Essay: Food Supply Chain

Pages: 3 (1075 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

Food Supply Chain

Supply chain management: Ms. Nok

Two potential types of sourcing are offered to Ms. Nok, that of a single-source strategy in which all products are provided by the same supplier vs. A multi-source approach in which products are provided by several suppliers. For a restaurant business, the latter seems superior in terms of a holistic strategy. The cheapest provider of dry bulk coffee may not be the cheapest provider of sugar, for example. A provider of perishable foodstuffs may not provide the same value for shelf-stable goods. Sometimes, in the case of franchise operations, the main headquarters will provide the franchisee with pre-packaged items, such as frozen hamburger meat and bagged greens. But an independent restaurant owner will likely wish to 'shop around' for the best items, and the cheapest items, within various product groupings. Establishing a strong relationship with a network of high-quality suppliers ensures a more diverse product range for customers, and enables the restaurant to construct more interesting and varied menus for consumers. With the exception of 'specialty' restaurants such as pizza parlors, flexibility of items translates into growing one's customer base. While the supply chain between purchaser and supplier may be more complex, and require more careful research of information on the part of the buyer because of a lower expectation of trust, much can still be gained.

A variety of customer preferences and demand profiles must be satisfied in the proposed restaurant model of Ms. Nok's in an airport. Ms. Nok must do market research about her customers so she can tailor her ever-changing menus to the demand profile of the various travelers likely to make their way through the location. Given that she is operating both a high-end and a low-end restaurant within her retail space, she clearly needs to offer a variety of items at a wide range of prices. As the restaurant is located in an airport, demand levels and customer preferences are going to be extremely volatile, depending on the season and other (possibly unpredictable) travel circumstances, such as political conditions and the weather. Offering a wide variety of products and menu items is in Ms. Nok's interest, as if she simply offered, for example, the best hamburgers in her 'fast food' section, then customers who did not like hamburgers would avoid her store. Variety is also essential in her higher-end section, given the need to please government officials who may dine there and wish to eat high-end goods as well as the more discerning palates of first class and business class travelers. Trust in the quality of product is also necessary in the B2C (business-to-consumer) spoke of the supply chain, just as much as Nok's B2B dealings.

But although multiple sourcing will give Ms. Nok wider access to a variety of goods, the question remains if she should find single or multiple sources for each item she sells. Having multiple sources for fresh foods will enable her to bargain with suppliers for frequently pricy meat and fish. High-end travelers and government officials will likely want 'the best of the best' but it is still essential Ms. Nok keeps her input costs down for these items. Given that her restaurant is supposed to be open… [END OF PREVIEW]

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