3 Fixes to Supply Chain Problems of Fast-Growing Food Brands
When your food company or restaurant chain first begins to take off, the growth can be exciting and—as any fast-growing brand will admit—a little overwhelming.
For the food industry in particular, high growth expansion can make it difficult to maintain your standardization processes, which can cause supply chain confusion and lead to unfortunate mistakes.
And given how important it is to establish trust with your customers, the inability to standardize your processes can make living up to a consistent and reliable brand difficult. When your customers can’t rely on a standard of quality, service and trust, your brand’s reputation is likely to suffer.
So, what can fast-growing food brands do to make sure expansion doesn’t lead to disaster?
Here are our three fixes to supply chain problems of fast-growing brands.
1. Make Food Safety a CULTURAL Priority
The definition of food safety has changed dramatically over the last few years, and it has become more important than ever for food brands to prioritize not only safety, but also the transparency and quality of their products. Making sure both safety and quality are ingrained into the culture of your brand is essential.
In addition to ensuring the food you serve doesn’t pose a short-term risk to your customers, you also need to consider the overall long-term health and wellness properties of your food. Food brands that are working to "clean up" the food they serve (read our profile on Panera Bread as an example) will be able to answer the consumer demand for simple, clean ingredients.
Prioritizing safety and seeking out suppliers who support your mission and can grow with you is the first step in maintaining a solid foundation of quality that helped your brand experience high growth in the first place.
2. Be Transparent
A huge part of maintaining trust with your established customer base as you grow is reminding them why they trusted you in the first place. Being transparent with end-to-end traceability of your supply chain not only shows you have nothing to hide, but it also sets customers’ minds at ease and positively builds your reputation.
Making transparency part of your brand will also help keep all locations accountable as your organization grows.
3. Use Supply Chain Traceability Technology
One of the ways you can achieve both food safety and transparency is by using food supply chain traceability software. With the right tools, you can know exactly how every item of food you serve your customers reached your restaurant or exactly where each ingredient put into your products came from.
Not only can supply chain traceability help standardize your processes and keep your restaurant running smoothly, it can also ensure any potential problems are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. If (knock on wood) a food safety issues does arise, you’ll be able to quickly get to the root of the problem to offer your customers an explanation and solution when they need it most.
With these strategies in mind, your brand can continue to thrive and grow without significant risk of disorganization or mismanagement. And should you run into a food safety issue, you’ll be able to recover quickly in a way that strengthens your customers’ faith in your brand. The standard your customers receive will be consistent and you’ll know exactly how to scale your processes for further growth.