Pizza industry food distributors

So who doesn't feel like they just got through dealing with a used car salesman when their food distributor leaves? You may have gotten a good deal, maybe not. Hey, they are salesmen after all, but there is a difference. If you don't have the best products and happy customers, you don't increase sales and increased sales on your part means more inventory you have to buy. The more you buy from them, the more they make and you get the point.

What about this scenario; It's an unusually busy Saturday because you did a mailing last week offering a great price on pepperoni pizzas. You run out of pepperoni and call your food distributor's sales rep asking if he can get a case to you on his day off. Now if you haggle with him over the price of cheese every time he comes in the door and make him spend an hour arguing over the price of pizza boxes, toilet paper, tomatoes and every item on the list, do you think he is going to go in and get you a case of pepperoni? Would you feel like you got jipped on the price of napkins the next time he came in and took and order? You would probably have to go pick up the pepperoni yourself and yes, you probably got the shaft on the napkins – but hey, you haggled a great price on cheese this week.

I went to Ed Zimmeman, who has worked with Bellissimo Foods and Pizza Paul Nyland who works for Gordon Food Service (GFS) and asked them, "How can a pizza operator get the best deal from their distributors? How can they get on the 'buddy' or 'A' list?" Both gave the same advice; be a better customer and not a jerk. Here are some tips I got to help you determine who will be best for you and how to negotiate with them.

First, you are going to have to determine who carries the most products you will need. Sure you will have to get some special products from of the more "ethnic" distributors who deal exclusively with Italian restaurants, but there are always some broad line distributors who will have most of the items you will need. Once you find the ones with what you need, determine who can offer the best service.

How can you do that? Look at things like if they reinvest in their stock and if the consistently have items on hand. How do they keep track of inventory and keep the warehouse up to date? What is their percentage of in-stocks? A good distributor should have at least 98 percent in stock. This indicates they reinvest in the business. Are they using computer invoicing or still write out tickets? Is their equipment up to date and well maintained? These are signs that they a concerned about their company and serving yours. A poorly ran operation usually means poor service.

If nothing else, remember this: distributor salesmen are loyal to those who are loyal to them! If a distributor knows his or her customers are always buying at least 80 percent of their needs from them, the customer can get just about anything anytime. The advice here, choose one main distributor and get a Prime Vendor agreement with them. A prime vendor agreement will help insure you are getting the best possible prices consistently and not getting screwed on toilet paper. Also, read Ed Zimmerman's article on Dealing with Distributors

How do they take orders? Some distributors now offer order delivery solutions. This is software that allows the owner to place orders online. There are a couple of advantages here. First, it allows the owner to order at his or her leisure. No stopping to haggle over price, place the order or being there when the sales rep is. Owners can order after hours, early in the morning – anytime they like. It also cuts down on the distributors overhead allowing lower prices for you. It also allows more time for the sales rep to show and demonstrate new products. Now all of these aren't to be carved in stone as the gospel according to PMQ, these are just some guidelines to point you in the right direction or help you develop a better relationship with your food distributor.

PMQ has also put together a distributor guide to help you locate a great distributor in your area. We have two ways for you to locate distributors in your area, one is online at PMQ.com and the other is the list below. Online, go to www.pmq.com and click on this article under the Current Issue. Here you will find a map where you can click on your state and get a list of all the participating food distributors who serve your state. We invite any distributors not listed to submit your info for inclusion. Email us at tom@pmq.com to get the questionnaire sent to you. Peruse the info on page 78 and see in there are any distributors here you would like to contact.

All Original Foods, Inc.
Phone: 1-800-239-1266 (205) 425-1266
Service area: AL, TN, GA, MS, FL panhandle

Alliant Foodservice, Inc.
Phone : 847-405-8500
Website : www.alliantfs.com
Service Area: nationwide

Andoro & Sons Food, Inc.
Phone: (636) 332-9005
Service area: MO, IL

Antonio Sofo & Sons Importing
Phone: (419) 476-4211
Website: www.sofofoods.com
Service area: Oh, KY, IN, MI

Apple Foods
Phone : 503-233-0789
Service area: WA, ORAlpha Foods Co.
Phone: (713) 778-3019
Service area: Nationwide

Bari Italian Foods, Inc
Phone: 1-800-969-0320 (770) 271-5959
Website: www.barifoods.com
Service area: Southeast region- NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, TN & FL

Bellissimo Foods
Phone: (925) 284-6200
Website: www.bellissimofoods.com
Service area: nationwide

Birite Foodservice Distributors
Phone: 1-800-227-5373
Website: www.biritefoodservice.com
Service area: Northern California

Bonacorsi & Sons, Inc.v Phone : 800-639-1780
Website : www.bonacorsi.com
Service area: VT, NH

Casa Imports, Inc
Phone: (315) 724-4189
Service area: NY, MA, VT, CT and Northern PA

Cerenzia Foods, Inc.
Phone: (909) 989-4591
Service area: Southern CA and Las Vegas

Cerniglia
Phone : 608-831-8430
Service Area : southern WI

Ciccone Food Products
Phone: 1-800-764-1444 (630) 628-8880
Website: www.cicconefoods.com
Service area: Midwest (IL, WI, IN, MI)

Colony Foods
Phone: (978) 794-1500
Service area: MA. UT, NH, ME

Concord Foods, Inc.
Phone: (909) 975-2000
Website: www.concordfoodsinc.com
Service area: California & Nevada

Dan's Foodservice, Inc.
Phone: (405) 232-4847
Service area: OK, TX, AR

Delco Foods
Phone: (317) 876-1951
Website: www.delcofoods.com

Depalo & Sons, Inc.
Phone: (410) 483-1900
Website: www.depalo.com
Service area: US (MD, North VA, South PA, DE, & Washington DC)

DiCarlo Food Service
Phone: 1-800-DICARLO
Website: www.dicarlofood.com
Service area: Metro NY, NJ, CT, Long Island, NY, Eastern PA

Farm Boy Foodservices
Phone: 1-800-852-3976 (812) 425-5231
Service area: Southern IN, Southern IL, Western KY, Northwest TN

Ferraro Foods, Inc.
Phone: (732) 424-3400
Website: www.ferrarofoods.com
Service area: NJ, PA, DE, VA, WV, RI, NY, CT, DC, MA, NC, SC

Five Star Foods, Inc.
Phone : 973-472-3330
Service area: NJ, PA, NY

Flora Foods, Inc.
Phone : 954-785-3100
Service area : n/a

Giambrocco Food Service
Phone : 303-295-0802
Website : www.giambrocco.com
Service area : n/a

Giancola Bros., Inc.
Phone: (310) 450-1464
Service area: Ventura, Orange & LA Counties, CA

Gordon Food Service
Phone: (616) 530-7000
Website: www.gfs.com
Service area: Mid America & Canada Coast to Coast

Greco and Sons, Inc.
Phone : (630) 668-1000
Service area: WI, IL, IN

Impero Foods Phone : (410) 732-8488
Website : www.imperofoods.com
Service area: MD, DE, DC, VA, PA

Italia Pizza Supply
Phone : 787-751-0778
Service area : n/a

Jacmar Foodservice Distributors
Phone : (626) 430-9082
Website : v.jacmarfoodservice.com
Service area: all of southern California

Jeraci Food Distributors
Phone : (914) 347-3030
Service area: Metro NY and Southern CT

Kast Distributors
Phone : 1-800-550-9735 (856) 299-3553
Website : www.kastdistributors.com
Service area: South NJ, Eastern PA & DE

Lipari Foods
Phone : 1-800-729-3354
Website : www.liparifoods.com
Service area: Midwest MI, IL, OH, KY, TN, WV, PA

Lisanti Foods
Phone : 973-256-2558
Website : www.lisantifoods.com
Service area : 48 states

Lombardo Imports, Inc.
Phone : 702-895-8484
Website : www.lombardoimports.com
Service area : Las Vegas, NV

Maplevale Farms
Phone : (716) 355-4114
Website : www.maplevalefarms.biz
Service area: 100 mile radius of Clymer, NY (Erie, PA & Buffalo, NY

Master Food Distributors
Phone : 610-485-7710
Service area: n/a

Micucci Wholesale Foods, Inc.
Phone : 1-800-MICUCCI (207) 797-4103
Website : www.micucci.com
Service area: ME, NH

Mike's Quality Meats
Phone : 907-696-1888
Service area : AK

Multifoods Distribution Group
Phone : 1-800-880-9900
Website: www.multifoodsdistribution.com
Service area: Nationwide

Original Brand Foods
Phone : 1-800-451-3638
Service area: Southeastern US including GA, FL, TN, SC, NC, AL

P.A. Menard Foodservice
Phone : 504-592-2755
Website : www.pamenard.com
Service area : Southeastern, LA

P.D. Distributing
Phone : (702) 798-1123
Service area: Southern NV & Northern AZ

Pennsylvania Macaroni Co
Phone : 1-800-223-5928
Website : www.pennmac.com
Service area: PA, WV, OH MD

Perfetti Foods
Phone : (480) 858-0347
Service area: Phoenix

Pohl Food Service
Phone : (651) 487-1377
Website : www.pohlfood.com
Service area: MN, WI

Pontecorvo Imports
Phone : (713) 663-6711
Email: pontimport@aol.com
Service area: Houston, Galveston, Austin, and San Antonio

Presto Foods
Phone : 1-800-589-7007 (937) 294-6969
Website : www.prestofoods.com
Service area: most of OH, IN, KY, WV, PA

RDP Foodservice
Phone : (330) 405-7999
Website : www.rdpfoodservice.com
Service area: All of Ohio

Reinhart Foodservice
Phone : 402-331-6262
Website : www.reinhartfoodservice.com
Service area : MN, MI, PA, IA, NE,

Rema Foods
Phone : 201-947-1000
Service area: n/a

River City Food Distributors
Phone : 901-546-0377
Service area: TN, AR, MS

Roma Food Enterprises
Phone : (732) 463-7662
Website : www.romafood.com
Service area: Nationwide

Romeo & Sons
Phone : (724) 438-5561
Website : www.romeofoods.com
Service area: Southwestern PA, Northern WV

Saladino's, Inc.
Phone : (559) 271-3700
Website : www.saladinos.com
Service area: CA, NV
Salco Foods
Phone : (616) 246-6000
Website : www.salcofoods.com
Service area: Grand Rapids area

Sysco Corporation
Phone : (281) 584-4112
Website : www.sysco.com
Service area: North America

T & R Wholesale Foods
Phone : (413) 786-5800
Service area: MA, CT, RI, VT, NH

The Cheese Man Corporation
Phone : 1-800-453-3014 (425) 488-6233
Website : www.cheesemancorp.com
Service area: WA

Tony's Fine Foods
Phone : (916) 374-4000
Website : www.tonysfinefoods.com
Service area: CA, NV

U S Foodservice
Phone : 410-312-7100
Website : www.usfoodservice.com
Service area: 48 continental U.S. states

Valley Distributing of Montana
Phone : (406)-248-7806
Service area: all of Montana, Northern Wyoming, Westen ND & Rapid City, SD

Vesuvio Foods
Phone : (732) 346-0600
Website : www.vesuviofoods.com
Service area: NY, NJ, PA, CT