9 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Wholesale Food Supplier

The search for a reliable food supplier for your restaurant, grocery store, or school is not an easy task. Whether your business is large or small, there are certain factors that you should take into consideration when looking for a wholesale food supplier.

The article will provide you with key factors to look out for and the questions to ask your potential food supplier.

Key Factors Look Out For When Choosing a Wholesale Food Supplier

Communication: The supplier should be available for questions either on the phone or by e-mail. Further, it should be clear from the beginning who the main contact person will be, and the senior executive you can contact in case a problem arises.

Capacity: The supplier should have the capacity to handle your needs and deliver as quickly as possible. Thus the supplier should confirm the availability of resources to meet all customers’ needs.

Consistency: Your potential supplier should demonstrate how they will consistently deliver high-quality goods. One indicator is their long-standing relationships with other customers.

Resources: A good state of finances will help your potential supplier to effectively deliver your orders. Thus your supplier should have proof of financial stability and capacity to weather economic uncertainties.

Cost: What are your suppliers’ pricing schemes? This is helpful when comparing different suppliers but remember cheap can be expensive in the long run, and costly doesn’t translate to high quality.

Cleanliness: You should check and confirm that the supplier’s production methods are sustainable and their processes should be environment-friendly.

Company Culture: The supplier should have a good culture because this will affect your business too. Because of that, your supplier’s company should have values such as reliability, innovation, excellence, quality, and speed.

Having a strategy around choosing a food supplier is important because it helps you build an optimal distribution team for your business.

The following are 9 critical questions that you should ask your potential wholesale food supplier.


1. What is Their Minimum and Maximum Order?

Inventory management is vital in any business and should be in sync with your supplier’s delivery requirements. Ignoring the minimum order quantity might leave you with too much inventory, while the maximum order requirement might not might your business need. Also, understanding their minimum and maximum order quantity will help you avoid unnecessary fees.

2. Are there any Discounts or Incentives for Bulk Orders?

Your orders will rise as your business grows. Thus your deliveries might shift from monthly to a fortnight to weekly and so on. To encourage large orders, your supplier should be able to offer you discounts for the volume orders you place with them. These incentives help reduce the cost of raw materials and increase your profits.

3. What Are Their Payment Terms?

Does your supplier accept cost plus fixed price or cost plus percentage price? In the first payment model, the supplier is charging you the cost of the food times plus a specific fee on top. In the latter model, the supplier is charging the cost of the food times plus a certain percentage on top of that.

Understanding the supplier’s payment terms will help you choose the best option because food prices always fluctuate as seasons change.

4. How is Their Delivery Schedule Like?

Your business is looking for a food supplier that can accommodate your needs. This is a daunting task because suppliers work with multiple clients. However, it can be done with the right supplier.

According to Food supplier Malaysia, your business needs fresh ingredients that are delivered on time. That means you want the just-in-time delivery method to avoid wasting items, especially those with a shorter shelf life.

Further, a supplier that delivers food early in the morning might inconvenience your employees because they will need to start work very early than usual. Still, deliveries that are done very late are also less than ideal.

5. What is the Quality of their Delivery?

You are seeking to understand how punctual your supplier is. You shouldn’t work with unreliable food suppliers who drop deliveries at the peak time of your business. For instance, if you have a restaurant, your supplier should have a track record of being on time and reliable. This is key in building a long-term relationship.

6. Who are their Customers?

You are looking to establish a long-term professional relationship with your supplier, and for that reason, you want to hear what their other clients have to say about their services, pricing, or how they handle problems.

7. Do they offer a Liability Insurance Certificate?

Your food supplier should have liability insurance, and if not, you should be ready to eat the cost. This will be helpful in case the order has issues. Food supplier Malaysia encourages businesses not to be swayed by low prices because the unexpected might arise.

For instance, some of the vegetables supplied may have E.coli, or you may have to recall an order. Thus paying more for your orders from a supplier with liability insurance is better than a less expensive supplier but without insurance.

8. How are their Deliveries Packaged?

This is crucial because inadequate packaging will not keep foods at the right temperature. For instance, foods that should be frozen should be packaged properly and put in fridges or frozen to keep them at the recommended temperature.

Excess packaging is also not ideal because it will give your employees extra work besides preparing meals.

9. What are their Food Safety Protocols?

You should consider your supplier’s food safety protocols because you want to avoid food poisoning incidents as much as possible.

Therefore, your food supplier should follow similar food and safety regulations as you do to ensure the safety of your customers as well.


Most food suppliers Malaysia has can cater to your food supply requirements. However, having a strategy when searching for a potential food supplier will help you find a reliable one.

Ensure your potential food supplier can effectively answer the 9 questions. This will guarantee that your orders will be consistent and high quality, thus a strong long-term professional relationship.