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Need advice on how to begin with a GPO?

February 06, 2024

When Tom Schmidt, Co-owner of the growing St. Louis, Mo., restaurant chain Salt + Smoke found himself needing better pricing and wider access to food and supplies, he turned to the world’s largest food group purchasing organization, Entegra.

With six locations and over 400 employees, they’ve weathered the growing pains of launching a new restaurant, including a Herculean effort to close their doors on one restaurant and open their wildly successful BBQ concept just five days later.

“As soon as we heard about Entegra, we asked, ‘how soon can we say yes to this partnership and leverage everything that Entegra brings to the table?’”

— Tom Schmidt, Co-owner/Founder

What advice can they share about how to get started with a GPO?

When the challenges of inflation hit, Schmidt knew they needed a GPO partner. They learned about Entegra through an industry consultant.

To get started with a GPO, Schmidt suggests taking your top 20 most-purchased items, looking at what you’re paying now and then contracting with Entegra for those purchases to improve your buying power, cost and profitability.

According to Schmidt, Entegra has been a partner in more than product and ingredient selection. Entegra has helped them analyze their spending, standardize purchasing across their locations and increase their profitability.

“It was like drinking from a fire hose because Entegra brings so much to the table,” said Schmidt. “From broadline to local and direct, Entegra does a great analysis to help you start with the most impactful items to improve your buying power, cost and profitability.”

A real-world example of GPO savings

Salt Smoke LogoRecently, Salt + Smoke converted the chicken that they were buying elsewhere to an Entegra supplier. They got samples from the Entegra supplier and went through the process of testing to find a perfect alternative chicken. In fact, said Schmidt:

“We are now saving 20-30 cents per pound on chicken each year, so over hundreds of thousands of pounds per year, the savings are wildly impactful.”

Find out more about how Entegra can help you meet your goals by exploring our solutions for restaurants.

February 06, 2024

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