London wine bar group the Humble Grape is achieving significant savings on a growing range of menu items, working with buying specialist Lynx Purchasing.
With wine bars in Islington, Fleet Street, Battersea and Liverpool Street, the Humble Grape specialises in artisan wines bought and imported directly from sustainable, family-run vineyards. Each site also offers bespoke fresh food menus, as well as regular wine tastings and a range of other events.
With food accounting for around 40% of sales across the business, operations director Kevin Coetzee said: “We position ourselves as a wine bar with exceptional wines, and complementing that we serve great food as well. Much like our ethos with wine, we want to give the best possible products in terms of food to our customers. Sourcing great products often comes with a price tag, but we don’t necessarily want to pass that on to customers.”
Lynx Purchasing negotiates exclusive prices with a range of industry suppliers, and among the products bought by the Humble Grape are meat; fruit and veg; cheese and deli lines, and fresh fish.
“The reason I work with Lynx Purchasing is because they do the hard work of price comparisons, and they do the negotiating, which basically frees me up to do other things,” said Kevin. “Somebody else is negotiating on my behalf, pushing down prices, and where they need to, being quite hard on the suppliers. As a result, I get a better deal. It’s like having an extension or the team, focused on my purchasing.”
Like all Lynx Purchasing customers, the Humble Grape has no contract and no obligation to buy at the prices offered. “Lynx brings me their pricing. and at the end of the day the choice is with my chefs. If they don’t like the product they have the option to go wherever they like, as long as they meet their GP targets – which, of course, Lynx is helping them to do.”
With a focus on fresh food, the prices negotiated by Lynx Purchasing on fruit and veg is one area where the business has made considerable savings. The Humble Grape is now expanding the range of products it buys through Lynx-nominated suppliers to include dry goods and ice cream to accompany the chefs’ freshly-prepared desserts. “As with any product area, Lynx has to deliver on price and quality,” said Kevin. “The proof will be in the pudding.”
Lynx Purchasing’s insight into market trends and pricing has also proved valuable. “Lynx are product specialists, and are always on top of what’s happening in the market. They know what’s going on, so they’re able to push back with suppliers.”