The constant demand for food and equipment can be an ongoing nightmare for catering professionals, with sourcing quality catering suppliers being a crucial element of a chef’s role.

Chefs rely heavily on an uninterrupted supply of food for events and catering functions, and finding reliable, quality catering suppliers can mean the difference between an occasion one wishes to forget and a successful event that will remain long in the memory for all the right reasons.

The secret quality of a good catering supplier is………………….timing

Finding the right supplier for food, equipment and storage is not an easy task. Timing is of the essence and quality catering suppliers take care of the logistics and transportation, readily supplying the catering industry as requested and making deliveries on time.

It doesn’t matter how good the produce is, if it doesn’t turn up at the right time, at the right place, there is no event. Not everyone is aware of the ramifications associated with transporting food, especially across large distances, and so it’s worth considering suppliers closer to home for added reliability.

A never-ending lack of time is a common theme within the industry, chefs are often up before the break of dawn, prepping and taking stock, and this is why the easy option of nearby wholesale catering suppliers can be an appealing convenience.

If you are running events in and around Nottingham and Derbyshire, and looking for a competitively priced wholesaler, All Shire Foods Ltd – https://allshiresfoods.co.uk/ – is a friendly, family-run business that prides itself on distributing high-quality products across large parts of the East Midlands.

Does your local wholesaler satisfy your quality demands?

If the convenience of the wholesaler can’t guarantee freshness, it’s worth considering quality catering suppliers that provide organic, locally sourced food.

Quality Catering Suppliers often means Organic Catering Suppliers.

All good chefs appreciate the benefits of buying locally sourced-food. As well as it being healthier, using quality catering suppliers that provide locally sourced food contributes to the local farming community and the region’s economy.

By using local food manufacturers, your supplier isn’t struggling with a logistical nightmare, arranging a long-distance delivery across counties, countries or even continents.

The freshness of the product equates to a higher nutritional value, a cleaner atmosphere – inside and outside the kitchen – and tastier food for your guests.

Working with local organic supplies is working in accordance with nature as the alternative, processed foods option, is unhealthy and considers the unnatural shelf life of a product.

If the option is available, the more you think about it, using local suppliers will benefit everyone.

Also, the time, the journey, and the conditions all weigh heavily on the nutritional value of the product. Although a cheaper option may sound appealing, the long-distance element amounts to one thing: diminishment. 

Furthermore, if the fruit has not been allowed to ripen properly, it will be void of rich colour and distinctive flavour. There will be no crunch or fresh, zesty character. The product will have been compromised because the balance of health has been tipped in favour of chemical coatings and long commutes. 

Local business helps local business.

Buying locally from quality catering suppliers helps local businesses survive and thrive. When the food isn’t traversing the globe and bounding over continents and counties it’s better for the environment because the carbon footprint is reduced significantly.

To ensure the future of our agricultural community, consumers need to recognise that long-term food security can only be attained in these uncertain times if we move closer to self-sufficiency, and that means buying locally sourced food whenever possible.

If you are looking to put all your eggs in one basket, look no further than The Fruit Basket Direct, West Bridgford, Nottingham. With an international reputation, this family-run business is able to source the finest seasonal ingredients locally and across the World, providing quality, fresh produce to some of the finest kitchens in the East Midlands – http://www.thefruitbasketdirect.uk/ .

Organic means quality catering suppliers

Locally sourced food is also more likely to be organic. Many local farmers produce good organic food but they are unable to afford the recognition of organic certification – despite adhering to an organic process that brings quality and taste to the table. Therefore, when considering quality, the proof is only available on the market.

Organic varieties contain lower levels of pesticides and artificial fertilisers and are more environmentally sustainable by using systems of land management that provide wildlife-friendly land.  

With over 70% of the UK’s land being used for farming, we really should be making the most of what Britain has to offer – https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/farming.

Locally sourced food is healthier, better for the environment and the economy, and tastes better.

Catering Equipment

When working at external events, you may not have everything you need and it makes life a lot easier if you have the tools at hand when you require them.

Again, quality is the key and a supplier with a large range of products may boast quantity, but is there the quality to justify the high expectations of finding what you need all under one roof?

Premium equipment performs more efficiently. It will make the kitchen more effective and it will also help to save money on energy bills as the best equipment places emphasis upon energy efficiency. More importantly, the main benefit of using premium range equipment is that it almost guarantees getting the job done.

And if you like the sound of premium equipment from an experienced, trustworthy partner, set a place at the table for these guys: http://www.shireseventhire.co.uk/ .

All Shires Hire is all set to help take your catering skills to the next level. With all the equipment you will need, including event and wedding coordination management, they provide a setup and cleardown service that makes any catering team the complete package for events and occasions of all sizes.

A company like All Shires Hire has the experience and a reputation to match. The last thing you need is an equipment malfunction. It might be easy to resolve last-minute food-quality issues with a dash to the local Cash and Carry, but if a portable oven fails you, it’s not a simple fix that can be resolved within a few minutes.

If a location doesn’t have all the catering facilities you need, again, find that reliability of quality assurance and build a relationship when you find what you’re looking for. Once a relationship is established and your go-to supplier can guarantee your regular support, you may even qualify for discounted rates that provide a bonus to an already reliable, quality catering supplier.

Meat Suppliers

Finding a quality meat supplier for pork, beef, lamb, poultry and sausages takes a lot of research. Generally, what you are looking for is securing experience; experience in the form of a supplier of quality meats who works with responsible, environmentally conscious farmers.

And that experience comes in the form of family butchers Owen Taylor and Sons Ltd – https://www.owentaylor.co.uk/. Sourcing meat from local farmers right across the East Midlands, there is no better sign of quality than the reviews from customers who return time and time again.

Reliable butchers since 1922, Owen Taylor and Sons Ltd pride themselves on quality meat that comes with the guarantee of being locally sourced whenever possible.

Even if your supplier’s delivery runs aren’t as frequent as you like, if you can still guarantee the quality, you are able to plan ahead and freeze or store occasional cuts if necessary.

You will also need a supplier with a good product category, supplying a range of meats to save you the time of juggling logistics and lists of other meats. Check the list of products on the company’s website to ascertain the depth of service. If the list isn’t as ‘meaty’ as you’d like, the remainder will have to be sourced elsewhere.

EC Approved Suppliers

For peace of mind, many chefs ensure that the meat reaches expected Food Health Safety standards. The EU-accredited certification is an indication of strict standards adhered to by your supplier. If the meat supplier is fully EU-approved and affordable, it’s a win-win situation as the meat is likely to be of a very high standard.

Some meat suppliers also have chefs who prepare cuts and packs of meat. This is also an added bonus when looking for quality catering suppliers of meat, as a chef is likely to be industry-minded and familiar with the best interests of catering professionals.

Take this retail and catering butchery for instance – https://www.chefscut.co.uk/about-chefs-cut-butchery . Based in Long Eaton, with good links to Nottingham and Derby, experienced chef, James Vickers knows exactly what his customers need. Supplying top restaurants and the region’s best chefs, Chefs Cut Butchery is, literally, a cut above the rest.

Wine Suppliers

Although you may not be working the vines, you will still be judged on the wines and beverages and a poor experience in any area of your business will cost you customers.

Many locations have their own bar that the chef has no control over whatsoever. However, if you are required to supply wine or champagne for the guests, it’s a research-heavy task that shouldn’t be overlooked as a trivial aspect of the job.

Particularly on occasions when the event is a high-end affair, you will have to elevate the standard of the wine to that of a similar high-end restaurant.

The fact that your guests will expect the same quality of service, food and wine that is found at top-quality restaurants means that you have a starting point.

It’s worth approaching these high-end restaurants and determining their suppliers and the relevant distribution methods.

As with fruit, veg, meat, catering equipment and consumables, research and distribution capabilities are essential elements. You will discover that some wine merchants work to a minimum order quantity and so you will need to consider any extra transportation costs and adequate storage options upon delivery.

Ultimately, if you have the time, money and expertise, do the wine tours and get to really know the stuff inside out. Buying direct is sure to save you money in the long run.

Authenticity

You will know that you have found a potential partner that you can add to your list of quality catering suppliers when you realise that the company you are dealing with is authentic.

Professional suppliers who share the same passion for their work as I do are clearly in the right job and, therefore, are likely to be renowned for being trusted suppliers.

If a supplier lacks a certain authenticity when discussing supplies, it’s best to walk away and continue your research. If they aren’t entirely enthusiastic about their service, it smacks with a lack of confidence in what they do and you are better off finding an alternative supplier with passion and pride.

Whether it is wine, vegetables or BBQ meat packs, a lack of passion could be a warning that a partnership with a somewhat less enthusiastic supplier could potentially be disastrous for your guests and, consequently, taint your reputation for quality and reliability.

Recap.

The order of play when trying to partner with quality catering suppliers is:

Research is key – look for signs of experience and reliability within your potential suppliers, and speak to other catering establishments about their experiences with certain suppliers. Most establishments will be quick to warn you against bad experiences.


Authenticity – if the company is passionate about what they do, it won’t want to spoil its reputation.
Go Local – organic, local produce is better for the environment and the taste of the cooking.
What are the distributing capabilities? – if it can’t get to you, there is no sustainability.
Quality over quantity – In these tough economic times, it’s easy to make the most cost-effective choice on face value but will the produce or product work well enough to retain the status of your brand?

The Top 3 aspects that make a quality catering supplier:

Reliability – build a rapport with your suppliers to help them understand your ambitions to get things done on time.
Quality – you are only as good as your last meal so don’t compromise with quality.
Consistency – quality catering suppliers should be able to reliably provide quality produce/equipment all of the time. Being good once or twice is not enough. Your guests will remember the time you let them down more than the other occasions when things were going great.

If you are planning an event or wedding celebration, and you want an experienced team to run it smoothly with the help of quality catering suppliers, contact the Citreus Catering team with your plans – https://citreuscatering.co.uk/contact-us-citreus-catering-nottingham-weddings-events/