At first glance, you might think participating in a group purchasing organization is all about saving money. But partnering with an organization like Source1 Purchasing is about much more than simply finding the lowest prices. There are a number of resources that become available like the commodity report. Released by Source1 in partnership with entegra, the report spotlights how prices are trending and why. It is important for you to understand commodity pricing and project how a change will impact your operations. In the end, it’ll help you make better purchasing decisions.

There are a number of different areas that are impacted by emerging nations, market trends, weather and other issues. Operators need to revisit the specifications for their products and consider what’s trending. Can they take advantage of these trends and select different products or foods to maximize their cost savings?

One thing is certain for restaurant and hotel operators: commodity prices for food and hotel supplies will fluctuate…wildly at times. These unpredictable changes impact a hotel’s budget and will challenge its commitment to consistently satisfying customers.

Being part of a group purchasing organization helps you fulfill your promise, which is a key element in maintaining a relationship with loyal guests.

It can be hard to gain loyalty from today’s guests because they are savvy at online shopping for the best value and best hotel that meet their criteria. Kelton Global conducted a survey for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group to learn about hotel loyalty program members.

The survey, which was discussed in an article on the MarketWatch website, discovered that even though four out of five respondents said they would join a hotel loyalty program, it would take at least three experiences for two-thirds of them to consider themselves loyal to any specific brand.

This is kind of like a three-strikes-you’re-out mentality, but it does give you opportunities to prove you can be consistent. Also revealed in Kelton Global’s research is the fact that one in five Americans belong to a hotel loyalty program, and nearly 60 percent join more than one loyalty program while shopping around for the hotel best suited to their needs.

Now more than ever you need to be on top of your game, including the strategic use of marketplace intelligence like commodity reports. The products you select should only reflect your brand promise to guests and elevate their overall experience.Commodity reports coupled with other reports on trends provide important information needed to plan an overall guest experience from arrival to menus even the way those items are delivered. Remember room service? Today’s traveler wants other options.

Restaurants and hotels have become creative with their approach to balancing the budget and the brand promise. For example, you can minimize the appearance of change by selecting the same product in an alternate size.

You may want to start looking for a value-added product. Just like coffee manufacturers have moved from selling a pound of coffee to selling 12- or 15-ounce containers, operators need to consider the same approach. Rethink and refocus on what the product is for. If one particular protein becomes too expensive, for example, consider a different quality or a different cut.

Operators can also use change as an opportunity to consider a different flavor or presentation. Make the new dish a limited time offer to build a buzz and drive revenue. If produce costs are falling while protein costs are rising, use this to create a number of dishes where fruits and vegetables are the main attraction. Tie that in with the local food movement and market it to guests who are looking for lighter dishes that are also healthy and environmentally conscious.
Finding a less costly product can actually be an opportunity to expand your menu and attract new guests, and is yet one more benefit of joining a group purchasing organization.

The commodity market will always be somewhat unpredictable. But that does not need to be a frustration. Use reports to explore creative solutions. Your operation can create a memorable experience for guests without overextending your budget. Source1 Purchasing assist their customers with information from commodity reports, updates on trends and the latest from suppliers…all with one goal; to make smarter purchasing decisions.

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