"I have 9 years experience working directly with vendors. My reputation is strong among local vendors and I understand the importance of keeping strong working relationships with them. If you would like, I have a great reference with XYZ and they would be happy to speak about our relationship and how it's developed over the years."
The interviewer wants to be assured that you are able to create and maintain strong vendor relationships. When you have strong relationships with your vendors, you are able to take advantage of great pricing, have first dibs on new specials, and even promotional product. Talk about your experience developing vendor relationships and if you'd like, you can even offer up a vendor reference!
"I have been very hands on with managing food costs, for the past 7 years of my career. In my current role, I created a new inventory cycle and ordering method in order to reduce waste. In my first year with my current company, I reduced food waste by 16% in the first 6 months."
The interviewer would like to better understand your level of exposure to managing food costs. Talk about any experience that you have with managing food costs, preventing food waste, and improving inventory cycles. This is also a good time to mention any food inventory software or applications that you have used in previous positions.