Should I buy from Sysco/US Foods? or Restaurant Depot?


I wanted to have your opinions on what channels do you use to buy your food, and other supplies for restaurants?

do you use Sysco/us foods? or, do you use Restaurant Depot or GFS Store? or, maybe you use online platforms.

Your question can be answered “Yes” but to expand. There are many reasons to shop at any of them. There are some who say to have only one supplier and they will reward you for your loyalty. Others will say have multiple suppliers and shop them against each other.

You need to find the solution that works well for you.

I personally buy local as much as possible and use GFS for the rest. Sysco are not able to source some key products for me plus their prices are higher in my area.

do you use GFS Distribution or GFS store (cash & carry)?

I use distribution because I live in a small remote city.

I might use RD for some things if it was not a three hour drive away. We use both Sysco and US Food and shop their prices against each other every week. I know some say that going single source is beneficial but my experience does not support that. Perhaps if you are huge volume (let’s say over 1 million per year in purchases) they might really get focused on saving you money… but I actually had a sysco regional manager show me on a chart of accounts that they had less margin % on my business than any other account in town… yes, that can make me less important to them but it demonstrated that I am getting the best prices possible by shopping. With our smallish volume I regard that as an achievement. He was kind of laughing about it… He wanted to discuss getting more of my business… My response was “get me the best prices and you will get more of the business.” It was a good meeting, not a confrontation held at the local Starbucks. (By the way, before he retired, he used to shop in my clothing store regularly too)

What I need from a food purveyor is reliable delivery (no out of stocks) and the best prices possible. They like to talk about “service” as a differentiator but I don’t see it. The service they offer is identical to the competition which means it is not something that sets them apart… but rather a base expectation.

Sysco/US Foods… would want you to purchase $x amount of stuff… try online portals… for a start or RD/Clubs

For me, I had Sysco but the Sysco house in Fremont, CA is so unreliable and lazy(drivers constantly late or “forgetting” keys, out of stock items, etc) that I had to switch to US Foods. I’ve had Sysco in two other areas and they were top notch so it pained me to leave them. It’s also not easy adding a new distributor because they have different products and you have a period in which it will take you awhile to find what you want exactly. Things I still miss from Sysco is their easy online ordering and their Arrezio brand of thick cut genoa salami. US Foods also has a product it’d be hard to replace that no one else has and it’s their own brand (Roseli) of 0.5" bacon topping. It’s phenomenal. Better pizza boxes than Sysco too.

Just try one, see how it goes the first few months and go from there. Be happy there are solid alternatives in your area, as there are not in many areas.

RD and Roma and they’ve always treated me well! Make a list of your top 20 or 30 items you’ll order and get pricing from each. Let them know you are shopping around. Just watch the prices because they can creep up on you if you aren’t paying attention.

Yup… that is why we shop two vendors.

I’m an RD fan, but your time is money…I’ve saved buco bux, but menu is quite limited & I’m close to RD…If you are organized & can get in & out, its a great deal…

We use Chef’s Warehouse. They are competitively priced. The salesperson is hands on.

You should always shop your supplies across multiple… Doesn’t mean you have to shop every item if you prefer Ezzo you buy it from who sells it and price according to the quality, but for items like paper, spices, brand names that are carried by multiple vendors like Stanislaus, All Trumps, etc… you are crazy not to shop… All suppliers have different strengths and weaknesses within their systems… An organized platform of shopping suppliers can do more than save you money in direct one on one savings… I will expand if anyone is interested or contact Linda Green from PMQ directly and she will get you set up with a meeting with me to talk about your supply chain. Dave

time is money, I use roma and then a local guy for fresh vegs and small paper stuff

Having dealt with different divisions of Sysco and the like I can tell you that they differ big time! Having been involved in the opening of units in a few different states some divisions can be ok and others awful. It just depends who runs them.

A salesman pulled this on me more than a few times.

Example price of product: 29.09

Next week it would be 29.99

Following week 30.09

Next week 30.99

He pulled that on numerous products switching numbers.

Never ever have one supplier.