Hello, possibly looking for a new food vendor(supplier) Currently not happy with who I have now, so looking for other avenues. Both pricing and just general service is what is leading me to go on The Think Tank for advice. Example; I normally dont buy at Restaurant Depot, but sometimes I run out of certain items and make a quick trip there. Ordered a bag of suger from my current vendor, but the next day I had to make a trip to RD. I walked by the sugar section and noticed that the price was $15 and change, for the exact size and brand that my vendor provided, but was charging me $30 and change. So I start thinking about what other items that they are selling me that are overpriced! Went over pricing with my rep, but they won’t budge. He claims I’m one of his best customers. My pizzeria is located in south orange county, if anybody knows of a good food supplier, please let me know! I would really appreciate it, thanks!
I’ve been a RD fan since they came to town & I used to sell food a long time ago…but I have a refrdg truck as well…I can’t say how much I’ve saved over the years…sure, my time is money, but I’m pretty organized & have a printed list/par sheet…
Bottom line, the salesman needs to get paid, the driver needs to get paid, the picket needs to get paid…
Plus, I get the benefit of seeing new items for specials and the like…
Yup, our closest RD is 120 miles away but we still make a trip about once a month or so and it PAYS me to do so just on the dry spices that we stock up on. Are they the complete answer to all our needs…nope, no one is. That’s why we shop, price and compare.
We just recently switched to SoFo after being with Roma for over 12 years (not sure if they are in your area). We were one of Roma’s top customers in this area and we kept complaining to them about our pricing and they kept telling us they were doing the best they could do. They changed our reps (who got worse as we went along), they kept screwing up our orders, and it seems like every delivery was missing something. SoFo came in and beat their pricing and bends over backwards to get us the products we need, and after 3 months with them we’ve had NO delivery errors. This week was the first time in 12 years we told Roma we didn’t have an order for them — NOW they are telling us that the “big” guy wants to talk to us about our account and what they can do to help us out.
One thing that we learned recently at a pizza seminar is that it’s better to use a food vendor that doesn’t pay their reps commission based on the prices they sell to you, but rather one that pays their reps by the number of cases they sell.
Not trying to sidetrack the thread…but the more I hear of RD the more I like it. The main reason for this is not only the pricing but it is always good to get out and see new items for new ideas. Take a walk through the farmers market, the local grocery store, RD…etc. Your customers will always welcome seasonal or new menu items and the freshness that can come with such offerings. :idea:
We were in the same boat with Roma. They kept increasing pricing with us & we order a lot of product. Sofo came in with much better service & better prices. Needless to say, the majority of our product is not coming from Sofo. We still order from both to keep each of them honest, but order the majority from Sofo to enjoy prime vendor pricing.
I make the occasional run to Restaurant Depot for items we run out of, but I in my experience with Sofo, when I price check them vs. RD, they are not that much higher.
To me my time is too valuable to drive to Restaurant depot every week. At some point you need to figure out if you are going to be working on your business or in it. I prefer to work on it to drive sales rather than drive to restaurant depot to save a few bucks.
When I was in the business, we used to hire one of our drivers to drive to a cash and carry that was 90 minutes away…He would buy 1,000.00 to 1,500.00 and save us 200.00 to 300.00…I think at that time we were paying him 75.00 plus lunch…So it worked…
We use RD for everything except produce and cheese (and a handful of other items). I started out using U.S. Foods and I immediately started a spreadsheet to compare costs across my 3 vendors. I don’t know how the guys on the forum get prices from their distributors which are competitive with RD because I can’t. RD is consistently 20-30% cheaper than US Foods. It really is no hassle. We in our list on Tuesday, an order puller has the order ready to go Wed morning. I pay him $10 to load the truck and off I go. It takes about 1.5 hours total. Time well spent, in my estimation.
I built a market basket and tried to do the Prime Vendor thing but couldn’t justify that big of a markup by American/Sysco/US Foods/Roma.
Build a spreadsheet with your current prices and go shop at the cash and carry. You’ll be stunned how much you can save.
Well, today was a terrible day. I learned that there is a movement in Indiana to restrict buying from RD and sams club, There is an organization pitching to the Health department this week the need to restrict the purchase of frozen and refrigerated food without an approved truck! No more coolers or freezer bags. It most HOLD at freezing and cooler range. First fine will be 500.00 second fine and they can pull your license. They are proposing that the trucks will need inspected every 6 months for a fee and have a separate lic attached each year. I got this info from a health inspector and talked to the manager at RD and he had already caught wind of this as well and thought the group responsible was a collaboration from a couple distributors!
That’s no real surprise I suppose…if you can’t beat 'em…pay someone off to change the game!
We won’t be hurt if it does go down that way over here in Illinois, b/c we’re 120 miles away, all I buy there are dry spices and other non-perishables. But even then, I pay for my trip and make a nice “profit” with the money I save (especially on the spices).
I saw a pickup parked in our lot a few weeks ago with a white chest freezer and a gas-powered generator strapped in the bed. Maybe he was a meat salesman or a really well-organized hunter that has his kills butchered… anyways, I laughed but at the same time thought it would be a great way to cheaply transport refrigerated/frozen goods.
I have no idea if that would fly with the Health Department though.
Find a refer transport company to haul for you…Hast to be less than the markup the food wholesalers charge…
If we are getting the prices down at the regular vendors it is by shopping them every week on every item.
I must have a smokin deal with my vendor - RD is more expensive on EVERY item. I even tried comparing prices for my single independant sub shop I own and still no value added. Sam’s club does save me money on some very select items.
I think someone needs to start a website where a whole bunch of you folks can enter prices and generate a database report you can all compare prices…
How about Jacmar
Hey Royce…I’m game for that! We use primarily two regional suppliers so it may not matter much for the rest of the country. Sysco is trying again to get in my door, but they are higher priced on EVERY single item I use…and I GAVE him my invoices!
Are you volunteering?
I might be able to set up a spreadsheet (cloud based) that we could d/l and update…
Google Docs can be shared…