Hospitality Supply Purchasing are you formal or informal, and which style is best for you?

Hospitality Supply Purchasing are you formal or informal, and which style is best for you?

Posted by Hotels4humanity on Apr 10th 2020

The objective of purchasing hospitality supplies involves using a purchase manager to get the right quality and quantity at the right time and price from the right suppliers. Several buying methods and options influence the selection of a hospitality supplier. For example, BnB owners with relatively few rooms may have difficulty meeting the quantity requirements of large-wholesale case pricing of Hotel Pool Towels. By contrast, large resorts and casinos may have less interest in purchasing supplies from small vendors. While today, the idea of one-stop shopping is ideal for many hoteliers.

Here is a general contrast that will help in understanding the difference between formal buying operations and informal.

The 2 hospitality supply buying methods

The hoteliers must be aware of all the options available so that finding the right supplier to get the right products is realized. The hotelier's purchasing goal is to move buying supplies from routine order-placing to careful, considerate buying. I.E., The best suppliers are those that meet and exceed hotel supply needs. In doing so, hoteliers will follow two buying strategies, either Formal or Informal. Let us take a look at this a little deeper so you can streamline your operations.


Hospitality professionals must incorporate basic management principles into there buying methods. Keeping hotel supplies stocked is expensive, and operating problems arise when products get purchased in incorrectly. Therefore an organized manner should be used by even small lodging properties.

Some hoteliers may regularly order from the same supplier. Because they have complete trust in their hotel supplier, they may use a very informal buying method. For example, some customers at call in their orders. Our customer service team makes an order without inquiring about purchase pricing, knowing that all our product prices are online, and we offer full transparency.

Hospitality managers are very busy, and recalling details about purchases of the several hundred or more products is not feasible. So managers must have some record-keeping system, usually, an invoice that in the form of an email or as a pdf attachment to confirm the price, quantity, and quality of the hospitality supplies.


Using invoices via email or pdf is very useful for hotels, Inns, and VRBOs, which require practical yet straightforward record-keeping. By contrast, large casinos and resorts may make use of a formalized purchase ordering system. Some necessary procedures are listed below in many formal hotel supply purchasing.

  • Large suppliers will use a "request for price quotation" (RFP). Frequently, the RFP form gets created as the purchase order for the successful supplier.
  • In the RFP a there will be quality requirements for hotel items to be purchased.
  • All eligible hotel suppliers will get RFP to ensure accurate and best pricing and quality options.
  • The operation defines a wide range of legal/contractual concerns. These may be included as part of the purchase specifications and made to apply to all orders placed by the hospitality operation.
  • When the purchase order is issued, one copy is for the supplier, and additional copies are for other departments within the property. For example, food and beverage, receiving, accounting, and purchasing department staff may require copies.

When large operations use formal bidding, several other requirements get established, including bidding time frames, penalties for delivery issues, and procedures.