Husband and wife team Eamonn and Mary Gleeson have always had an entrepreneurial mind and vision, especially since they established Gleeson’s Café & Townhouse in July 1991. The family business, situated in Market Square in Roscommon Town, which is also their home, has historic roots leading all the way back to the nineteenth century.
Initially set up as a stand-alone coffee shop, with only five guest bedrooms, the business has expanded to 19 bedrooms with a separate restaurant and function room, indicating the success that the Gleesons experienced straight away. What began as a simple café has now become a wonderful one-stop shop, providing breakfasts, lunches and an a la carte menu up to 9pm every night. The function room can also cater for occasions such as weddings, parties and meetings.
Gleeson's has gone from strength to strength, accumulating excellent reviews and accolades that testify to their high quality service and meals, with an emphasis on home cooked food and local produce. Some of these include an AA Rosette and being featured in the Michelin Guide from 2008. Gleeson's is a founder member of Good Food Ireland - a select group promoting the use of local food, and is also the only member in Roscommon. The business definitely has an established reputation, ranking in the top 10% of properties in the world with booking.com.
However, as with all success stories and running such a multifaceted business, there are various considerations to take into account. One of these is most certainly cost and shopping around. Gleeson's uses the services of Trinity Purchasing, itself a group purchasing solution which helps secure competitive rates and deals for members.
"Before dealing with Trinity, we had a group of four of us looking into costs - so we knew what group purchasing was," explained Eamonn. "But Cheryl in Trinity Purchasing was able to organise everything for us, which gave me more time to focus on the running of the business and in particular the front of house dealing with customers, the area that I would rather be in."
Since using Trinity's services Eamonn believes that the business has made an extra profit of 2% per year, or approximately €25,000. Significant savings have been seen in many areas, with a massive 25% saving in coffee prices. "The service is fantastic," stated Eamonn. "There is no chasing involved and they check through your invoices and streamline everything for you."
Other areas in which Trinity made savings for the business include paper products, food and other smaller areas "That you wouldn't even necessarily think of".
"With regular suppliers you initially agreed on a price and then after three months they are hiked up without telling you," said Eamonn. "Cheryl is brilliant at monitoring this and then asks suppliers to issue a credit note to the value that was previously agreed."
Eamonn sang Cheryl's praises, emphasising that her proactive nature has saved him a lot of time as she shops around with several different sales reps to secure the best price possible and also that the process of transitioning over to using different suppliers was smooth and simple thanks to her hard work. "Chefs can just order off a list that we give them," he continued, "So it's very convenient and easy for everyone, saving us a lot of time."
"I would 120% recommend Trinity Purchasing to a business, particularly a smaller business," said Eamonn emphatically.
The initial consultation is free with no obligation to continue using the service before the results are seen by the business – they simply look over your invoices to identify the areas that could be improved upon.
There are one or two areas that Trinity Purchasing cannot offer Gleeson's savings on such as waste disposable, as there are only a limited number of operators in that sector, but in other areas such as energy Cheryl has endeavoured to find them savings in the near future. Cheryl also contacts the business regularly, constantly updates agreements with suppliers and continually attempts to secure the best price in many areas for members – meaning Eamonn has a huge workload taken off him and his team, saving himself time for the 'front door' areas whilst Trinity Purchasing takes care of the 'back door' element of the business.
Food for Thought - FFT.ie will talk to to other businesses with experience of group purchasing in the coming periods. But if you have any questions about how it works in the meantime please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks for reading. Now click this link to learn more & start saving.