Hospitality Food Program that Keeps Pace With Changing Taste Buds

November 18, 2018
High-end chicken meal being prepared
In the hospitality industry, tastes can change quickly and without warning. Signature dishes that are popular today may get moved to the backburner tomorrow. Diet crazes, celebrity-chef inspired menus and food trends can influence what people order. 

Having the right food and drink in stock when they’re needed is paramount; however, this need must be  balanced carefully against the desire to squeeze every penny out of spend by keeping inventory low to avoid overfilling valuable and costly space in freezers, refrigerators and shelves.

Serving this rapidly-changing, highly demanding industry requires a group purchasing organization (GPO) that truly understands the unique challenges hospitality faces, offering a portfolio that’s flexible and comprehensive enough to cover the breadth of items they serve to their guests. Most GPOs simply repackage their healthcare food program for the hospitality industry. This approach is ineffective because the hospitality industry has very different food needs from healthcare facilities. 

Provista takes a different—and better—approach, delivering a program that’s specifically designed for hospitality members. It offers an array of foods and related products tailored to the hospitality industry, from large gaming properties to small boutique hotels, and from resorts to sporting arenas. 

“We created the program to have the right product mix, the right suppliers and the right quality levels of product to meet the needs of the hospitality member,” explains David Richard, senior director of Program Development for the Provista Hospitality Program. “Our program provides average savings between 15% and 20% depending on the type of facility."


Richard explains the No. 1 challenge facing Provista members in the hospitality industry is controlling food quality. Their guests expect great tasting food and excellent dining experiences. At the same time, members must hold costs in check to ensure profitability. Provista works to balance lowering costs with maintaining high quality to help members meet their goals. 

“Because hospitality has so many different types of food outlets and concepts under one roof, we needed to have the right products to be able to satisfy the unique requirements of a wide range of venues,” Richard says.  

By providing monthly and quarterly financial analysis summaries, Provista allows members to keep an eye on costs. The summaries offer a level of transparency that enables members to proactively monitor all aspects of their purchasing and see the savings per contract.  

“The financial analysis is a way for them to monitor the benefits of all the contracts and services they’re utilizing,” Richard points out. “They can use that information to report back to their leadership and show the benefits of being a member of Provista.”


Besides offering a wide range of products at competitive prices, Provista provides additional value by identifying ways to best serve members’ individual needs. Representatives from the Provista hospitality team talk one-on-one with members to understand their pain points, and then design custom solutions.

“Our entire team is like a team of consultants,” Richard notes. “We meet with customers, listen to their needs, and then we look at our portfolio and figure out how the program can help meet the distinct needs of that member rather than having a cookie-cutter kind of program approach where you’d say, ‘Here’s the program’ and that’s all they get.” 

This willingness and ability to address member challenges and meet their specific requirements sets Provista apart from other GPOs.

“What really differentiates us from other GPOs is we’re very high touch,” Richard adds. “Other GPOs will present a standard offering. Rather than follow our competition, we act as a true partner to our members, taking the time to explore the full range of benefits and offerings that allow for a truly customizable procurement solution.”

“Other GPOs will present a standard offering. Rather than follow our competition, we act as a true partner to our members, taking the time to explore the full range of benefits and offerings that allow for a truly customizable procurement solution.”


While Provista currently offers more than 30,000 products to meet traditional and specialty food needs, additional items are being added constantly to keep pace with hospitality member demands. 

“The hospitality program has more products than any other food program we have,” Richard says. “It’s a very diverse program, and it has products from caviar down to canned tomatoes and everything in between.”

Provista can also customize its program to meet special requirements, such as offering bar mixers, free-range grass-fed beef, imported New Zealand lamb, etc. Items are available from local, national and international sources.

“We have a great program that allows for regional influences so members can source products locally,” Richard says. “Our mission is to create an environment where our members are empowered to purchase what they need, whenever they need it.” 

The program is constantly transforming because members’ menus and food preferences are always changing, he says. “That’s why our program needs to continue to evolve through collaboration with members.”

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