Best Practice Within Australian Food Service, a Case Study: Development of quality partnerships for strategic alliances of red meat products

Rodney Cox, Sue Johnson, Catherine Cunial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Australian Food Service Industry is emerging as a major provider of food to consumers as Australians follow a global trend of increasingly 'eating-out'. Australian consumers spent approximately $24 billion a year on food service meals or approximately $1,300 per person per year in 2002 (BIS Shrapnel 2003). Additionally, consumers are becoming more discerning and demanding with regard to matters such as sensory needs, food safety, quality assurance and health issues. The lack of consistent beef products sourced by the food service industry within Australia is a major concern resulting in dissatisfied customers and a drop in demand for red meat meals. This paper presents a case study of a major food service company within Australia that found itself faced with the above circumstances. A best practice program was developed to address the problem of increasing consumer complaints regarding beef meals. An audit of their wholesale suppliers demonstrated that, despite the provision of product specifications, 41.5% of all the beef audited did not adhere to the product specifications. The Company identified that collaboration with their suppliers was a key initiative to meet their consumers' requirements. Collaboration occurred through the development of Quality Partnerships with strategic alliance partners resulting in committed suppliers providing guaranteed quality product. The Quality Partnerships were instrumental in reducing customer complaints by 96% and improving customer satisfaction by 34% for the beef meals served by the Food Service Company. This case study contains an overview of the problem and outlines the wholesale beef audit and the consequential Quality Partnerships developed, before providing a discussion of the results. Finally, important implications from this case study have been identified and provide a checklist for other food service companies wishing to adopt Quality Partnerships with their suppliers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalAustralasian Agribusiness Review
Issue number2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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