Kash Rehman is the CEO of Foodem.com, a Web site where restaurant owners can make wholesale purchases of food and other inventory items. According to Rehman, Foodem.com is the only online tool available for restaurant owners to connect with distributors. Currently, Foodem.com users can buy from about 25 suppliers from the Washington D.C., Baltimore and Northern Virginia area, although Rehman envisions his company as eventually becoming a national operation. Smartbrief recently asked Rehman a few questions about his business and how it can help restaurant owners.
How does Foodem.com work?
The purchaser puts everything he needs to buy for the week into the search bar. The search terms can be anything from “chicken tenders” to “tomatoes” to “to-go containers.”
The search returns all the suppliers in your area with items you need, along with a variety of information about each supplier: the city and state where they are located, how far they are from you, the minimum order required for delivery and when they’re willing to deliver. It also identifies any special circumstances, such as if an order won’t be processed until the next day if it is placed after a certain time.
The buyer then specifies how much of each item it wants from each distributor, and adds them to his or her cart. Once everything is in the cart, the buyer can make his purchase.
That seems like a lot of information coming back at once, how is it formatted?
The distributors that have the most number of items in stock that you need are listed first, this way if you want to get everything from one place, you can do that. The prices are also listed alongside the available items so users can easily compare their options.
What are some of the advantages of using Foodem.com?
Foodem.com benefits two types of purchasers: those who want to find a deal, and those who are looking to automate their purchasing every week in order to save time. Our goal is really to help purchasers make quick decisions based on price, availability, and quality. Also, we have found that there are fewer mistakes when purchasing is done online, as opposed to over the telephone or through fax.
You said purchasers can make decisions based on quality, how does Foodem.com help gauge that?
After someone purchases from a distributor, they can than rate that distributor on a scale of one to five. The user-ratings are displayed with the search returns.