got some sort of contact info for us? Website? Phone Number? something?

I have used both Sysco and US for close to 9 years. Each company has some items that they always have the best price on. Other things swing back and forth. I compare the pricing on the list of items we buy from them each week and buy where the price is best.

For most of the last two years sysco has hammered US Foods on the cheese price beating them by as much as 20 cents a pound. I vote for “play them against each other”. I have had experiences with both where they jacked up the pricing etc. As far as I am concerned they both are the same species of dog with different spots.

At the very least, give the sysco guys a list of product to quote price on. You may find some savings on some key stuff. I would also tell your US foods guy you are doing it and that he/she may want to sharpen their pencil. There could be some nice suprises there too.

I believe that I save around 2-3% on food each year playing them off each other which amounts to a few thousand dollars. It is worth doing.

I can definitely see the value in comparison shopping. I do it at grocery stores and when buying equipment and such. I choose a different tactic with my foodservice provider.

I take the tach that Big Dave suggests in developing a partnership with a primary supplier and establishing a loyalty as best I can. I know everyone has to make their paycheck, but I also know that no one likes being played and manipulated when their paycheck is on the line. I know it’s the nature of the beast, and stay out of the kitchen if you can’t stand the heat.

My cheese price has not risen in 3 weeks. I’ve had a 15 cent per pound increase over the month. I will bet scant few can report that. I attribute that to my relationship with my rep . . . she is willing to hold back the increase for a short time while I get my business going. She has been helpful finding me lower cost alternatives to products I use, and responds well when I do complain about steep price jumps.

About every quarter I check the overall pricing list with a competitor supplier. I don’t nickel and dime my reps any more than I ncikel and dime my customers. I have a realtionship with supplier that I would expect my customers to ask for, and treat my customers the way I expect my supplier to treat me. Sure, I may pay a nickel more this week for beef than the guy down the street, but it pays off in spades when it comes time to make special orders, getting access to ‘hidden’ products and to haggle over real prices of items I use lots of: wings, cheese, sauce, dough, boxes.

I even refer other shops to her to build her business. I have gotten her about 7 new accounts since we started using her 3 years ago. We still give her card out whenever we find a shop is not a USFoods shop. H#LL, her daughter and grandson live in town and order every week. We have lots of inroads with her to generate some loyalty.

For items that you buy from either one depending on price, are they the exact same products or do you change flour, sauce and toppings on a weekly basis?

NO ON SYSCO - never used them, NEVER will. I cooked my pizza sauce based on research and I did not touch SYSCO based on research. I had the market share.

Dare to be different. Don’t use what everyone else does. Use independents. Get a local produce vendor, local provision, local bakery, chase the unknown ie: spinach, broc, cream…etc use one paper vendor and ensure your other vendor works for you.

An onion is an onion. Both companies offer pretty much the same list of stuff. We never change sauce products but our ingredients can be purchased either place. Same for flour. LMPS mozz has a little more variation, but there is a label at each company we are happy with. For all I know it comes from the same packer anyway.

The food reps are full of happy talk about the relationship. I think it is a bunch of baloney. I know many other restaurant owners in town and have been able to review pricing with them on identical items. The sole source relationships ARE PAYING MORE. If that is OK with you as the price of better service, that is fine but don’t kid yourself that you are getting a better deal.

gotta watch sysco— most food products will price ok but watch the paper products–pull towels, arce wipe, foil will be double or triple price–

almost all dealers will have samples, but you have to ask for them–

I am quite dandy with the sole source peopoe you are talking to having to pay more. No skin at all of my nose. I don’t pay systematically more as a sole source relationship, so I feel still better.