Common Misconceptions of Purchasing Food

Common Misconceptions of Purchasing Food
Trip Wheeler, SB Value

Now more than ever, we’re seeing a huge increase in food quality and education. The popularity of fresh, organic ingredients has hit its peak, and chefs are focusing on the blending of cultures when crafting menu items. Those little nuances are beginning to make a big impact on customers, and thankfully we’re seeing more of an effort put into food purchasing. But there can arise some common misconceptions of purchasing food.

Doing your research before you buy

Just as anything else you purchase, you want to put thought into what exactly you’re buying. Home-cooked meals taste differently than store-bought or mass-produced meals, for example. Consider the result you’re looking for and buy accordingly. Think about yield, as sometimes a lower quality product will give a lower yield. Does it meet the client’s specs? Be sure not to under buy or overbuy from what they expect. And lastly, does it fit the budget? Sometimes the product we want just can’t fit into the menu’s budget, meaning a close but less expensive alternative will have to be purchased.

The supplier doesn’t always know best

One of the biggest misconceptions that I hear is that whomever you’re buying food from actually knows food. Don’t assume that they do, or that they’re on your side. Just because someone is in the food business doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re properly educated. Unfortunately, they may try to sway your decision in the direction that benefits them over you.

All food is different, and the differences are big. When you order vegetables, do you want bulk or a single pack? What type of blend do you want with your ground beef? And what grade of beef are you looking for? These are all questions you should keep in mind, and if you’re not sure, ask for samples, so you’re sure to get what you expect.

Quality over quantity

Today quality seems to be taking over, while in the past it was much more about quantity than it is now. People are becoming more educated and they seem to have a better idea of what they’re looking for, but most still need to be careful not to overbuy a product that may not impact the dish as much as the additional cost. Be mindful of both budget and the client that you’re serving.

Additionally, it helps to play up the quality that you serve when it comes to attracting clients. You have to work hard get them in the door, so be sure to do what it takes to get them to come back!

Trip Wheeler is the President of SB Value, a group purchasing program designed to reduce catering, kitchen and food-service costs by leveraging the collective buying power of thousands of companies.