THE old adage ‘fail to prepare; prepare to fail’ often rings true in the on-trade – especially in the run-up to what is arguably the busiest and potentially most profitable time of year.
That’s where a strong relationship with a supplier can make a big difference, wholesale companies have said.
Admitting that the festive season often “brings a sense of urgency amongst customers”, Hayley Tait of Dunns Food and Drinks said the wholesaler aims “to be a one-stop-shop to ease the strain on our customers” throughout the festive season.
And in order to cover all manner of eventualities – from underestimating demand and requiring extra stock at a moment’s notice, to potential bad weather affecting deliveries – Tait stated that a good relationship with a wholesaler is essential.
Trust the knowledge and expertise of your account manager – listen and take advice.
She said: “Keep a two-way dialogue – clear communication is the way to ensure both the customer and wholesaler are on the same page when it comes to orders, deliveries, etc; plan ahead – an obvious tip, but it’s the best way to prepare for any eventuality this Christmas. Leave plenty of time – in tandem with solid planning, make sure that orders are done well in advance of order placement to avoid forgetting anything crucial for Christmas.”
Toby Sigouin of Inverarity Morton agreed, stating that trust plays a big role in a successful operator/wholesaler relationship.
“Trust the knowledge and expertise of your account manager – listen and take advice because a good wholesaler should have valuable insights into market and category-specific trends which will help inform a customer’s drinks offering,” he said.
And Alan Hay of Tennent’s advised licensees to work with a wholesaler “who makes running your outlet as straightforward, simple and effective as possible” – and who is also “forward thinking”.