How to Find an Alternative Food Distributor in 3 Easy Steps

The day-to-day of running a restaurant—from ordering food to menu planning to managing a kitchen to supervising staff—leaves you little time to think about your current food distributor. Have you been wondering if they are giving you the best price? Or if they are hitting you with unnecessary fees? Or if you are getting the best service? You’ve probably thought about whether there are better alternatives out there.

If only you had a few spare moments to do the research…. Well, we’ve done that work for you. Here are some tips to guide you through the process of how to find an alternative foodservice distributor that will do more than just fill your orders.

1. Make a list of your distributor must-haves.

Know the non-negotiables you require in a distributor:

  • Maybe customer service that goes above and beyond tops your requirements?
  • Or is a better competitive pricing structure what you need from a new foodservice distributor?
  • Are you looking to add more local farm-to-table or organic options to your menu?
  • Or is partnering with a socially responsible company a priority?

Add it all to your list. As you compare alternative distributors to your current distributor, be sure not to sacrifice your non-negotiables.

2. Do a little recon and ask questions.

Begin to weigh your options. Search online for an alternative food distributor in your area and talk to fellow chefs and restaurant buyers to get recommendations. Once you’ve narrowed down a list of potential distributors, get your questions answered by phone, by email or on their website. Here are few questions to spark some of your own:

  • How does your pricing compare to other distributors?
  • Do you have delivery charges or fuel surcharges?
  • Will you provide samples and references?
  • Do you offer easy payment options?
  • Do you require a minimum order?
  • Do you offer local farm-to-table and organic ingredients?
  • What is your return and refund policy?

How the distributors respond will help you further zero in on the right fit for you and your business.

3. Consider a new alternative to traditional distributors.

If you’re frustrated by unexpected price fluctuations or the lack of product variety your current distributor offers, you might look to a new kind of food distributor that’s willing to work and evolve with your restaurant. FoodMaven is a socially responsible alternative food distributor that’s changing up the traditional approach to foodservice distribution.

We’re a Colorado distributor that helps restaurant and foodservice buyers save on high-quality ingredients while positively impacting the environment and supporting the community. We specialize in connecting you with local farmers and ranchers to make it easier for you to add sought-after farm-to-table ingredients to your menu.

We created FoodMaven to address the problem of almost 40% of the food grown in the U.S. winding up in landfills. This is mostly due to distribution inefficiencies like local producers who don’t have direct distribution channels, oversupply, or imperfects. FoodMaven captures this “lost food” to offer it to you in this new channel for less than market price. Other distributors do not give you access to these deals so you will keep buying their items at full price.

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Discover what makes us different and see how an alternative distributor can complement your current buying strategy:

  • Save up to 50% off: Choose from a variety of fresh produce, premium meats, seafood and more.
  • Order online as easily you do on your favorite shopping site. Make purchases without going through a salesperson at any time of day or night.
  • Find unique opportunities to enhance your menu. We offer a selection of local farm-to-table and organic ingredients.
  • We can do special orders. We also tailor our procurement to your needs.
  • There’s no minimum order in most areas. Also, no contracts, delivery fees, fuel charges or hidden fees.
  • Pay as you please: credit card, PO, COD or invoice. There are never credit checks to deal with.
  • Choose next-day delivery, a two-hour delivery window and delivery days that work for you.
  • Everything is 100% satisfaction guaranteed. We offer a no-questions-asked return and refund policy.
  • Our experienced customer support team is steeped in the foodservice industry and offers stellar, personalized customer service.

We hope these tips guide you to an alternative distributor that will become a valued partner. If you want to boost your bottom line and make ordering easier than ever before, try FoodMaven today.