Empanadas are a great dish to serve as an appetizer, or even as a main course. However, they take a lot of equipment to make, especially in large numbers. As such, many restaurants purchase their empanadas from an outside supplier rather than making their own. Here are some tips to help you choose an empanada supplier when you have multiple options available to you.
Do the empanadas come fresh or frozen?
Some empanada companies flash-freeze their empanadas and sell them frozen. Others deliver them fresh, a day or two after they are made. Either option will work; it really depends on your preferences. If you sell a smaller amount of empanadas and want to advertise that they're "made fresh," then buy from a supplier who doesn't freeze them. If you're selling larger volumes, don't want to deal with such frequent deliveries, and want to ensure your empanadas last longer, then buying frozen ones is ideal.
How many types does the supplier offer?
Does the vendor sell only savory empanadas, or also sweet ones? How many types of sweet and savory empanadas do they offer? You may only be interested in selling two or three types of empanadas right now, but as your customers' interests grow and change, it is nice to have the option of ordering additional varieties. So, look for a supplier who offers a good selection of empanada varieties within both the sweet and savory categories.
How well do the empanadas cook up?
If possible, ask the supplier if you can have a couple of "sample" empanadas. Cook them up, and let your kitchen staff cook a few, too. See how they cook. Do they open up when fried a few seconds too long? Do the fillings finish cooking before the outside gets too brown? You want to choose an empanada supplier whose empanadas are easy to prepare and come out consistently good. If there is a specific cook or chef who will be cooking most of the empanadas at your restaurant, weigh their opinion heavily here. Also, have them and the rest of your staff taste the sample empanadas and offer feedback.
In most areas, you have your choice between at least a few different wholesale empanada suppliers. If you follow the advice above, you should have an easier time choosing between them. Remember, you can also switch suppliers if you start working with one and decide a different one might be a better fit.