Running out of essential items when you’re in the middle of a busy event can be a disaster. Having too few glasses, not enough napkins or insufficient cleaning chemicals to hand can make it almost impossible to provide guests with great service and impress your customers.

The best way to ensure you always have enough supplies in stock is to buy in bulk. Investing in a large order of catering essentials will give you the resources you need to tackle your upcoming events efficiently and professionally. What’s more, buying in bulk can be much more affordable than purchasing products individually or in small numbers, giving your company a financial boost as well as a logistical advantage. Keep reading to find out more.

Why buy in bulk?

There are a number of reasons to buy catering supplies in bulk. For a start, buying in bulk is more convenient than buying products in small quantities. Bulk buying minimises the number of orders you have to arrange and therefore the number of deliveries.

This can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend buying stock and organising your supplies. If you, or a member of your team, currently spends a few hours a month, or even a week, ordering supplies, you’ll find bulk buying has a positive impact on your productivity.

Another reason to buy in bulk is affordability. Many suppliers will offer significant discounts when their customers place large orders. This can have a beneficial impact on your company’s finances and help to boost the profitability of your business.

Buying in bulk also helps to ensure that your team doesn’t run out of products just when they need them most. Not having enough reusable glasses for a corporate event or enough napkins for a wedding can make it difficult for your team to do their jobs. Running low on essential items at a crucial moment can also make your team look unprofessional.

When you buy catering supplies in bulk, you’re much more likely to have the products you need, when you need them. This will give your team the resources necessary to help the events you cater to run more smoothly.

What to buy in bulk

While bulk buying is convenient and affordable, not all items can be purchased in large quantities. For the most part, bulk buying should only really be applied to products that won’t spoil or those that have a long shelf life. This prevents waste and ensures you get full use out of all the items you buy. The exception to this rule is when you’re catering mass events and know you’ll get through your perishable products in a short space of time.

Common catering supplies bought in bulk include reusable glasses and cutlery, napkins, bin bags and paper and plastic tableware. A large number of other items are available for bulk purchase too, so if your company has specific requirements, finding the right items should be easy.

Before deciding which items to buy in bulk, take a look at your inventory to see which products you use the most. Talking to frontline members of staff should also give you an idea of the items that are most used, and therefore most essential, during a catering event.

Storing your catering supplies

If you’re going to buy catering supplies in bulk, you need to ensure you have somewhere suitable to store them. Most suppliers will pack bulk products as small as possible. However, your napkins, plastic glasses and other essential items will still take up a fair bit of space so it’s important you check the square footage available before you buy.

Ideally, your storage space should be dry and easily accessible. A damp environment can quickly damage products and leave some items in poor condition. If you don’t look after your bulk items properly, you may even find they’re unfit for purpose when it’s time to use them.

As well as being dry, your storage space should be accessible. If you can’t get to all your boxes, you may find you forget what you have in stock. If your items are particularly inaccessible, you may even have to buy new items to tide your team over until the old boxes can be reached.

Managing your supplies

Efficiently managing your bulk catering supplies will help your business to run smoothly and ensure your team has all the essentials they need to get the job done. Often, the best way to manage stock levels is to create an online inventory.

A digital register of products will help you to track stock levels and ensure you know exactly when to place a new order. Some systems even notify you when certain items are running low, allowing you to get more stock in before you run out of your essentials.

Nominate a member of your team to manage stock levels. Having one person in charge should help to prevent mistakes and help the process to run more smoothly.

Finding a supplier

When buying catering items in bulk, it’s important you find a reliable supplier. When you order a large number of products, you need to know that the items you receive will be high quality, good value and fit for purpose.

Ideally, you should always use a specialist catering supplier when buying in bulk. They’ll have a better idea of your company’s needs and should be able to tailor their service to suit your requirements. A specialist company should also have an in-depth knowledge of the products they offer. This means they’ll be able to answer your questions and offer advice on the items most suitable for you.

If you’d like to find out more about buying catering supplies in bulk, or if you’d like to start shopping for supplies of your own, take a look around our site or get in touch with a member of our team.