How to Start a Restaurant Supply Business. From mom-and-pop diners to five-star restaurants, all eating establishments need affordable, quality supplies to keep their businesses running successfully. Restaurant supply businesses sell all of the equipment and products that a restaurant needs. Read the information below if you're interested in starting your own restaurant supply business.
Create a business plan. Anyone starting a new business will benefit from having a comprehensive plan to guide them through the process. Your plan will identify your business objectives, specific strategies for how you'll meet your goals, a marketing plan and a complete budget.
Decide which products and services you'll offer. Restaurant supply businesses sell a wide range of goods, some of which include food preparation tools, fryers, pots and pans, cutlery, buffet and salad bar items, furniture, flatware, glassware and much more. Some companies also offer installation assistance, equipment repairs and kitchen design and remodel services.
Advertise heavily. Take out ads in magazines and newsletters directed to restaurant owners and managers. Visit the restaurants in your community and meet with the managers to discuss what you have to offer. Invest in a website so you can expand your customer base and sell products online.
Consider selling used supplies, too. Some customers may prefer to purchase used equipment, especially when they're considering larger, more expensive items such as refrigerators, freezers and food warmers.
Expand your advertising to other businesses besides traditional restaurants. Bars, bakeries, convention centers, school and corporate cafeterias and coffee shops all have a need for the types of supplies you're selling.
Remember to establish various policies, such as if and when you'll accept returns, which types of payment you'll accept and whether or not you'll offer a payment plan. Make your policies clearly known to your customers.