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[Excerpt] One of the more intriguing food-service-operation trends of the past few years is the focus on building partnerships between food-service operators (that is, purchasers) and vendors. At the organizational level, companies are shrinking the number of suppliers with which they work and are developing close ties with a few selected partners.1 As we explain in this article, partnerships of this type are advantageous to both food-service operators and their vendors, because the long-term relationships create value and help the food-service operators maintain a competitive advantage.


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