The Hotel Folk operates a diverse collection of businesses in Suffolk, including the Swan at Lavenham, part of the Pride of Britain consortium of independent hotels. The group also includes seafront hotels the Brudenell Hotel and the White Lion, both in Aldeburgh; the Crown at Woodbridge, a townhouse inn; Thorpeness Country Club; Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club; and the recently acquired Crown & Castle hotel in Orford.
With a wide range of menus and customer occasions across its businesses, The Hotel Folk works with buying specialist Lynx Purchasing. Along with food and drink from a range of leading industry suppliers, the group relies on Lynx to negotiate prices for an expanding range of products and services, from tableware to office supplies and kitchen equipment.
Ingo Wiangke became joint managing director of the Hotel Folk in April 2017, having previously been general manager and director of operations for the Swan at Lavenham and the Crown at Woodbridge. He says: “I knew of Lynx Purchasing through their relationship with Pride of Britain, so I initially asked them to look at our buying at the Swan.
“When my role expanded to include responsibility for the entire collection, I wanted to ensure that we see the same benefits of disciplined buying in all our businesses.”
As preferred purchasing partner to the Pride of Britain consortium, Lynx Purchasing had worked with Swan at Lavenham for six years. Having now benchmarked buying across the TA Hotel Collection, Lynx has negotiated prices in areas including dry goods and frozen foods; fresh fruit and vegetables; cheese and charcuterie; cooking oil and oil recycling; office supplies; cutlery, crockery and glassware; and light and heavy catering equipment.
Ingo Wiangke adds: “Although each of our businesses is individual, high quality and high customer expectations are common across the whole collection. Lynx Purchasing is able to negotiate prices that we couldn’t get ourselves, without compromising on quality.
“We don’t buy every product at every business, and that’s one of the benefits of working with Lynx – with no contracts and no fees, we can make the best decisions for our business on a case-by-case basis, and work with local suppliers as well as the industry specialists nominated by Lynx.
“Lynx are able to benchmark our spending with price comparisons, and as well as regularly re-negotiating existing agreements, we can expand our partnership when we want too. For example, we’ve recently implemented waste management contracts in two businesses at prices negotiated for us by Lynx, with a view to rolling them out across the rest of the collection.”