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New online buying platform for UK catering industry

13 | 03 | 13

A new online procurement system for the UK catering industry has been launched.

The £21 million Marketplace platform, which has been developed by online restaurant directory A Local Menu, aims to make running a restaurant in Britain easier.

It plans to bring down costs for suppliers and food outlets as well as making it simpler for caterers to source and purchase the items they need.

The platform will provide a wide range of food and non-food products, including catering equipment. It is already used by global organisations such as McDonald's and Subway and has now been adapted specifically for the UK market.
A Local Menu said it developed the system because many independent restaurants, cafes and coffee shops struggle to find the time to source equipment, negotiate prices and place orders with more than one supplier.

When a restaurant registers with the company, it will be given access to the Marketplace, which allows it to find the best products, services and prices from hundreds of suppliers. The platform is powered by the US software firm Coupa and an extensive range of items is available, from standard catering equipment to speciality local goods.

Sue Barton, founder of A Local Menu, said: "With the Coupa e-procurement solution, eateries can secure great deals from an ever expanding number of suppliers, enabling them to shift their focus from procurement to the larger task at hand - getting more diners through the door and delivering a great experience.”

The company claims the Marketplace system can save businesses between 16 per cent and 27 per cent on the prices they currently pay for catering products, as well as reducing the amount of time and resources that have to be invested in the procurement process.

Tony Dawson, vice president of alliances at Coupa, commented: "It’s a simple solution that saves both the restaurant and supplier both time and money - one of the many benefits that will be welcomed in the food service industry."

The service will launch in the UK on March 25th this year. ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801555954-ADNFCR

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