Wholesaling NY Pizza

Good Morning Dino,
Can you give me any tips on how to wholesale my pizza, calzone, and stuffed rolls to bars, pubs, colleges, etc? I feel that this will help add another dimension to my business.Coal-fired, thin crusted, fresh ingredients make our products exceptional and would love to expand to wholesale…just not sure who, how, and where to start. Any advice you can supply would be greatly appreciated!
Gina

No, because you will get much more out of building and marketing your retail business. Stores that wholesale do so in a huge way, like a factory. Are you set up for that? For it to be worth it you would have to do huge numbers and that means alot more work and alot more stress.

You open a can of regulatory worms when you whosale your product. and you open yourself to a lot of possable litigation. Higher Liability insurance costs are a definate factor.

You would be wise to pass on the consept of wholesaling.

George Mills

I may be misinterpreting this question, but I don’t think selling pizzas to bars, pubs, colleges, etc. would necessarily be considered “wholesaling”. We sell lots of pizza to bars around us. The bar owners let us put tents up on their tables and we get lots of calls. Every once in a while, we throw in a free pizza for the bartenders; which in turn, they recommend us to their customers. It’s a great relationship. I wouldn’t consider this wholesaling though. In fact, we charge them full price.

As for schools, we do discount to them. But again, I don’t think this is wholesaling. When I think of wholesale, I think of another entity buying your product so they can resell for a profit of their own. When we do this for sports concessions, I would consider this fundraising more than wholesaling.

The others are very wise in recommending not to go wholesale. I heard that if you’re manufacturing pies that contain meat, the USDA will need to be involved.

I was previously a “wholesaler” of par-baked pizzas - regulated by the FL Dept of Ag…
As long as you are not engaging in interstate commerce & the meat content is minimal, the USDA dosen’t become involved, as you are selling a “cheese pizza” w/meat toppings

There are many folks doing this nationwide…think Pizzas of Eight & Hunt Bros./Buffet style pizza are a couple that come to mind…

It is profitable, but you must deeply discount your product so they can resell it in the bar etc. Typically you’ll run 50% food cost…

Plus, you may need to invest in toaster type ovens for your customers…

Think long & hard…

Quote
“I may be misinterpreting this question, but I don’t think selling pizzas to bars, pubs, colleges, etc. would necessarily be considered “wholesaling”. We sell lots of pizza to bars around us. The bar owners let us put tents up on their tables and we get lots of calls. Every once in a while, we throw in a free pizza for the bartenders; which in turn, they recommend us to their customers. It’s a great relationship. I wouldn’t consider this wholesaling though. In fact, we charge them full price.”

Talk to a lawyer.

Any time you do not have control over the final disposition of your product you can still be liable for any mishaps that occur. Make sure your Insurance company is covering you for any possibility. You may not be covered for the above activity.

George Mills

Actually, the bars, and schools are BUYING PIZZAS FRON YOU. Pizza Hut was challanged some time ago for selling pizzas to schools with meat toppings, and since there aren’t too many USDA inspected/certified Pizza Huts out there, they were deemed to be in violation of the law. Turns out, the schools were buying pizzas from Pizza Hut (much like a catering service might buy pizza to serve at some function) so they were not in violation of any laws, so, those bars and schools ARE BUYING pizzas from you, right? You are not putting your pizzas into those places for sale to children/patrons. What the owner of the establishment does with your product is entirely up to them…right??? Please say “right”. But, if you were to put your pizza into a “C” store, or grocery store, in a box with your name on it, that would open the box of “worms” that George Mills alluded to.
Your SBA can fill you in on any of the gory details or you can go to the USDA web site at www.usda.gov. for more information.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor