Food Cost

Took a step into solving our food cost issue. I usually dont like to mention names.

Since we have been in business (oct 2013) we have been using Keck Food Service as our sole supplier. From what you all have said and I have finally learned. We had a nice little meeting today with the sales manager from Big Apple Deli Services.

The prices are cheaper and they carry many of the same items. But, this guy told me that always have more than one supplier. You want to keep it that way, this way you can go with who is cheaper that week. Was paying $2.59 per pound for cheese. Dropped it down to $2.49 with a switch.

Now I have a question. A while back I read a link that I could visit to find the price of cheese blocks. But with searching I have been unable to locate that link. Does anyone have it?

Also block pRices are updated daily at

They are currently overcharging you by roughly 30 cents a pound

Joker, I would have to disagree. While operations buying 1000 pounds a week can get 20 cents over block or even 15 cents that is not realistic for all stores in all markets. With the block market between $2.00 and $2.05 for the last few weeks getting a price of $2.19 (30 cents below) may be what you are getting it is not what most small stores are paying. With that said, I would have to agree that there is still room for improvement from $2.49!

One other point would be that the food distributors work on margins just like we all do. While we often talk about how many cents over block we are paying, the distributor is looking at the % margin being made. When block was $1.50 and some of us were paying 15 cents over block ($1.65) that was a 9% margin. In order to get a 9% margin using the current recent average block price the distributor would need to charge 20 cents over block.

I paid 2.66 today, I have always thought that I am getting the short end here but every where I look its about the same Brad, what are you paying? anyone else in Indiana paying about the same?


You are correct, I always forget that most shops are not going threw product like a few of us do.

We are .13 cents over block for lmps

I would think even at low volume you should be able to get 25-30 cents over block. Not .50 cents

Are you all using the same brand of cheese? How can you compare pricing when nobody is mentioning which cheese they are using? Or is everyone just buying the cheapest priced cheese they can find?

Very good point! Grande vs brand x or brand y are just not going to cost the same. Our cheese is like 39 cents over block before our distributor adds their 6%. Some of that is freight from California to Colorado and some is quality difference between “pizza cheese” and our stuff we use.

Another variable in pricing is if you buy in block or shredded/diced.

We buy threw sysco and it’s there arrezzio brand. Whole blocks

I have tried the fancy expensive cheese and for me personally it’s not worth the 3-4k a Month extra it costs

A good quality LMPS motz works just fine and apparently our customers agree.

It’s really funny how different things work in different markets for different people, it’s hard to consider something “standard” in my opinion

Just my two cents, $3.24# Grande’ East Coast blend (diced).

Look at your other products as well as cheese. I’ve found Costco/Sam’s club/Restaurant Depot beat the heck out of most distributors on paper products.
Is there a restaurant Depot within a few hours of your location? It’s worth taking a look. Even if you can’t shop there regularly, you can let your distributor know that RD has the same product for X and could your distributor match the price or get you close. For example, I was purchasing cases of Armanino Pesto for $180/case from US Food and when first visiting RD noted a price of $142/case. When I mentioned the discrepancy to my US Food rep he found a way to get his price down to $144.

I keep 3 distributors always to keep them honest.

Paying $2.86 for block grande .

We buy Mozz/Prov blend shredded. Our main dist is priced at $2.59/lb where the guy I just talked to is from Big Apple Deli Products and he said the same cheese would cost $2.49/pound. We use Great Lakes Cheese Prov/Mozz blend shredded. Might start using diced though