it so the guy behind youcan anticipate your turn and act accordingly, right? So don't tell that prices have gone up, tell me before they go up,so I can buy in at th old price and buffer myself a bit."

    Prices have gone up. 

    I hear that one when I look at my invoice and see a staple like #1 tins whole plum tomatoes go up another 5%.  Mode 5

    "Say Earl, why didn't you tell me tomatoes went up?  Transportation difficulties in the States, eh?  Head Office tells you to up the prices, eh? Earl, I don't thik that can posibly be true.  Why?  Because this delivery's cans and last delivery's cans have teh same expiry and production date.  whadyamean, So?.  So they're the same effing tomatoes, from the same effing skid in your warehouse.  Transportaion difficulites right, if that's true then my butt chews gum."
     
  16. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    I tell all these clowns that I pay the price I was quoted not what you try and bill me on invoice. If I order on Monday for Friday delivery and you quoted me lets say  $6.00 a unit. I will only pay $6.00 a unit, unless you tell me prior. If it went up in 4 days you are sending me the one's you had in stock that you paid old price for anyway. Let company deduct it from reps commission. Sorry. I got to be like this but I don't trust any of them anymore, seen to much BS over the last 45 years Its like a game of war strategy . It shoudln't be like this , but thats the way thay have chosen to make it. They don't tell you when prices go down anymore either, thats why you need at least 2 or 3 quotes . It keeps them all honest. If a headline comes up tommorrow that a blight hit Florida Orange Crop, the prices of oranges will rise the next day thats BS ,they are making more money on the millions of oranges they have already stockpiled.
     
  17. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    284
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I shoot a vendor bid sheet to all my distributors. I used to hide the competitors prices but now leave it on the sheet.

    If the invoice doesn't match the bid, I replace their price with the bid.

    Last Thursday when I received my order, there were three cases of vinegar.

    I couldn't find my three 50lbs boxes of chocolate pistols.

    Well you guessed it, they shipped the vinegar instead of the chocolate. I had my rep. bring out the chocolate.

    He said that he was going on vacation the next day. I asked about the vinegar and he said keep it and that he

    would deduct it from his com. I said NO! You take it with you, we don't use it. He actually looked pissed.

      I wish I had Foodpumps saying, If that's not true then my butt chews gum!!!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    He is P O because now he has to admit the error when he takes it back to his warehouse. Sometime they are charged a fee for their error(shipping fee deducted from their future commissions).But you did the right thing, make them take it back right then and their and giv you a credit receipt which you can send them back in your next statement. Screw him all he is interested in is his commission.

    I laugh every time one of these guys comes in from a wholesaler one stop and tries to sell me meat. They know as much about it as? well my cats know more. One day I asked one of them about meat grades, he had no idea of even what I was talking about. USFC and Sysco are biggest problems. One would think Sysco who owns Buckhead Meats would train these people or if they did maybe the people should have paid attention. They should give them a test before letting them sell merchandise.
     
  19. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,168
    Likes Received:
    284
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    I asked him how could someone pull white vinegar instead of chocolate. He says "Chef, all the new people at night can't read english, they just match numbers".

    I don't order to many bakery items from them, only choco. chips to make my minimum. I use them for lumch stuff.

    They do carry alot of bakery items, but whenever I ask a question about a pastry product, this poor kid just stares at me like I just grew another face. Not a clue.

    Off topic, I had a little sales chippie come by my office the other day. She must have done some homework because I office out of a doctors building with no signage.

    She was peddling advertiszing for the loclal news paper and their webs site. I let her come in. mostly from shock. Don't think I ever had a non panini person knock on the

    door for years. She was very young and flirtatious. Something that really doesn't do it for me. Been there, done that. She got on a roll and spent some good time explaining

    that this deal was basically free if I sign for a year. I politely asked if she thought that there would be newspapers around in a year.?

       I let her down easy and said we basically don't have an advertising budget. "We have never had paid ads" . She actually got a little snippy, "How do you expect to

    increase sale w/o ads.? I explained we depend on word of mouth. All of a sudden, the flirting was gone and she actually was a little condescending. She spouted

    that I would never keep up with my competition and not make it with the economy like it is. She says," I'm trying to do you a favor, don't you understand? Don't you want to make more money?" This comming from a smart a$$   23 yr. old fresh out of college. So I tell her I'm now going to do you a favor and ask you to leave. She then says the old fashioned

    ways will lead to failure. Now I'm pissed. I said, look, you're going nowhere with that type of attitude. I explained that we had 12 events the previous weekend. So we probably served

    our product to 3-4-5K people. You can't buy that type of advertising if your product is good. She just rolls her eyes. I looked at my watch and see it's lunch time. Time for pay back!!!!

    I said, you know what? My wife Sophie falls for this advertising thing all the time. Why don't you go over to the bakery and speak with her. She sometimes tells people that she doesn't have time,  but if it's busy, just walk right up to the counter ask for her, tell her  that you need to speak with her right  NOW because you might not be able to come back. Maybe she will go for it, you never know.

      It's about 11:30 pm. in bed, ready to go to sleep. Then I hear, OMG, let me tell you about this little Bit334555  rrtttty  yyyyy that came in, in the middle of lunch today!!!!!!!!!!

    It was a crazy day, so I didn't have the heart or the cojones to tell my wife. So I listened to her for about a half hour. How she grabbed this little B and took her out front to have a little  "Come to Jesus meeting"!!!

    I don't get mad, I get even/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
     
  20. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,824
    Likes Received:
    391
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Pan, did you ask him why they can't match numbers?  Did you ask him why they've been doing the same thing for 30 years? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif