Professional chefs are increasingly seeing their suppliers as more than just providers, reports food industry publication The Packer.

The restaurant industry is one example of a business model where the quality of supplies is extremely important to customer retention. If a dish doesn't taste good - or isn't made with high-quality ingredients - customers won't return for another meal. Additionally, the restaurant industry is notoriously difficult to break into, and restaurant start-ups are famous for their spectacular failures. Conventional wisdom holds that nine out of 10 new restaurants won't survive a full year, though official academic studies put the figure at closer to eight out of 10.

For that reason, intimate knowledge of the supply chain is crucial to chefs.

"I reach out to my produce company as a partner," William Bloxsom-Carter, executive chef and food and beverage director of the Playboy Mansion West in Los Angeles, told the publication. "I need them to be my eyes and ears in produce."

Being able to trace the origin of food is becoming increasingly important to restaurant patrons, and chefs who recognize the importance of knowing where food comes from are working to build stronger ties with the aspects of their supply chain that customers haven't traditionally known about.
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