Do you want to build long-term business relationships? This award-winning chef says: stop haggling

Mastery and complexity go hand in hand. Doing something as well as possible means spending thousands of hours acquiring the required knowledge, skills, experience and, oddly enough, intuition.

Take Eric Ripert, co-owner and chef of Le Bernardinone of New York’s finest fine dining restaurants.

For decades, Le Bernardin has enjoyed critical acclaim: three Michelin stars, four… New York Times stars — and appeared on numerous “best restaurant” lists. (For example: in 2018, La Liste called Le Bernardin the best restaurant in the world.) In addition, Ripert is the author of several cookbooks, and best selling memoirsand hosted Avec Erican Emmy award-winning TV show.

It’s an understatement to say that Ripert has embraced and mastered complexity, but his approach to finding the best ingredients is surprisingly simple.

As Ripert explained about Alec Baldwin’s This is what it is about podcast

If you want good products, it’s very simple: Pay your bills on time and don’t negotiate. The price is the price, and you pay ASAP? You get the best.

Those who negotiate, want the cheap price, don’t pay their bills… don’t get a good product.

While that may sound strange — we’ve all learned that to run a profitable business, effective negotiation of price and payment terms is essential — Ripert doesn’t see it that way.

No matter how skilled the chef is, a dish is only as good as the ingredients, and buying great ingredients requires building relationships with great suppliers.

Providers who want to be paid on time and paid fairly for their work.

While Ripert could probably negotiate net 30 or longer payment terms, paying on time — or as Ripert puts it, “as soon as possible” — eases the cash flow pressure on suppliers with capital and labor intensive operations. By not haggling, Ripert is implicitly showing that he understands the value he receives – as well as the value of the relationship between the restaurant and its suppliers.

The result? Le Bernardin is a customer of choice for suppliers whose quality and service make this possible them the ability to decide who to do business with. Immediately pay what you owe to service providers, suppliers, consultants, etc., and they will do their best to work with you next time.

Suppose that certain equipment often needs maintenance. Once you’ve found an experienced mechanic, don’t negotiate the price every time and always pay on time: do that and you’ll quickly build a long-lasting relationship. (The plumber we use for our rental properties seemingly drops everything when we call; he appreciates the implied trust we show by not negotiating, and he always thanks us for paying him once a job is done.)

We value him, so he values ​​us. We trust him, so he trusts us.

Just like Ripert’s salespeople value and trust Le Bernardin — because he’s proven that appreciation and trust go both ways.

That’s the best way to build a lasting professional — and maybe even personal — relationship over time.

No matter how complex your business is.

Or how good you are at what you do.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not’s.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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