How many distributors do you use?

Just curious how many broadline distributors you all use. We’ve been a 100% Sysco account for 2 1/2 years now, but they’ve kind of started to rub me the wrong way.

I’ve always wanted to have just one distributor, because then I’m a big customer to them and they’re much more willing to go out of their way to help me when I need it… they tend to reward loyalty. I’m not sure if this is a good policy to have though.

Are there any others here that are loyal to one broadline distributor?

I called 2 weeks ago about meatballs I saw at the expo, they were going to sample me some and also bring by some wings (I am going to add some boneless to our menu)
didnt hear back after they no showed, called and left a messege last week
f them I will find a new one

i Use 3 distributors.

I find that each distributor has different pricing on certain items. Also, all 3 tend to (Run Out) of items and i got screwed too many times without product.

i use primarily us foods,but also speak with sysco weekly to check their pricing and sometimes place an order with them,i also use a local dist for items when pricing is good.
i let each vendor know i am using the other, it keeps them in line so i know when there is any sign of price gouging.

having sold food 15+ yrs ago I found there is very little loyalty these days, for either the customer of the salesman…sad…

Broadline companies pad their book price, and allow the salesman little freedom, unless it is a volume account…

When I ran my territory, I was supposed to run an 85% food cost, so I had a little leeway on many products…

It costs companies approx $75 to stop @ your door…many/most companies have a minimum $ sale to help offset their expenses…

You can find many items cheaper @ Sam’s/Costco, but you need 2 factor in your time and the fact the may not have all the items you need on a regular basis…

Find the products you prefer and suitable substitutes…let the companies bid on your needs, then choose 1 major supplier and a back-up…

Keep them both honest & compare prices each month…

Keep your deliveries at least $500 and up & you’ll get better prices/service…

BTW - accept just 2 deliveries/week…see your salesman in person only 1 time/week…have him call you for the 2nd delivery…salesman take up valuable time…

Be organized…get you inventory needs on a spreadsheet…don’t waste your valuable time…order what you need and get on w/more important tasks…

my orders run about 600.00 not including cheese (i get elsewhere plus all chicken)
I get them once a week and the only day available is friday (so if there is any mistakes or missing product shit is gonna hit the fan)

NO worries about my time I havent seen my salesman in 4 months
mine is on excel that I email over on wednesday thursday I get my confirmation, cc on file run on friday

I used to use sysco for all ordering. but the prices bounced around. I shoped around. now I have 5 suppliers for 4k a week in food cost.
only one of the suppliers would give me a better deal if I bought all my food with them.

maybe I should offer to help them out they knock off 50 keep the 25 and I will pick up LMAO

nice try…I used 2 p/u my order, as I was less than a mile from Sysco & I have a refer truck…no deal on prices…they couldn’t hit a 4 hr delivery window 4 me…so…I’m not a real Sysco fan these days…

Hello Piper,heres a word from the wise.Always keep at least 2 dist. on board this will keep them competing and give you the option to call the other when one is out of something.Now about loyalty in the pizza business…lol sorry I had to laugh a bit, theres no such thing.

 hope this helps you..........Niccademo

how much volume do you need to be considered important to vendors
i get super served by GFS of all places

If you commit to one vendor…at what point do you become one of their prime accounts?
Is there a certain $$ amount a week that they will bend over backwards for you?

how far do you bend over for your best customers? They have a biz 2 run just as you do…be fair & up-front honest in all your biz dealings…

Find the products you like, the service level you need and the price point you’re happy with…

if your orders are $1,000 or more, you would be considered a “good” account…

when your invoices reach $4-6000 each, you’ll find quite a bit more flexibility…

problem is pizza joynts don’t use “high margin” products…not much profit for the distributor in a 50# bag of flour or a 25# bag of pepperoni…watch the cheese prices from the Merch & see if one of your distributors will follow that pricing…go w/that vendor as your #1, but keep a comparable priced vendor in the loop if possible

I also use Sysco, but have found having a secondary supplier is a good idea. The cheese I use is $8 case cheaper then sysco so I get cheese from them. Just make sure you ask about minimum order cost . I also am lucky enough to have a restuarant depot not too far away so I can go there and get basics if I do not need a minumum order.

Thanks for all of the input everyone.

Our orders are usually around $3,000 each week. We used to get two trucks per week, but reduced it to one in exchange for a 2% off-invoice allowance. Based on what some of you are saying I guess that makes us a pretty good account.

That has gotten them to do a lot for us, but sometimes I think they take the account for granted. Seems like the consensus here is to have a secondary vendor anyway… and that’s what I was thinking too.

I used to sell for Roma, and there is no MAGICAL number that makes you a better customer than another. But I can tell you that if you’re doing 3k a week in groceries, you’re well liked at your distributor.
Unfortunately, reps get careless with some customers and the level of service they provide. You know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease! If you’re a customer that does not demand a lot, that’s probably what you’ll get because these reps are under so much pressure to build their books.
From an operators view, I would say two distributors is best…keep them honest!

WOW…SYSCO $$$$$, I don’t know where you are so it’s hard to say, but i have a pizza shop in Virginia and I use US Food Service, Roma(Vistar), and Ferraro Foods. I have found by having three distributors it’s keeps the salesmen honest. I know they have to make a living but let’s face it, When the price of something keeps creeping up a few cents a week for several weeks you have to remind them that they aren’t the only game in town. I have a GREAT relationship with all of my vendors and they understand that as a small businessman I have to do what I can to increase my bottom line. I am upfront with them and they respect that. Now after having my business for nine months, the salesmen call me with deals instead of me telling them that I can get it for less with one of the others.

We use Sysco and Roma. Mostly Roma, they have good pricing and good quality foods, ect… Roma will try to beat the prices I will get from Sysco.
If one of them is out of a product you can usually get it from the other. I am happy using both companies.

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