Providence, Rhode Island
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Important Food Service Distributor Terms
Restaurants and grocers are examples of those who distribute food services. They can purchase frozen and fresh food in bulk in order to provide their customers with certain products. Here are some important food service distributor terms to become familiar with.
Vendor - This is a business or corporation who distributes certain products. Vendors can purchase some products from a supplier and then sell those products with a mark up to the next market of consumers.
Supplier - They sill provide the vendors with the products they seek to pass on to other consumers. They can import certain foods like meats, baked goods, or any other perishable or non-perishable items that may be needed.
Cater - This can be a company or corporation that primarily travels in a food making capacity and provides meals to those at multiple locations. Their inventory can consist of frozen foods and other bulk items they purchase from a distributor. They will cook the food fresh on the site of the event they are serving.
Delivery - These are sometimes the regularly scheduled times when a vendor or supplier will distribute their products to a certain company. The delivery is when the companies ship the products to a restaurant or grocer on certain schedule in order to maintain product freshness and proper stock and inventory numbers.
Produce - These are the products that are most commonly perishable foods. These need to maintain a consistent delivery schedule in order to keep the most fresh produce available.
Foods and beverages obtained from distributors can keep the receiving companies stocked and properly inventoried in order to sell the products to consumers and others who require their product.
Food service distributors often sell their products to restaurants, grocery stores, and cafeterias in bulk. Food brokerage companies help companies get their food on shelves for customers to buy. Food is delivered in bulk pallets and shipped to their destination. Some companies many have truckloads of produce, meat, and beverages to deliver, while others are smaller operations. Brokers help operators to find the available distributors in their area. They work as the middleman between distributors and operators to find companies they otherwise wouldn't.
A bakery, caterer, hospital, or grocery store are just a few of the places a broadline distributor delivers food to. System distributors work with specific customers, such as restaurants, and often don't sell the variety of products that a broadline distributor would. Paper products are also available from many food service distributors at wholesale prices.
Customers are able to get an agreement with a distributor to stock their shelves and inventory as often as needed. They offer specialty products, as well as local food choices so their customers are given fresh food to use or sell. Manufacturers can hire a brokerage company to market their products to food service operators.
Speaking with several different distributors is a great way to learn about what wholesale prices they offer and if they sell a preferred manufacturer's goods. For large stores or restaurants, it's best to find how often distributors can deliver food and how much they charge. Comparing this information with other distributor options helps operators determine who has the best food options and prices.