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 May 8th 2022

Purchasing hospitality supplies involves using a purchase manager to get the right quality and quantity at the right time and price from suitable 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 be less interested in purchasing small vendors' supplies. While today, the idea of one-stop shopping is ideal for many hoteliers.

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

The two hospitality supply buying methods

The hoteliers must be aware of all the options available to find the right supplier to get the right products. 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 look at this a little deeper so you can streamline your operations.


Hospitality professionals must incorporate basic management principles into their buying methods. Keeping hotel supplies stocked is expensive, and operating problems arise when products are purchased 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 complete transparency.

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


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 use 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, there will be quality requirements for hotel items to be purchased.
  • All eligible hotel suppliers will get RFP to ensure accurate 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 documents.

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