The vital role that suppliers play was emphasised by Theo Randall, the guest speaker at Catersummit

Randall, a former partner and head chef at River Café, a restaurateur and author.

He said that when he opened a restaurant he invited all his suppliers to a meal so they could experience and understand what he was trying to achieve. He added: “They understood straight away and we felt like a team.”

He said suppliers needed to be able to provide a second delivery because if the restaurant had a rush at lunch time it would need to re-stock, and he said prices needed to be held for periods so restaurants could hold their menu prices.

He also said that suppliers could help in staff training, with events such as product tastings, because staff needed to try the products so they could fully understand them.

Spanish and Mexican food are growing in popularity, he said, but the biggest trend is for British food or British produce cooked with either a French or Italian twist.

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