What do taverns want from their suppliers?

Although there is no one-size-fits-all answer, here is a list of the most common requests we get from our network:

Convenience: Taverns value suppliers who make it easy for them to obtain the products they need where they are not forced to leave putting someone else in charge or close their outlet.

Delivery: Timely and reliable delivery service is important to ensure that taverns have a consistent supply of goods. There is a direct cost saving here be it that this cost saving is often not recognised.

Credit: Normally packaged in a buy now, pay later proposition. But something that is certainly not freely available through suppliers and distributors at scale. Size and success generally follows access to benefits. 

Availability: Suppliers must have a sufficient stock of products to meet the demands of these informal retailers. A significant frustration for these owners who prefer suppliers that are more consistent.

It’s worth noting that priorities can vary depending on the specific channel and sector, considering factors such as the size of the establishment, access to transportation, current revenue, and cash position. Let’s examine some examples observed in the industry:

  1. Growing and relatively new small to medium-sized informal retailers require all the help they can get and invariably very open to solutions proposed. Typically Credit and convenience ranks right up there in their priorities.
  2. Having your own transport or access to reliable transport removes the convenience of delivery as a value add. There appears to be a sunk cost fallacy or bias that leads them to prefer self-collection rather than paying for delivery. As a value proposition, this approach is not successful.
  3. Established and larger retailers, bars and restaurants are astute business people with established supply chains. We’ve found that working capital already exists for this sector based on their size. The deal is everything and are seasonal traders of searching for best buys across suppliers. 

Typically though, the services and benefits that stretch beyond borders regardless of their size, retail sector and nationality is invariably the consistency through which you service these outlets and the customer service you provide. These retail owners are consistently let down by companies promising the world and then underdelivering. When it comes to suppliers, availability! availability! availability!