Inc. (USA) - - MONEY -

Keany Pro­duce Co. in Hy­attsville, Mary­land

THE VOL­UME Keany de­liv­ers pro­duce six days a week, to all 32 East Coast Sweet­green lo­ca­tions.

THE CHAL­LENGE When most restau­rants want, say, let­tuce, they spec­ify a cer­tain vol­ume, not a source. Sweet­green spec­i­fies pri­mary and se­condary sup­pli­ers that meet its stan­dards—but the onus is on Keany not to mix up the cases from dif­fer­ent sup­pli­ers once they’re brought back to its sort­ing fa­cil­ity. “We’re re­quired to be fully trans­par­ent on all prod­ucts. It’s a painstaking process,” says founder and pres­i­dent Kevin Keany.

THE SO­LU­TION By mid­night ev­ery night, the distrib­u­tor must log into Sweet­green’s pro­pri­etary sup­plier por­tal and note which stores are get­ting let­tuce from the pri­mary sup­plier and which are get­ting it from the se­condary sup­plier so the chalk­board in ev­ery Sweet­green store is up to date. Keany says get­ting the sys­tems in place to do this kind of re­port­ing took two to three months, and the com­pany cre­ated two po­si­tions just to do the track­ing. “We don’t do this for any­one else,” he says. “It turned our se­lec­tion process up­side down.”

THE PAY­OFF Despite the ex­tra up­front ex­penses of tak­ing on Sweet­green as a client, Keany says it has boosted net sales. Thirty-two Sweet­green stores is a “very siz­able ac­count,” he says.

DAIRY DE­LIV­ERY A Keany Pro­duce truck picks up Sweet­green’s weekly ship­ment of goat cheese from FireFly Farms Cream­ery (see page 64).

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