Gaps in a restaurant’s supply chain have become much more common since the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Occasionally, hardships like supply chain problems can lead to better long-term solutions for companies. Toastique—a rapidly growing franchise that specializes in gourmet toast, smoothies, and coffee—faced the same problem that many businesses did when its vendor for specialty compostable, branded, disposable cups announced it could no longer produce branded supplies due to the ongoing labor shortage.
“We are all about the details and our branding, and we are very true to who we are,” says Brianna Keefe, CEO and founder of Toastique. “All of our cups, bowls, and utensils are compostable and eco-friendly. We had a supplier that was doing all of that and had our logos on the cups. During the pandemic, they said the company as a whole was not producing any more branded products for anyone.”
According to Keefe the sudden change in supply was an issue because the compostable, eco-friendly branded products were a major part of the company’s aesthetic. Toastique, as a rapidly growing franchise, needed a supplier that would be flexible with orders and demand to meet Toastique’s ambitious franchise goals.
For a growing franchise, it is vital that suppliers work with the company’s evolving needs in order for a solid partnership to be founded. Keefe proceeded to search for 10 months for the right partnership with a supplier and found that with YBC Plus.
“The experience with YBC Plus has been really pleasant and reliable,” Keefe says. “YBC Plus stays on top of our inventory to make sure that there are no gaps in products that we need. It always stocks what we need and it’s very flexible.”
Oftentimes larger chains will have problems with supply when adding new locations, especially if it is a franchise. However, vendors can address any gaps in supply by being flexible with the products they hold and for how long.
“I give YBC Plus a forecast of our current open stores and our projected open stores, which changes quite often—especially with construction, when things might drag out or someone finds a location super fast and the store opens earlier than I projected.” Keefe says. “YBC Plus is always flexible when getting an account set up and making sure stores have the products on hand when operators need them.” YBC Plus streamlines operations so gaps in supply never happen, and even the most rural locations can receive reliable supply of branded products.
“I needed to find a company that could pretty much ship on demand,” Keefe says. Toastique now has 26 stores across 11 states and 12 stores that are scheduled to open in 2024.
The strong brand identity, trendy aesthetic, and simple, healthy menu ensure Toastique’s franchise locations will continue to open at a rapid pace across the country. The success of established and new stores depends on remaining consistent with the brand identity—a large part of which is ensuring that the opening stores have access to the same branded cups, utensils, and bowls.
In order for these stores to be properly stocked, there needs to be trust between the vendors and Toastique. That trust is exactly what Keefe found with YBC Plus. “We were very small in 2021 compared to where we are now, and I feel like YBC Plus truly valued making a partnership and a relationship with us,” Keefe says.
Keefe and YBC Plus ensure there are no gaps in the supply chain by maintaining clear and open communication as Keefe’s franchise expands. ”YBC Plus has been great at monitoring its inventory and keeping up with Toastique,” Keefe says. “We have not had any gaps in any of our products. Everything gets delivered—no matter what part of the country and the shipments are always there in under a week.”
Keefe points out that “No one’s going to care as much as the owner does,” and while that is true, Keefe has found that a vendor that cares about operator’s businesses will ensure success through periods of growth.
YBC Plus has emerged as a game-changer for Toastique, a rapidly expanding franchise, by offering a reliable and adaptable supply chain solution that aligns with its branding and environmental values. Through the company’s efficient operations, YBC Plus has demonstrated the capacity to manage complex logistical challenges, ensuring consistent delivery of branded, eco-friendly products across various geographical locations.
This partnership highlights the critical role of flexible and responsive suppliers in supporting the growth of franchises. By addressing the unique needs of Toastique, YBC Plus has not only facilitated the brand’s expansion but also reinforced its commitment to maintaining a strong, consistent brand identity. “YBC Plus cares about our opinions,” Keefe says. “The company is always asking if there is any other product that can be sourced for us, and they value our partnership and want to grow with us.”
For more information on YBC Plus visit the company’s website.