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HBMTN
06-01-2010, 06:51 AM
I have been buying from Sysco since we opened our catering/concessions business in April. Every order has been $475-$750 except for my last which was $275, I got the email from my rep below.

" Sysco Rep-I received an email from my manager sent to everyone in our district.

He states (taken exactly from his email - A while back we removed the approval process for under 20 piece orders. We as a company have not done a very good job of managing this process. Our orders less than 20 are up significantly and our driver overtime and miles are up for the same time period. We need to get a handle on this immediately in order to control expenses.

They want me to place a 20 case order which there is no way I can not knowing from week to week what I am doing and not having huge refrigerator space for meats. So back to Sams and Costco for me. I have to find a supplier for chicken leg quarters and whole beef briskets as there are none around here.

landarc
06-01-2010, 09:54 AM
Sooo, more of their customers are making orders for less than 20 cases, they see the answer as not taking those orders anymore. Interesting business tactic.

Jorge
06-01-2010, 10:03 AM
Sooo, more of their customers are making orders for less than 20 cases, they see the answer as not taking those orders anymore. Interesting business tactic.

If Reps have been taking on more small clients, and they aren't clustered I can see the problem for the vendor. Now if existing large clients are cutting their orders back that much, they have larger issues to be concerned about.

Mileage, maintenance, fuel costs, labor, all add up and I'm guessing that Sysco has fairly low margins but I don't know the latter for sure.

big brother smoke
06-01-2010, 12:29 PM
I hope you can find a family owned distributor willing to work with you.

PorkQPine
06-01-2010, 12:30 PM
You might want to talk to another caterer in your area and combine orders or else get a large freezer. You can also check out the closest Restaurant Depot and see if it makes sense to travel that far. I know they are opening a new one in Virginia Beach.

CivilWarBBQ
06-01-2010, 12:38 PM
There's a PFG location in VA. Might want to check them out.
http://www.pfgc.com/AboutUs/Pages/Locations.aspx

landarc
06-01-2010, 12:41 PM
I guess I read into the OP that the reps were taking more orders from existing customers for smaller orders. I may be reading something into that which is not there. I was recently reading that Sysco was looking into trying to serve a smaller order business module due to the trend away from large order service. Out here, they serve many small restaurants that do not bring in 20 cases regularly, but, the density of small restaurants is much larger than many areas.

bbqpitstop
06-01-2010, 01:51 PM
If I read correctly, they referred to 20 piece orders, not cases. Usually that means buying a case of beans a bag of okra or enough of something to add up to 20 seperate items. Might want to double check with your sysco rep.

PCDoctor_1979
06-01-2010, 01:54 PM
Exactly the reason I don't deal with Sysco or any other big distributor. I don't have the cooler space, and I don't always know a week ahead - so I get my stuff JIT from Sam's. I have ordered hot dogs for kiddie events a couple of times via a restaurant friend through Sysco and they are pretty good (for hot dogs)

EatonHoggBBQ
06-01-2010, 02:25 PM
Your salesman must not be making enough commission to be bothered with you. We found our salesman overcharging for chicken. A few dollars here, a few dollars there, can put a lot of extra money in his pocket. Our food costs are 25-30k a month so he don't want to lose our business.

Bigmista
06-01-2010, 03:26 PM
I have been buying from Sysco since we opened our catering/concessions business in April. Every order has been $475-$750 except for my last which was $275, I got the email from my rep below.

" Sysco Rep-I received an email from my manager sent to everyone in our district.

He states (taken exactly from his email - A while back we removed the approval process for under 20 piece orders. We as a company have not done a very good job of managing this process. Our orders less than 20 are up significantly and our driver overtime and miles are up for the same time period. We need to get a handle on this immediately in order to control expenses.

They want me to place a 20 case order which there is no way I can not knowing from week to week what I am doing and not having huge refrigerator space for meats. So back to Sams and Costco for me. I have to find a supplier for chicken leg quarters and whole beef briskets as there are none around here.

No restaurant depot in the area?

HBMTN
06-01-2010, 04:47 PM
Nearest RD is 3 hours, Costco and Sams 1 hour. Sysco is 20 case minimum. They told me when I signed up in March they no longer had a 20 case minimum due to the economy, the truck come right by me daily it is 75 yards out of thier way and 10 minutes including the unload time to deliver once per week for what has been an average $550 order, my last order was only $275 so I guess that was the deal breaker. I told the rep that I know I am a little fish but little fish become big fish and when I got there I would remember how they helped me with this letter. U.S Foods will deliver a $500 minimum order, I am going to call a rep and see what they can do for me. Until then I'll be adding a 3 hour round trip to Sams once per week. Still have to find a whole brisket, and chicken quarter supplier.

jgh1204
06-01-2010, 06:26 PM
IF not for the travel time, I would think getting cut off from Sysco would be a good thing. I remember Sysco products from my college days and I thought they were terrible.

Jorge
06-01-2010, 06:38 PM
Nearest RD is 3 hours, Costco and Sams 1 hour. Sysco is 20 case minimum. They told me when I signed up in March they no longer had a 20 case minimum due to the economy, the truck come right by me daily it is 75 yards out of thier way and 10 minutes including the unload time to deliver once per week for what has been an average $550 order, my last order was only $275 so I guess that was the deal breaker. I told the rep that I know I am a little fish but little fish become big fish and when I got there I would remember how they helped me with this letter. U.S Foods will deliver a $500 minimum order, I am going to call a rep and see what they can do for me. Until then I'll be adding a 3 hour round trip to Sams once per week. Still have to find a whole brisket, and chicken quarter supplier.

Who is 75 yards from you? Can you work a deal?

big brother smoke
06-01-2010, 06:43 PM
No Will Call?

Bbq Bubba
06-01-2010, 08:01 PM
Ummm, can you say pick up?

Jeff S.
06-01-2010, 08:17 PM
What about these guys?

http://www.stauntonfoods.com/home.html

I think if you called them and told them you wanted to shift away from Sysco, they would bend over backwards to get your business.

Do you have FSA (food service of america) around there? I have seen some pretty good ribs come from them, if you pay the extra to get the better cuts.

Professor Salt
06-02-2010, 01:10 AM
Another fridge might be worth the investment vs. having to drive three hours any time you book a gig. It's Sysco's gas and time vs. your gas and time.

HBMTN
06-02-2010, 04:38 PM
Thanks Daddy's Butt Rub gonna have to give Staunton Foods a call, Sysco has no will call/pick up except for an emergency. The Sysco trucks drive 75 yards in front of me daily, in other words to drop an order to me they have to turn right and go 75 yards from thier planned route to local restaurants. So its not like I am out of the way and costing them overtime and fuel.

PorkQPine
06-02-2010, 09:25 PM
I would check with the rep and find out the real story.

HONCHO GREGORY
06-03-2010, 09:34 PM
Yea, tell the syco rep. that the other reps been callin you every week or two. and he'll bet the sysco price. Then see what he says.
Betcha he says "Oh that was ment for this giuy that only buys once or twice
Play their game

PorkQPine
06-04-2010, 09:19 AM
Yep, these guys get paid commissions so they have an incentive to sell, sell, sell. They may be pushed by mgmt. to get larger accounts but I would bet that they can service you.

Leopardstripes
06-04-2010, 03:09 PM
Do you folks have Cash n' Carry out that way? They have pretty fair stuff, most of the time, and plenty of quantity...also, had you considered checking with local meat producers? We've got some local shops here who can supply as much meat as you could ask for, top-notch stuff, as long as they have a week's lead time- and they'll work with you, because they're so glad to have the business- the smallest hole-in-the-wall (to all appearances) can sometimes be the best vendors to deal with, for quality and reliability.

chopshop
06-04-2010, 03:14 PM
I have been buying from Sysco since we opened our catering/concessions business in April. Every order has been $475-$750 except for my last which was $275, I got the email from my rep below.

" Sysco Rep-I received an email from my manager sent to everyone in our district.

He states (taken exactly from his email - A while back we removed the approval process for under 20 piece orders. We as a company have not done a very good job of managing this process. Our orders less than 20 are up significantly and our driver overtime and miles are up for the same time period. We need to get a handle on this immediately in order to control expenses.

They want me to place a 20 case order which there is no way I can not knowing from week to week what I am doing and not having huge refrigerator space for meats. So back to Sams and Costco for me. I have to find a supplier for chicken leg quarters and whole beef briskets as there are none around here.

are you anywhere near chesapeake? i really dont feel like looking on mapquest. If you are i hooked up with a guy down there last week while vending at the chesapeake jubilee and he had good prices on his meat.

Cabntmkr1
06-06-2010, 03:50 PM
Sooo, more of their customers are making orders for less than 20 cases, they see the answer as not taking those orders anymore. Interesting business tactic.
Yeah, great thinking...:thumb:
No business is better than some business??

Alan in Ga
06-06-2010, 04:52 PM
We just picked up a case of chicken quarters at sams for less than 30 dollars. Never seen brisket there. Just ask what the case price is next time you go. There were 36 big leg quarters in the case.

hossrocks
06-06-2010, 11:45 PM
GRIND'EM, each week I place a $300-$600 order with my Sysco guy. They have rumbled about how expencive it is to do small orders like that. Last winter I got a letter much like what your talking about. The following wednesday when my rep showed up "whom I like alot" I told him that we were not going to be doing any more biz together because of the letter and he freaked! It took him about 10 minutes to straighted it out. To date, I have placed orders for nothing more than 2 cases of meat some weeks and they have delivered without fail.
Bottom line is this, they need you as much as you need them. Play hardball with them and watch how fast they change their tune!!!!

Tinybud
06-13-2010, 04:32 PM
I met with reps from both sysco and us foods. wasn't overly impressed with prices, we have a local family owned distrubitor that has no issues going out of there way to help us out. They'll open on sundays if I should happen to run out of product while vending (has happened several times) Delivery is a 100 buck minium, 3 dollar surcharge for less than 100. I'd say look for a local distrubtor and start a good relationship with them. Good luck.

spinone
06-14-2010, 07:13 AM
Get in touch with your Rep. That's what they get paid for. In this wonderful day of you being a customer number in a computer many times letters get sent through a system without anyone really seeing what gets sent to who. Your Rep probably understands that there is no real extra expense delivering product to you if you are on route of the truck that services you and you are available to receive product during the delivery schedule they set up. The accountant and programmer who set up accounting software to send form letters do not make their money on commissions and the computer doesn't have "reasoning" with who should and shouldn't get a letter. If your Rep can not solve this problem, consider it a blessing that you know now that you need to change suppliers and are not in the situation of having a quality or availability problem that your Rep is less than helpful with solving for you.

I try to think of all my suppliers as partners. We all need to work together to make money. I need to make money to buy their product, they need to make a profit to provide me with the quality and service I demand. I always hold my end of the bargain (my mistakes are not their mistakes, loyalty and expedient pay) and if they can not do the same the "partnership" is over.

Smoke'n Ice
06-21-2010, 01:18 PM
My Sysco rep has the same problem with 20 minimum. We play the game and fine inexpensive items that can break a case and buy those occassionly. Have found that it is worth the drive to go to restaurant depot for a lot of my items. As an example, low temp detergent, rinse, sanitizer from Sysco run $300 (eco labs 2.5 gal) and from RD $75 (5 gal buckets). Other items such as bacon and chicken can be less. Good thing they implemented their 20 item minimum, made me go look and save.
:clap2:

HBMTN
06-21-2010, 01:52 PM
Trying out a new supplier this week who is a smaller franchise. They only have a $350 minimum for delivery plus they are cheaper on pork than Sysco was selling to me at. We will see on the rest, I have my fingers crossed.

Utahslo-smoke
07-08-2010, 10:04 AM
Im like you a little gut that only has the stock on hand that is sold this week. I have US foods exactly 3 miles away and they don't want to work with me cause I'm so small. Sysco is a little over an 1.5 hours away and for short notice jobs it would be a 3 hour round trip for stuff. Here we have a big local first movement so for me finding a meat supplier, produce co and milk guy was easy and most are less than a 10 min drive if I need to pick it up. They are more than happy to give me a better rate than any other place I can go and sending an email to the usfoods rep the other day telling her how much in sales she lost last month got a bit of a wake up call for her and now she is trying to get the business back. Yeah I get 5 deliveries from venders over the week and as I need them. Most are more than happy to drop by more than once a week for more butter milk or a case of chicken cause its suddenly "on sale" Thats nice too only having a 400 sf space!

Meadmaker
08-04-2010, 02:47 PM
Sysco cut me off 5 years ago, and it was the best thing they could have ever done for me. I was frantically looking for a new supplier, and could not make the 60 mile one way trip to Sams club twice a week.
I called around to the local grocers, and slaughter houses, and found a great business located locally. The local slaughter house also does wholesale and retail meats. I drive by every morning , after building the fire in the pit, and pick up my meat fresh. By the time I get the other shopping out of the way, the fire is perfect and ready for meat.
I make a Sams club run once a month, for my styrofoam and other non perishable items I need, as well as mayo and ketchup. My accountant has noticed a 20% drop in my costs, even as my revenue has grown 10%. So I am really thankful that Sysco cut me off.
Another benefit to buying locally, is my suppliers are also now customers, and have given me several catering job leads. I can't count the number of new customers who were refered by the slaughter house where I get my meat.

Best of luck to you.

Dave (A.K.A. Meadmaker)