Milsom Hotels operates five prestigious properties in Essex and Suffolk, as well as a premium outside catering business. The award-winning hospitality operator works with buying specialist Lynx Purchasing to obtain the best prices on a range of core food products.
The Milsom Hotels venues are Maison Talbooth in Dedham, Essex, which is part of the Pride of Britain consortium, and the nearby Le Talbooth restaurant; country house hotel Milsoms, also in Dedham; harbourside hotel and restaurant the Pier in Harwich, Essex; and the boutique Kesgrave Hall in Suffolk.
Although each venue is very individual, the dining trade is key across the business, with menus focusing on fresh, seasonal food using ingredients sourced from a range of local suppliers, with many of whom the group has long-established relationships.
Milsom connected with Lynx Purchasing through Pride of Britain, where Lynx has preferred purchasing partner status. Stas Anastasiades, Milsom Hotels operations director, says: “We were one of the founder members of Pride of Britain, and so we felt it was important that we at least opened a conversation with Lynx to see how they could help us.”
Anastasiades adds: “We are very much a food & beverage business first and a hotel rooms provider second. Whether it’s our brasseries or our white tablecloth restaurants, we are all about a high quality customer experience, but we are often cooking high volumes as well.
“Probably like many operators, we felt that we were already in a strong purchasing and procurement position, because we’re multi-site and we felt we had a real structure to our purchasing. As it turned out, though, Lynx were able to identify significant savings which, as a decent sized but not huge business, we couldn’t have negotiated for ourselves. Having someone come in from outside is like a health check on your purchasing.”
Across the group, Milsom now buys products including some high-end butchery lines, fruit and veg, and dry goods, from suppliers nominated by Lynx, dovetailing these with its continued relationships with local and specialist suppliers. As with all Lynx customers, Milsom has no contract, pays no fees and is not tied to any specific supplier.
“Lynx are very good at making sure that we are buying the best products from the best suppliers for our needs. They also give us plenty of industry insight, such as the regular Market Forecast, which has been particularly helpful in planning for some of the unprecedented price increases our sector has seen.”
Anastasiades sums up: “Lynx understand our business. They know that it isn’t price first, it’s about quality. They are able to get preferential prices that makes us savings on the high-end, quality products that are right for our menus and cooking style. Whether it’s a high volume supplier or a niche supplier, they know how to compare like with like and get the best product for our needs, at the right price.”