Better to use Foodservice or Membership Warehouse?

Do you use a Foodservice or Membership Warehouse?

  • Foodservice

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  • Membership Warehouse

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  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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AJPRATT

New member
Mar 7, 2007
382
0
Atlantic City, NJ
I am curious what others do. I know one shop nearby goes to the local Sam's Club to buy items she sells, muffins, condiments, dairy products, paper goods, etc. She buys the muffins and wraps them in platic wrap. She says it is cheaper but she goes a few times a week. She just serves muffins and scones--that's it. It seems to work for her and her location.

A friend of mine owns a small restaurant and says that "Sysco is too expensive." He goes to a warehouse about an hour away once a week to pick supplies up.

I would love to serve fresh baked bagels, muffins, pastries and I have been considering serving a few different panini's. Someone who ran a successful shop suggested some quick breakfast sandwiches through a food service. I don't know if I should pick this up at a warehouse or have it delivered, or which is more cost/time effective?

So, I was wondering what most of you do? And what works for you?
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
I hate going to Sam's Club - I was in one of them looking over their crappy coffees when one of my customers walked up to me and said "so this is where you get your coffees" I knew she was joking, but my heart nearly gave out anyway. I mean the whole notion of we take time sourcing the best products just went out of window at moment like that.

We bake our own muffins, scones and cookies not because we want to but because we want our baked items to match the quality of our coffees and teas. After some trials and errors, we actually do a pretty decent job of baking.

I was against serving sandwiches, wraps, quiches and all food items because I don't want to deviate from what we do the best - coffees and teas, but I was vetoed by my wife. So now we have so so food items to go with some pretty darn good beverages. The worst part is food is about 10% of our business, but labor cost due to food is well over 30% of our total labor cost. She lied when she said to honor and obey.
 
ElPugDiablo,

Very funny! Loved your post. Did you promise to honor and obey?

Food costs can be high, not matter how you do it. We plan to use a good roaster to make excellent coffees and espressos, so why wouldn't we use excellent local bakeries for our pasteries?

Our specialization will be in PREPARING excellent espressos. So I think we should sell excellent pastries which we cannot prepare. Since we have so many popular bakeries locally, we plan to showcase their expertise to complement ours!! We will not showcase just one bakery, we will rotate them. They will come to us to get our great coffee, and we are just nice enough to include some of their favorite pasteries, that's the way I look at it. But I am just a coffee cart, I can get by with that!

I can see your face when confronted by that customer!! I would have just said "No, our coffees come from an expert coffee roaster, I'm just buying my groceries!"

At least your wife was honoring you by making sure you have a successful coffee shop!!

LOL!!!

Cheryl Ann
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
cherylann324 said:
Did you promise to honor and obey?
I made no such promise. I promised to love, to cherish, to honor and to protect. She promised to love, to cherish, to honor and to obey. Anyway, to paraphrase Bill Cosby, I have been obeying ever since I said I do.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
cherylann324 said:
Our specialization will be in PREPARING excellent espressos. So I think we should sell excellent pastries which we cannot prepare. Since we have so many popular bakeries locally, we plan to showcase their expertise to complement ours!! We will not showcase just one bakery, we will rotate them. They will come to us to get our great coffee, and we are just nice enough to include some of their favorite pasteries, that's the way I look at it. But I am just a coffee cart, I can get by with that!
If you can get them to deliver to you when you need them, then it's a great idea. But if you are rotating among lets say 4 bakers, you may not give them enough business for them to pay attention to you.
 
ElPugDiablo,

Good boy! Honor is a big word, isn't it? You are doing a good job, so it seems! Bill is such a wise man. We women promise to obey, but you men really do such a great job of doing it in a successful marriage! It's funny, but men really do all the obeying (even though they are above promising it) don't they?

Listening to your partner whether it is in marriage or business or many times both is the life blood of success, isn't it?

Tell your wife I said congratulations on picking a great partner!

Cheryl Ann
 
OP
A

AJPRATT

New member
Mar 7, 2007
382
0
Atlantic City, NJ
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I'll try to contact some local bakeries and see what they say. That would be great if we could have fresh baked items in our store.

I saw that sysco had some par baked items that you just heat upi. I have to admit, they were awesome!
 
Hi Ajpratt,

If you can get par-baked and have the equipment, I really think that would be the way to go!! Hot, fresh and local. Can't beat that. I would advertise the bakery, they can promote your sales maybe? YOU are selling exquiste coffee and have the best pasteries available, a winning combination!

Cheryl Ann
 
Hi AjPratt,

Do you have a culinary school in your area? At the college we plan to open at there is a culinary school and a pastry specialization that may come in handy. I probably won't be able to use them, but if I had a real cafe instead of a cart I would look into it. Perhaps they would be a source of a great bakery chef or they would have a student that has opened or will be opening a bakery that could be of assistance.

Just another avenue to explore!

Cheryl Ann
 

Jackson

New member
Aug 22, 2006
108
0
Columbus, OH
If you want to be consistent with each pastry you sell, the best way to go will be frozen par baked items from a sysco house or other restaurant supply company. When you purchase a case of Rich's frozen pastries for example, you will have confidence that each one will bake up the same. If you are retailing your pastries from a push cart or a mobile roach coach type business, buying high end "4 bakers" type fare will not help your bottom line one bit.
Muffins for example are great "eat on the run" type pastries. You bake them in a paper muffin wrapper, so students walking to class can eat them easier than say a cinnamon roll or a scone. If you buy frozen muffin batter like "main street" brand, you bake what you need and each muffin will have a 48 hour shelf life.
Before you decide where to buy your products, whether that be a sysco house or a warehouse club type place, try to walk while drinking a latte and carrying a book bag and eat different pastries. I believe your biggest problem will be, what types of pastries are easily eaten on the run.
 

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