Addicted to Price Hunting

Over the last year or so Ive become an addict of price shopping for identical items for lower prices from several distributors even including regular grocery stores too.

I think its becoming unhealthy as I get down on myself when I realize I just paid $50 more for chicken or whatever from this place over that place. One time, if I would have waited an extra day I could have saved $200 on steak as the price dropped over night! Juggling delivery days and careless drivers from these distributors is also a pain.
My question is do you guys all do the same? Or do you guys value more the ease of operation from sticking to 1 or 2 places. And is getting more ‘sales’ better than finding the best price? Because I am in buisness to make money. Not save money. Whats everyone elses thoughts?

Two is plenty… but we do shop the price every week. We use Sysco and USFood… but we are thinking dropping USFood and adding Shamrock.

Another thought is that when you split up your buy too many ways you don’t give enough business to anyone to be important to them… which may cost you money too.

We did move our paper supplies to a third vendor though and they have saved us a bunch of money on boxes etc.

Why are you dropping US Foods? Im curios bc My reg distributor Cara Donna was sold to US Foods. The full swing is happening in August im told, but already some of my core product brands are changing. Is it just a price thing for you?

We were told a couple of years ago that Sysco was buying USFood. That deal fell through. When it looked like our two vendors were going to become one, that started us talking to Shamrock.

We have had the same USFood rep for 17 years and we like him but he told us a week or two ago that he is retiring. Other than him there is not a lot we like about US lately.

Our Sysco rep runs pretty hard for us and the Shamrock guy keeps stopping in to touch base. I think when our US Food rep actually retires we will make the move.

I had a great salesguy at USF who had all my business (3 drops a week). Best thing that happened is he left for another company so then I started to use them and noticed some big differences. I quickly realized that having more options was better so I added a third. I now have an excel spreadsheet with their pricing on all same items and highlight who has the best price that week and they get ALL my business on that product for the week. My 3 guys email me on Sunday their pricing for the coming week. It takes me about an hour, but I think I make more in that one hour than I do any other hour of my time during the week.

Same here. I dropped Sysco as USF gave me contract pricing when Sysco denied. Only thing I miss from Sysco is the Arrezzio brand thick cut Genoa salami. The Roseli brand bacon topping and pizza box pricing kept me at USF long enough to withstand a push from Sysco and ultimately stay with them and add a small local shop on the side. Roseli brand bacon can’t be beat!

i think you should be more concerened on driving sales higher and promoting the business.

The amount of time you spend penny pinching certainly will not pay off more then boosting sales 10-20%.

Of course you should want fair prices but i would not spend much time worrying about it or shopping constantly

i have a buddy who drives 1.5 hours each way to goto restaurant depot 2x a week cause he “saves” over his food vendor. By the time he buys fuel, wear and tear, time, effort and headache i do not feel at all its worth the headache of doing

We do pretty much the same as FamousP except with two vendors. It takes maybe an 30 minutes to update our spreadsheet. If one vendor is 5 cents better on cheese and we buy 500 pounds that week getting it wrong costs $25 just on that item. Additionally, since the vendors know we check the prices the reps are working on getting us the pricing we need so they get the business. I think that the process saves us about $5-6K per year… not a bad return for 20-30 hours in total in our little operation. At least for us a 5K bottom line improvement is actually pretty close in value to a 10% top line increase. In the end, I want both.

I hear what you are saying about price shopping joker but I think this is a bit of time well spent. If an small store owner is looking for more time to spend building the business another way to get that time is to spend an hour or two less in the kitchen each week. What you pay someone else to cover those hours will be a lot less than you save watching your costs closely.

But I sure agree with you that spending 6 hours a week driving back and forth to get goods would be very hard to justify!

We use 2 main distributors for everything, But that is not saying I do not research pricing elsewhere.

Decades ago, a very successful restaurateur said “You profit is not decided on what you pay for meat, it’s what you pay for lettuce”
Meaning that watch the [pennies and nickels, and the dollars take care of themselves. But, if you are always chiseling your provider on prices, you’re not going to be serviced properly.
Oh, and take care of the delivery drivers, they can make your life easy, or make it very difficult.

Absolutely! The always are welcome to a free slice if there are any in the warmer!