Notch simplifies relationships with restaurant distributors

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For many restaurant owners, B2B commerce hasn’t adapted quickly enough to today’s digital age and technological advancements that can lighten the workload. Additionally, businesses naturally worry and stress during the checkout process which affects both parties of a transaction: restaurants and distributors.

By integrating software solutions into their payment and ordering processes, restaurants can now eliminate the challenges of B2B payments. The first all-in-one software solution to digitize the traditionally paper-based journey of wholesale food and supply orders is notch. The Toronto, Canada-based company strives to simplify the payment and ordering process for restaurants and distributors.

Last month, notch partnered with Libra, a leading B2B payment processor that offers businesses the first online payment. The resulting solution, called “notchPay”, is a payment platform for notch customers that allows them to take advantage of payment processing methods such as wire transfers, checks or credit cards. Distributors will receive these payments in a short number of days, as opposed to the traditional weeks or months that a paper-based process would take.

Notch CEO Jordan Huck explained their mission to bring B2B and food commerce online: “When they run out of ingredients, restaurants turn to wholesale service supply chains. This can be local or general, however, they can source from a fragmented supply chain. Huck grew up working in restaurants and managed relationships with specialty vendors managing orders. With this operational experience in the food industry, Huck quickly “There are graveyards of tech companies that think they know the landscape better than a restaurant, but in reality, restaurateurs and chefs know what’s best,” he said. said Huck “The culture of running a restaurant business is in their blood.”

Launched a little over two and a half years ago, notch was built by specialists in the hotel industry. Restaurant owners who visit notch’s online marketplace can request catalogs and explore the supply chain online.

“We’re giving restaurants the power on an iOS app to send product notes to the bill in real time,” Huck said. “This pile of paper invoices is piling up all day, but we’re helping digitize that pile so it’s accurate for every invoice from every vendor. We want restaurants to get a financial partner so we can provide working capital to a restaurant. They can take care of cutting checks to different distributors through our one-click technology product.

The company has identified the needs of the distributor and the restaurant in the online supply chain process. From a distributor’s perspective, notch has spent a lot of time and money building an intensive structure for these specialty products. “We learned from our distributors and helped identify three things we can automate,” Huck explained. “Restaurants no longer have to call shoppers and get their credit card information or enter so many orders per day. We automatically withdraw the money, you click a button and enter the information from the credit card once. Integration with this restaurant’s system triggers our product to withdraw money that belongs to you and is deposited directly into your bank account. With this, the concept of manual bill processing can be eliminated. Digital invoices are delivered and weekly statements are also automated.

Huck went on to explain that the relationship between distributors and restaurants is all about loyalty: “You get the supply chain that you invited and cultivated when you join us. The product experience we build, we want distributors to adopt. The way we look at it is that we give back to the community to provide the lowest possible rates for specialty producers. »

This levels the playing field so that distributors get the same technology that a generalist supply chain, such as Sysco, can have. When restaurants bring their supply chain online and integrate it into their accounting and point-of-sale systems, they can easily pay their distributors and the distributors can recoup from the restaurant. Additionally, the notchPay program seamlessly manages manufacturer and packager purchase rebates that have become a critical source of revenue for restaurants and foodservice operators.

When discussing issues within the wholesale process, Huck brought up GPOs. “When major distributors receive orders, the data flows to the actual brands that offer the discount. If they don’t live with a GPO model, we have a partnership with a major one called Foodbuy, from Compass Group, the largest foodservice group in America. While most restaurants are familiar with GPO templates, notch prepares them if a restaurant needs them and helps integrate that process.

Huck commented that Notch thinks restaurants aren’t ready to say goodbye to the relationships they have with their reps. “I think the DSR (Distributor Sales Rep) will continue to build relationships with the chefs. This business took off when all we thought about when creating products was to make it easy to maintain relationships with distributors. An example of how notch encourages this is when a restaurant sends an order to their distributor, they can copy their rep. The notch of the module is under construction and also allows representatives to enter orders. “We want to increase continuity, not get in the way; we are the technology company that exists to help automate stressful work,” concluded Huck.


For restaurants interested in next steps with notch, visit their website. With pent-up demand in the food industry, notch aims to help operators reduce manual labor so they can focus on their customers.

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