Advice For Buyers

Questions Buyers Should Ask Sellers

  • 01How long should we expect the growing season to last for this product, and how much will you have available?
  • 02How would you like your product promoted at the restaurant or on the menu
  • 03What is the best way for us to send payment?
  • 04Who is the main point of contact?
  • 05What is the best way for us to communicate? Email? Phone? Fax? Text?
  • 06What agricultural methods are used in production?
  • 07What is the best time and day for you to deliver, and how far in advance do you need orders?
  • 08If people ask about your product, can I give them your contact information? Do you have a flyer or other information I can handout?
  • 09What food safety practices have you implemented?
  • 10Do you have insurance coverage? If so, how much?


Cultivating the Connection

Commitment & Consistency – Be a loyal customer--buy what you say you will buy, and try to buy consistently while the product is in season. Setting up a steady routine with a farmer will allow them to plan their harvest and delivery to optimize their efficiency and the quality--providing you with a better product.

Communication – Have an open conversation with the grower and describe to them how you plan to use their product. Establish a predictable routine for phone calls, orders, and questions. Give as much advance notice regarding your needs as you can. Always clarify the details and if you're unhappy with a product or the service, tell the grower why so they can work with you to suggest a different product, change delivery time, etc.

Buying – Expect to pay a premium price for premium products. You can expect to learn why it’s worth the price and your customers will thank you!

Flexibility – Base your menu off of what is in season and use what is fresh! If issues arise with the grower or your staff, try to understand the problem and agree on win-win solutions. It’s all about the relationship! If you featured a great product this season and would like to do it again next year, tell the farmer so they can anticipate your need.

Delivery – Establish a routine delivery schedule including day, time and point of contact. If conditions change at the restaurant, let the grower know immediately.

Trust – Remain open, transparent, flexible and patient. Remember, it’s all about the relationship!

Invoicing & Billing – Establish a payment system and follow through on your promises. Most farmers like to be paid either COD or in 7 days.

Education – Share the growers' stories and continue to learn about products that are available. Inspire your staff and customers to do the same! Visit their farm during the summer or winter if you can, or stop by to see them at a farmers market if available.