what can I do?

could’nt figure out why i was over draw on mondays so i checked out my banking…i pulled up my acc. and saw that my food supplier was scaning my checks on fri instead of mon when my account has cash from the weekend…long story short i get delivery on tues. and give a check dated for the following mon as agreed upon by my rep…the finance manager changes the date of my check to fri and scams my check leaving my account in the neg…overdraft penelties…yada yada yada…i’m in the hole for +600…i get my banker to pull the checks i find out all of aprils checks dates have been changed from mon. to fri…call finance they tell me they changed policy and they have the right to alter my check!!!in essence the agreement i have w/my rep is tossed, im not in formed and they alter my checks what the F…i’m i the only one this has happened to…what is my recourse?..this is a major player in the pizza food chain…big supplier…i’m pissed…my wife is in contact w/fraud dept of our bank…BBB will be contacted tomorrow…who else should i contact?

A new supplier!!


I guess they should not be altering checks… but what is this nonsense about a post dated check every week? Get your finances in order and write checks that are good when you write them and you will not have this issue.

No business should be running the account so close that they are dependant on the next few days business to cover the food that is delivered today!

WORD…i guess no one beside me sometimes has to rob peter to pay paul…

Agreed no business should be ran with limited funds and i’m sure all businesses would love to have ample cash flow but some have no choice and have to do what they have to do.

Contact your supplier and talk to them and clear up the mess and make it clear what is going on against your agreement, hopefully you can work it out.

The police. Altering your checks is illegal.

Beyond that, the arrangement you have is basically 7 day terms. Having an agreement with your rep is not nearly enough. If you have 7 day terms it needs to be stated on the invoice.

You’re also playing with fire being that close to the edge in your checkbook. If at all possible, deposit a few grand in working capital and forget it’s there. I used to operate on the edge like that. I have a degree in finance and my perspective on cash flow was firmly in the ivory tower. Any money sitting in my checkbook was being wasted because I wasn’t maximizing return. So I’d pull out every cent I could and get it invested somewhere, even if it was just a money market fund. I must maximize return!

Then I’d have a crappy week or weekend and be scrambling to make the bills. I’d have to transfer money around or liquidate a portion of a mutual fund and hope I could get money into the bank before my payroll checks starting coming in… I had plenty of money and yet I was losing sleep over possibly bouncing payroll or a distributor check.

I finally put a nice chunk of change in the checkbook and didn’t even book it on Quickbooks. It’s like it’s not even there. I’m losing money by not having it invested somewhere, but it’s a small price to pay for a much more stress-free life.

it’s called terms…7 days 14 days what ever the terms are is what they are…btw…we all can’t be in ski country charging ski country prices…some of us are in the low country doing what we gotta do to keep it going…real people/real pizza

Where either of us is located or the prices we charge have nothing to do with what consitute sound business practices.

Every market has its challenges. Along with my ski town prices, I get to pay ski town wages and pay ski town occupancy costs and ski town advertising expenses. Our cooks make $13.50 an hour and get a free season pass that costs $1000. Right now we are doing under 3K per week in sales and running over 60% labor. Occupnacy cost is $1000 per week. In other words occupancy and labor equal sales right now. Food? Well, we still have to buy it. We have to maintain staff for when we get busy again in about two months. The money is in the bank to cover it. Why? because I know how my market works and I arranged to have enough cash to meet my obligations.

If you can not cover your food buy when it is delivered you have serious business issues to address.

If your vendor has agreed to give you seven day terms hold them to it and give them the check for LAST week when they deliver this week… but make sure the check is good when you hand it to them.

BTW, what does “WORD” mean? and what do you think you are saying with “real people, real pizza?”

Well is it 7 or 14? What exactly are the terms on your invoice? If you’re postdating checks for six days I’m guessing your terms are COD, in which case they’ve been letting you slide. An “agreement” with your rep is meaningless to the credit department. If you want to pay on Monday for a truck on Tuesday, make sure your invoice, under “terms”, says “7-Days”.

And yes, we’ve all robbed from Peter to pay Paul at one time or another. But if you’re doing it every week you don’t have a business problem, you have a working capital problem.

As for charging “ski country” prices… Those in the “high country” also have “high country” rents and labor costs. I have 2,000 square feet that costs me over $6,000 per month and my lowest paid high school cook is at $9.50/hr. It’s tough for me to imagine struggling with probably a quarter of that rent and being able to pay far less than I do. But that’s not a fair comparison, is it?

Edit: Was typing at the same time as bodegahwy… I guess we had similar thoughts.

I had an interesting conversation with one of our food reps yesterday. He has been our rep since we opened 10 years ago. Over the years we have gotten to know each other pretty well and we have interesting conversations on everything from business to cars to rasing teenagers.

In this conversation we were talking about restaurant closings, competing food vendors and account relationships. His regional manager rates accounts A,B, and C and has this to say about them:

An “A” account is high volume (better than 3K per week average purchases) and pays bills on time. “Never lose an “A” account”

A “B” account is moderate to high volume (better than 1K per week average purchases) and pays bills on time. “Try to grow these accounts into “A” customers. Good core business.”

“C” accounts buy less than 1K per week on average or are somewhat larger with payment issues. “Consider dropping these accounts to improve sales rep time use effectiveness. In the current environment, cut NO SLACK on payment issues.”

I promise you that “C” accounts are not getting good pricing or access to specials.

In the current economy, there will be many restaurants that fail. The food vendors are experiencing the same declines all of us are. Like us, they are looking at sources of risk, places to save money, ways to get more efficient and cut costs.

How do we make ourselves more valuable as customers? How do we get the support we need from our vendors?

  1. Use an order pattern that does not run up costs for vendors. Consider less frequent orders to keep the “per delivery” value up where the vendor needs it to be.

  2. Keep the financial side of the relationship in perfect order. Pay bills on time with no monkeying around. Negotiate terms that work for you and stick to them. An agreement to hold checks is not an agreement on terms. It is a pain in the keester. I say this from the perspective of someone who has been in the role of vendor to small businesses for 20 years (not in pizza, but in my other professional life).

If your finances are so close to the edge and you do not have the resources to build up your cash position by a couple of thousand dollars as Piper suggests you are just circling the bowl. Transfer the money from other assets, borrow it from family. Stop taking a paycheck for a couple of weeks… do something. The problem is yours not the vendors.

bodegahwy, excellent and informative response and perspective to a problem that could plague many small business owners. Personally, I’ve never in my life ‘post-dated’ a check. Its good the minute its signed.

I guess you have figured out that a business is liable for the amount of any bank draft (check) the minute that it is written. “Post Dating” is not only irrelevant, but is illegal in some states. The date you write at the top is slightly more meaningless than the signature line often is.

Once you hand that signed check to a person, it can be immediately demanded. At least in Georgia.

i agree w/most of whats been said…however the fact is my checks were altered without my permission…and my agreement i had w/my rep was changed w/out my knowing…WORD is a way of saying AIIIIIIIIGHT…

Man to man, you got hosed. Reo left you hanging in the wind, and it svcks! I do hate that ti happened to you. That money hurts going out and won’t come back. I’d say have some short, and plain words with your rep . … at the least. . . . explaining why you won’t do business with someone you cannot in any way trust after that situation.

1 why do we all rob peter to pay paul7979?
2) I have worked SO Hard to become a “A” account and its great to have your problems listened too. I would look elsewhere for a new supplier…by the way care to share who?

in due time…to add i’ve been dealing w/them for 4yrs and never really had many problems…btw …i’m a solid "B w/this outfit

I think bodgeway hit it on the head. I agree with the other posters you are just going to have to beg, borrow or plan your way into getting ahead of the invoices. One thing you might want to make sure you are doing is keeping the right amount of inventory on hand. You can’t pay bills with inventory so in your case it might be worth really pin pointing exactly what you need and what your usage is.

Sure we have all robbed peter to pay paul and even called on mark and luke to make ends meet…but the key is not to stay there to long and figure your way out of it…for good.

Try www.daveramsey.com

When we signed up with our new vendor we did direct debit. They don’t debit on that day but if I can’t afford it that day I wouldn’t order it.

I wouldn’t make a big stink about them changing the dates and calling police and BBB for one thing it is your business name getting out there that you are so money tight it mattered. I also think you can spend the time on something more productive to increase your profits. The borrower is slave to the lender.

Sure they were wrong…move on.


yeah…but the more i think about it the more i want to do something…anything…to make this as miserable to them as it has been to me…i feel like a dork for not catching it early…but…i also think i need to put the word out for all us little pizzeria’s…you know the mom and pop joints

I would like to point out something that to you that I need to be reminded of myself. Spiteful revenge is a terrible waste of energy. If you took the energy you would spend in seaking revenge and use it to rebuild the relationship back to what you once had you may find you are a better person.

I have been guilty of waisting my energy on petty things and have had some of you point these out to me. I ask you to take a step back and look at this as a learning experience. You could say that you have learned not to trust an unwritten agreement. You could also say that you have learned the importance of cashflow.

I may be the one that needs to follow this advice more than you so take it for what it is worth. I wish you the best of luck which ever way you decide to proceed with your response to this situation.