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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.

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Old 10-27-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
somebody shut me the fark up.
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Default Food Distributors

Do you use food distributors?

How did you locate them?

How did you get hooked up with them?
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Old 10-27-2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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I use a food distributor,, I saw their truck in town going down the road,,, researched the name online,, found their number,, called them up,, They sent their rep to my house,,we sat down, went over what they offer, their price sheet, delivery, etc... we now use them for all our catering needs. I would suggest doing a search online, or speak to local restaurantes to see who they use, and call them up. Used to depend on sam's club,, not anymore,, I call Imler's up with an order,, next day they drop it off, they even bring it in and put all the refrigerated stuff in my cooler for me.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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A lot of people here in Michigan use Gordon's and you can go right into the store and work with them and they will assign you a local rep that you work with.
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Old 10-27-2008, 10:24 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bigmista View Post
Do you use food distributors?

How did you locate them?

How did you get hooked up with them?
We have used a meat distributor we met at the Modesto comp a couple years ago. They deliver to our door, or to a venue if we ask them to. Unfortunately, they do not work on weekends. And their deliveries and invoices have gotten screwed up lately. So, we have called a couple other distributors for prices, delivery policies, etc. It is good to ask around and prices are not the only item to use as a selection criteria.
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Old 10-28-2008, 03:15 AM   #5
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
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We use food vendors as well. Actually, two different. Sam's isn't an option for the most part. The closest one is 70 miles away.
PFG/TPC requires a 15 case minimum + a $6.50 fuel surcharge, and Kohl's has a minimum dollar amount of $250 and no fuel surcharge.
Both companies do a fine job for us. However, there is one issue that I've been hit with a couple times. Occasionally a vendor may be out of something I typically order. For some of the items, I won't accept a sub item. I always like to get the same brisket or ribs etc. Well, to make a long story short, if they are out of something I wouldn't know until the order arrives and the driver alerts me that I'm missing brisket or chicken or whatever. As you can imagine, not a good situation. My reps from both companies usually plead they wernt aware when they entered my order. As I say I'm working with my vendors on this and perhaps this is an isolated incident to our account.
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #7
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I'm a bit lucky as I live very close to several restaurants, pub and a butcher so I just take a picture of the delivery truck with the contact info on them. I haven't found the need as of yet but when I do...

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Old 10-28-2008, 12:27 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sledneck View Post

This is what I was thinking for you.

I use Jordanos as you know, but they are local.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #9
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Most of the distributors require a minimum order ($500 or 600 if you want delivery, less if you're picking up at their dock). If you want just the core meat products you'll use, a smaller meat specialist like K&M Meat in Vernon or Newport Meats in Irvine might be ok for you.

If you want paper, foil, packaging, cleaners, utensils, Cambro, bread, condiments, and so on, then a broadliner like Sysco, US Food (La Mirada), Goldberg & Solovy (Vernon) will be better. The main advantage of going w/ a broadliner is they'll carry a wider, deeper selection of name brand goods than Restaurant Depot. Otherwise, you can get the job done at RD.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:39 PM   #10
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Thanks Shu! I will look them up!
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:35 PM   #11
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I think Restaurant Depot has pretty good prices compared to Sysco or US Foods. Talk to restaurant owners i your area maybe you can piggyback your order with thiers.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:24 PM   #12
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Location: Yukon, Oklahoma

Sorry to post on an old topic - but following up on what lazybonesmoke1 said - check with the snack bar manager at you local golf course if you play there often. They usually buy from Sysco, Flemming or someone like that. They will gladly let you order whatever you want at cost most of the time and don't care because your not their competition. This is what I have been doing for a while and it's working out good.
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Old 02-28-2010, 10:36 AM   #13
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Location: Roseville, CA

If you have a Restaurant Depot close by that is your best deal. Have used Sysco, U.S. foods, and a few others and they are much pricier. Sams Club is ok and Smart & Final or Cash & Carry are ok but I like RD the best.
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Old 02-28-2010, 06:11 PM   #14
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Join Date: 11-28-07
Location: Temecula, CA

I looked into using US Foods / Sysco, but they require a min $500-$600/week order. With that, I am using Restaurant Depot and Sams Club for about 85% of my needs.

I am currently working a meat provider who is provind me 100% grass feed, angus beef and kurubuto (sp?) pork for almost the same as I was paying at RD.

Plus, the folks at my market are hung up on the grass feed beef. YMMV

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Old 02-28-2010, 06:42 PM   #15
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I use a few meat guys, they all fight over pricing and end up getting really good deals when vending orders start rolling in. I am luckily at the point, if I want a case of pork butts they deliver it at a price if I ordered 15 cases. Try to find one or two go to guys. I have found swift ribs to be the best price in my area, smithfield a close second when shopping brands from different distributors. The swifts come in cases of fifteen frozen in blocks and the smithfields also 15 to a case in 3 pack cryos. I pay on average 1.89 a pound for 2.5 st louis. I order mostly IBP for pork and brisket, and pay around .95 for bone in butts and 1.85-1.95 for choice packers. Hope that helps and you can haggle with prices.

I stay away from sysco and other large foodservice companies only because they have traveling salesmen and they are real pains in the arse!
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