Red Flags To Avoid In Your Office Food Service Partner
Finding the right match in an office food service provider is like any other relationship. You start with your online vetting process, diving into their pictures and promises. Then you decide to set that first meeting to see if they are as good IRL as they proclaim online. You end the first date hopeful - this could be the one.
After a few dates, things are going well. You finally “defined the relationship” and even introduced them to your employees. But just as you start to imagine long walks in the kitchen and the perfect product selection you designed together, reality sets in as you notice all the red flags. Our advice? RUN!
We hear stories like this time and time again. You go with a different F&B partner thinking you may save a bit of money. Little did you know, you end up paying in your time, your team's bandwidth, a storage room of products no one likes, and an office experience that isn't retaining anyone. But they promised it would be better next time. Sure, Jan.
We're diving into the telltale signs to avoid when choosing your food service partner. Your peace of mind is worth a lot, and you deserve a partner who communicates openly, delivers consistently, and lives up to the commitments they promised.
Explore the red flags that, if ignored, can lead to a toxic partnership. That’s not only exhausting, but it is detrimental to your office experience and your ability to retain and acquire top talent. After all, choosing an office food service partner to spend the rest of your contract with should be the best day of your life, right?
🚩 Poor Communication
Red Flag: Even the simplest replies take forever – that is, if you get one at all.
Green Flag: Sends you regular updates and is always quick to respond.
Communication is the key ingredient to a successful F&B program. Between fluctuations in the supply chain and the ever-evolving workplace, your program isn’t something you can just set up and forget. It needs constant attention with a reliable partner you can count on to be proactive.
One of Crafty’s core values is putting the client at the center, which starts with communication. Companies can expect regular communications about their office pantry program in two key places:
- Dashboard: Provides visibility into your entire program, but specifically operations. With photo proof, you can see exactly what our team is doing on the ground at every location.
- Email: Your dedicated Crafty contact will send over regular email updates that highlight program wins, upcoming updates, open requests, and consumption trends.
If you feel like you’re getting ghosted by your vendors, you probably are. So it’s time to move on to a better, brighter partnership!
🚩 Missing or Incomplete Orders
Red Flag: Your favorite item is MIA, and they hope you won't notice.
Green Flag: Confirming every single item on your order and sealed with a pic.
Want us to pull out the receipts? The others won’t, but Crafty sure will!
You shouldn’t have to chase down your vendor to see if your order arrived. That’s their job, not yours. That’s why finding a trusted partner who checks the receipts for you is crucial.
At Crafty, our team goes through your order line by line to ensure you got what you paid for and includes a proof of delivery photo. We also collaborate with you from the jump to find suitable product alternatives.
The one thing you won’t have to worry about is not knowing what’s happening on the ground. Our team will send you regular updates, especially around products. If something is off, our team will let you know and be the ones leading the charge on the solution.
If you or a workplace manager friend is dealing with this problem, we recommend you kick those vendors to the curb and call Crafty ASAP.
🚩 Poor Product Quality
Red Flag: Your product selection is meh, and the quality is even worse.
Green Flag: You have so many options and someone to check they are as good IRL.
Are your products boring? Are your products expired? Are your products arriving broken? If you answered yes to any of these, take some advice from this iconic song…
Let’s break this down and see how Crafty can easily save you from each:
- Diverse Products: Crafty has an extensive digital catalog showcasing all the products available in your area. You can filter it down to find what you’re looking for, whether that’s by product type, dietary preference, or DEI initiative.
- Expiration Organization: Our team organizes your stockrooms and shelves based on expiration dates using the FEFO method: First Expire, First Out. This way, we can get your existing stuff in your employees’ hands to maximize your inventory. It’s that simple.
- It’s Best To Check: Our team checks every product on the shelves to ensure nothing is broken or bruised. It’s so important to us to ensure your team gets nothing but the best.
FUN FACT: Bananas are the top office snack in the US, but how does one keep them so fresh and yellow? The key is storing them in a dark and cool, but not too cool, room. That’s why Crafty invested in a banana tent in our warehouses to ensure bananas stay perfectly ripe for as long as possible. If that’s not showing our love via acts of service, we don’t know what does.
🚩 Playing the Blame Game
Red Flag: Tries to blame ANYONE else or gaslights you into thinking it’s your fault. Big yikes.
Green Flag: Comes to you with solutions, not more problems.
Nothing is more frustrating than coming to your vendor with a problem and having them respond with more problems. A true partner would come to you with solutions to fix it.
Crafty is here to solve your F&B problems, and here are just a few examples of how we do this:
- Collaborative Replacements: We work collaboratively with you, our team, and our partners to ensure you have adequate replacements for any out-of-stock products.
- Support Heroes: Our support team is at the ready to help you, whether that’s recommending product swaps, ordering that emergency item on the fly, and much more. They are real, flesh and blood people and just an email away!
- Proactive Emails: If anything is off, our team comes to you first to let you know. We don’t wait until you notice.
No company controls the product supply chain (regardless of what they may tell you), but we will do everything in our power to make sure you are taken care of. Crafty goes above and beyond, taking the necessary steps to ensure everything we put in your office is the best the Snackverse can offer and checked for quality assurance.
Mic drop! 🎤
🚩 Lack of Operational Transparency
Red Flag: You have no idea what’s happening at your locations day-to-day.
Green Flag: Full visibility into daily operations inside a central dashboard.
Is it even happening if there is no photo proof? At Crafty, if you didn’t take a photo, it didn’t happen. Whether your Crafty team is visiting a few times a week or they are stationed at your office daily, every Crafty client gets full operational transparency. It’s a non-negotiable.
As Crafty team members work through each task on their list, they take photo proof of completion so you can rest easy that things are done to your standards. If that wasn’t enough, our Support Team grades those pictures to ensure the utmost quality on your behalf.
The best part? You can check progress for the day across every location. If you ever questioned if love at first sight exists, just take a look inside the Crafty dashboard. You’ll understand once you do!
🚩 Budget Invisibility
Red Flag: You don’t know you’re over budget until you’re over budget.
Green Flag: Daily reporting into your budget spend across every location.
Surprise! You got an invoice, and it’s over budget. 😑
They said they would respect your boundaries, but shocker, they didn’t, and you’re left to pick up the pieces. At the very least, they could have provided you with a heads-up. At least you know there are better fish in the sea of F&B partners…like Crafty.
Crafty’s new budgeting tool is the answer to your prayers. It allows you to see your budget use daily so you can stay current on your spending across all locations. If you’re nearing your budget, you’ll get notified, and our team on the ground can take preemptive steps to course correct.
Looking back, Crafty clients wonder why they didn’t leave that toxic relationship sooner.
🚩 Inaccessible Consumption Data
Red Flag: No consumption data and a stockroom filled with products no one likes.
Green Flag: Company-wide consumption reports and stockrooms that look just right.
The thing about stockrooms is that you don’t want them too full or too empty. If it’s too full, you may spend too much on things you aren’t regularly consuming. If it’s too empty, you may not be spending enough on the items your employees love. It’s about finding the sweet spot where you have exactly what you need. (Cue Crafty)
Crafty has inventory management down to a science. Your Crafty team is taking inventory onsite and pushing that information into your dashboard. Inside the dashboard, our automated inventory tool knows when to reorder based on your thresholds. Pretty neat, right? 🤓
Understanding consumption patterns is essential for stocking your shelves while staying on budget. Plus, as you start making important decisions for the future, you can look to your consumption trends to show you the way.
🚩 Unfulfilled Technological Promises
Red Flag: You want to pull your hair out as you try to get any sort of metrics.
Green Flag: All your reports are just one click away in your central dashboard.
They said this year was the year you would finally get some technology support. How many broken promises will it take to finally see they aren’t right for you?
Technology is crucial to your program’s success both on the ground and at a high level. You need to be able to quickly pull reports so you can make data-driven decisions that will best fit your company.
Crafty invested in our technology suite years ago. Every extra hour you spend trying to MacGyver a report from nothing is time you could have spent fueling your company forward. Crafty already delivers on that promise and works hard to make it even better every day.
We’re at the end, and it’s time to get serious about your future. A successful food service partnership should be built on trust, reliability, and clear communication.
The time is now to stop turning a blind eye to these red flags and start prioritizing your wants and needs. Price is important, but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice everything else. If you do, you’re just paying it in different ways, whether that’s in hard dollars having to clean up their mess or simply your time, which is much more valuable.
You deserve better.