All suppliers are interested in ‘giving customers what they want’. However, it can sometimes feel more like ‘giving customers what they want as long as that’s the same as what we want to give”!

In a recent poll of foodservice outlets across the country, we asked outlets what their likes and dislikes were when it come to their suppliers.

The results were pretty consistent.


  1. Reliability – “I get what I order, that’s the quantity and the brand I want, not a substitute or an excuse.”
  2. Helpful, friendly staff – “good manners are still free and not taxed yet!”
  3. Competitive pricing, but not at the expense of quality – “it took me years to build a reputation for serving good food. I’m not prepared to take a poor quality product, even if it’s free!”
  4. Can get me out of trouble in an emergency – “it doesn’t happen often but it is appreciated.”
  5. Good advice and help – “I need help, not some sales pitch for something that’s not relevant to me from someone who doesn’t really know what I need.”
  6. Appreciation – “it’s nice to be appreciated from time to time, maybe with an occasional free case.”


  1. Price changes without being informed – “really annoying, I end up having to constantly check everything. It creates more work.”
  2. Sales rep never calls – “my business musn’t be important to them.”
  3. Substitution of products – “I was invoiced the product I ordered, but a cheaper brand was delivered. If I wanted cheaper brands, I’d order them.”
  4. Short delivered – “Causes problems and more work for me, especially on a Friday.”
  5. Loose talk – “I don’t like to feel that my business is being talked about with others.”
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