Paul Hill chats wholesale with George Joannou
What wholesalers do you use and why?
I shop in a variety of places for my stock, specifically a foodservice wholesaler called Friars Pride for my pitta breads and packaging.
Cash and carries are brilliant for things such as meat, cleaning items and certain dairy products, and their butchers are also very helpful and understand the importance of having orders ready for me.
However, I use the likes of Lidl and Aldi for our halloumi cheese and cucumbers as the price is a lot cheaper than any wholesaler.
Do you get your orders by visiting the cash and carry or having them delivered?
I like to go into a cash and carry personally to collect most of my stock before an event. Quality is very important, so I always want to make sure what I’m buying is good enough, and I feel the only way you can tell with certain ingredients is by seeing it for yourself.
How can wholesalers improve the online ordering experience?
If I’m at an event and I have to arrange a delivery, it’s important it arrives on time. I would like to see a time slot of when my delivery will arrive, as if stocks are low you may have to stop trading.
How can your wholesalers improve the experience of buying from them?
By offering tailored sales to each customer. Wholesalers are very good at offering samples of stock. For example, Booker gave us a £50 box of pre-cut pork to try as they thought it would help the speed of preparation. It’s really helped us cut the time down by 50-60%.
What cash and carry activity is likely to capture your attention and get you to purchase promotional items?
I think in-depot sales at the end of aisles could be more attention-grabbing. I usually have to go up and down every aisle as my stock is quite varied.
Also, sending emails of sales products related to my previous purchases would be a good help.
Street food is taking off, and with that will come an increase in demand for wholesalers to supply new products
What categories would you like to see wholesalers improve in?
Packaging is such a big thing for me and my business. I would love to reduce the environmental footprint of everything I sell, so I’d like to see cash and carries selling locally sourced meat and vegetables. Even if the price is a little higher, I think customers would prefer it.
How good are wholesalers at responding to trends?
From my experience, I’d say they have got it right. From eco packaging to new products on the market, they always tend to be quite fast to respond.
What food trends do you predict will grow this year?
Street food is taking off, and with that will come an increase in demand for wholesalers to supply new products.