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View Full Version : choosing a meat provider??


BBQugafan
02-05-2014, 02:25 PM
Hello everyone, I am wondering how did you guys eventually choose your meat provider? I am leaning towards Smithfield, I like the quality. I am in the process of creating a business plan, and wanted to know how did you guys come up with accurate prices for the meat , and did you go with restaurant depot, sysco, sams, Costco or someone else?! I am going to be doing spare ribs, pork butts, and chicken!!!! Can you get accurate prices on their website or do you have to talk to a sales associate? I am really trying to get as close as I can to the most accurate costs of these products? ! Prices by the case?! Which company is usually the better deal?! Thanks so much for your responses, I really need some you guys expertise! !!

Bbq Bubba
02-05-2014, 06:34 PM
Prices you get quoted today will be +- 10-30% in 6 months.
Beef is supposed to go thru the roof this spring.
Pork changes weekly and seasonly.
I would go to Restaurant depot for pricing. They will be closest to wholesale.
Once you open you will need a meat provider (Sysco, etc) unless your a very small biz.

keysbbq
02-05-2014, 11:07 PM
I use several suppliers who carry the products I want. all have their own rules on delivery, ordering time and payment. My main concern is the salesman, is he or she organized, reliable and knowledgeable. I use a lot of specialty items like Kobe and Berkshire but only on occasion so a knowledge of the meat industry is helpful. My second priority is do they deliver six days and when do I have to order it by; one of mine I have to order by 10am the day before and another I can wait till 5am the day of delivery. Third is quality is the product fresh and handled properly. Forth is price, they are all pretty close but in general they all fall into a set order. I can get around price by playing them off one another a bit.

marubozo
02-05-2014, 11:20 PM
I agree with keysbbq. I met with about six suppliers before opening, from the littlest of companies to the big national chains like Sysco. Ended up finding the sweet spot with a regional company with an awesome rep who will bend over backwards to meet my needs. They didn't have the ribs I wanted, so he made the company establish a new account with a packer so that he could special order just for me. Same with brisket, he got me lined up with a company they don't usually work with just so I could get black angus choice and prime brisket from one place.

Service is the most important thing IMO. I love having people who will go the extra mile to find exactly what I want, and even personally deliver something on say a Sunday night in the event of an emergency. 10 cents a pound more? I don't care, but getting what I need, when I need it, trumps it all.

Pyle's BBQ
02-06-2014, 11:18 PM
When I open I started out with Sysco. I knew they had what I wanted and their warehouse was close enough for a will call pick up. I did after a time go back and get bids from other distributors and ended up changing due to price alone. Service is good but if some one is charging you 10% more than you can get from somewhere else they are not doing you any good. I use Reinhart now. The have been very good and are cheaper.

The thing about Smithfield is that they are Chinese owned now. Also Sysco is in the process of aquiring US Foods.

As long as you don't need specialty meats Sam's are as good as any for your purpose. Be sure to get the case price. There is a big difference in off the shelf and case.

f2f
02-08-2014, 02:44 PM
Have you looked into supporting your local farmer's? Hard to compete with the corporate outfits but I think there is a chance people will be willing to pay the difference if they know its local before were all gone. It is a bit of a hassle and more expensive usually compared to ordering commercial but worth it in the end I think.

Steppenwolf
02-08-2014, 04:45 PM
Beefs already through the roof in my neighborhood.
I'm not a competitive cook but I've had the fortune of hanging with a number of local butchers over the last 35 years or so. They've all hung up their cleavers and look soon what's available today with disdain.
But if you have any local butchers left in your area check them out. It probably won't be the most economic but may be the most rewarding.

Pyle's BBQ
02-08-2014, 04:54 PM
Have you looked into supporting your local farmer's? Hard to compete with the corporate outfits but I think there is a chance people will be willing to pay the difference if they know its local before were all gone. It is a bit of a hassle and more expensive usually compared to ordering commercial but worth it in the end I think.

I support local people as much as possible. But what you are suggesting is not feasible really. I cook pork butts. There are only 2 on a pig. I could use the ribs and some of the loins. What do you do with the rest of the pig. A farmer will want to sell the whole pig not just parts. If you were making sausage or had some use for the rest of the animal you could try it but you would have way more ground meat than anything else. I am helping just as many farmer by get meat for my distributor as I would one farmer. I think gett local ingredients or products made by someone local is a better way to go. I use a rub from my friends, I get dessert bars from a local cater, I have wine from a local winery and will be flavored preserve on wing from one of my employees that makes jellies. Also, this summer I hope to be selling her cheeses once she gets her dairy open.

f2f
02-09-2014, 01:05 PM
I support local people as much as possible. But what you are suggesting is not feasible really. I cook pork butts. There are only 2 on a pig. I could use the ribs and some of the loins. What do you do with the rest of the pig. A farmer will want to sell the whole pig not just parts. If you were making sausage or had some use for the rest of the animal you could try it but you would have way more ground meat than anything else. I am helping just as many farmer by get meat for my distributor as I would one farmer. I think gett local ingredients or products made by someone local is a better way to go. I use a rub from my friends, I get dessert bars from a local cater, I have wine from a local winery and will be flavored preserve on wing from one of my employees that makes jellies. Also, this summer I hope to be selling her cheeses once she gets her dairy open.
I was not trying to imply this could be done on a day to day basis, just trying to keep the thought out there. Seems the local produced thing is catching on more as people realize how most big corporate operations work. We have a hobby farm and two Berkshire sows, hard to sell hogs sometimes. What would happen If you did Q up the hams, picnic, etc. like a butt? Thinking you could piece the rest out to chops or loin it, with a pork belly special, ground pork is hard to beat to... Trying to figure out how to maximize these hogs.

Jeff Therrell
02-14-2014, 03:38 PM
Restaurant Depot is usually the cheapest but you have to go pick it up. They usually carry IBP butts and I have used all of them and IBP are the best I won't use Smithfield unless that's all I can find they have the poorest quality of all of them.