Oily Business: Choosing A Vegetable Oil Supplier For Your Restaurant

One of the hardest parts of opening a restaurant is figuring out who to buy all of your supplies and ingredients from. For the most part, you should be able to order most of your food from a big-name supplier in your area. But these suppliers do not always carry the bulk vegetable oil you will need if you plan on running one or more fryers in your kitchen. If you're going to use gallons of oil each week, you'll need a separate vegetable oil supplier who specializes in this product. Here are some tips for finding and choosing such a supplier.

Ask who other pizza shops and burger joints use.

Visit some of the owners of local restaurants who you know have a lot of fryers. Pizza restaurants are usually a good bet as long as they serve the standard wings, fries, and other fried treats along with pizza. Burger and hot dog stands that sell a lot of fries usually have a good veggie oil supplier, too. After you ask a few, you'll get a sense of whether everyone in the area uses the same supplier, or whether there are several to choose from. It really depends how busy your area is and how much local competition there is in the veggie oil distribution industry.

Figure out how much you'll need.

Try to get a rough estimate of how much oil you'll actually need. How many fryers do they have, and what is their capacity? How often do you plan on changing the oil? For example, if you plan on changing the oil twice per week and you have three 10-gallon fryers, then you need about 60 gallons of oil per week. When you call around to different suppliers, you can ask for their prices on that amount of oil. Some suppliers charge a different rate if you buy more than a certain amount, so this approach will give you more accurate prices to compare.

Ask how much notice they need for a delivery.

If you do have a few suppliers to choose from, ask how much notice they need for a rush delivery. Some companies might tell you twelve hours, and others might say three days. It really depends on their workflow. If you're torn between two companies, choose the one that can get to you the fastest in an emergency. You don't want to go without oil for days, if possible.

These tips should help you find a good vegetable oil supplier.