The percentage of street operators purchasing goods online has dramatically increased since 2014, with over 40% saying they use third-party e-sourcing (3ES) at least once a month.
According to Technomic’s latest E-Sourcing Impact Study, supplies, disposables, specialty foods and shelf-stable foods represent much of what is purchased.
The research found that some distributors report that operators are using websites for price checking, sometimes finding lower prices on Amazon and trying to negotiate price on this basis.
As a result of new purchasing expectations from the younger tech-savvy generation, distributors are evolving and investing in developing user-friendly online ordering platforms and apps to mirror Amazon’s interface.
“Our research suggests that street restaurant operators are bullish on the future of third-party e-sourcing,” said Joe Pawlak, managing principal. “Today, operators are most inclined to purchase products in the nonfoods and shelf-stable space but are reluctant to source frozen and perishables from 3ES. However, they can envision a giant like Amazon developing a solution to make operators comfortable purchasing these products online.”
Compiling findings from interviews with restaurant operators, non commercial establishments and broadline distributors, the 2018 E-Sourcing Impact Study serves as a guide for foodservice professionals to uncover the evolution of operator purchasing behavior as well as the opportunities and threats these channels pose to the foodservice market.