This may come as a surprise, or not (depending on your experience), but not every customer and distributor are a good fit for one another. When looking for a distributor, the easiest and most common differentiating factor that comes to mind is price. However, many of the most successful restaurants in New York City and around the country will tell you that a good relationship involves much more than price. That being said, price is important and Woolco Foods understands that. This is why, in most cases, we offer better prices than nationwide distributors. There is a dirty little secret floating around the industry that nationwide distributors do not want you to know: They sell large chain restaurant groups at very cheap prices, therefore they must charge higher prices to independent operators.
Perhaps the most crucial piece of information to consider is the following; for your money, what are you currently getting from your distributor? While you may be happy with the products themselves, you’re not just buying a case of ketchup or gallon of mayonnaise. What you are paying for is an experience, and that experience should exceed your expectations.

  • Do your deliveries arrive on time, or on your distributor’s schedule such as in the middle of dinner or lunch service?
  • When you place an order, can you do so in Spanish or English with an attentive representative or do you have to track down an unreliable sales rep and hope they put your order in before the cutoff?
  • Do your deliveries arrive on the day you want at the time you want six days a week or are you hampered with dedicated delivery days that are an inconvenience?
  • Do you receive the brand name products you require or are you receiving private label products, even when you order brand name items?

Woolco Foods is committed to the following:

  • Delivery times that fit your needs & schedule
  • Bi-Lingual customer service staff who are always available to take your order
  • Late cutoff times for delivery
  • Reliable and attentive Sales Representatives who answer their phone at all hours of the day or night
  • Delivery 6 days a week
  • Brand name, high quality products

By looking at this information and asking some simple questions, we can begin to determine if Woolco Foods is the distributor that best fits your needs:

  • Do you want use a nationwide distributor or Woolco Foods (a local distributor)?
    • Using a nationwide distributor such as Sysco or Chef’s Warehouse, often means high minimums and strict ordering requirements. We at Woolco Foods, are much more flexible, offer lower minimums, later cut off times and no restrictions. We offer a much more hands on, customer centric approach. If you require more frequent deliveries and better service, Woolco Foods is the way to go.
  • Do you need local or locally sourced products?
    • “Locally sourced” is becoming a very large movement in the restaurant industry. Customers are increasingly curious as to where their food comes from. Having the ability of purchasing a product from a local source; i.e. farm, butcher, or distributor, can be an added benefit for your business. Woolco Foods uses local sources for their products such as milk, eggs, flour, etc. This gives you as the restaurateur the ability to inform your customers of your ingredients origins.
  • Do you require brand name products?
    • In your establishment, you only want to use the best ingredients. Often times this means thinking outside of the box and getting ingredients that are harder to source. Working with a distributor, such as Woolco Foods, that has these items in stock will benefit you and your menu. Woolco Foods prides itself on only using the best brand name products for our customers, all of the time. Nationwide distributors do not always carry these brand name products, and may not be willing or able to bring them in. In addition, nationwide distributors seek to push their private label items on their customers, whether the customer wants them or not. Keep that in mind when selecting a distributor.
  • Will you be using organic products?
    • Much like the local movement, the organic movement is picking up steam amongst foodservice establishments. Even if your establishment is not a farm to table, organic or local sourcing institution, it can still be beneficial to carry a few items on your menu that satisfy an organic requirement. By using Woolco Foods, you will have a wider access to these types of products in the smaller quantities you may need to fulfill your menu requirements.
  • Do you want to use cash & carry?
    • Most distributors offer some type of cash & carry service, Woolco Foods has a cash & carry window that is open 6 days a week for your convenience. If you wish, you are free to call in advance so your order is fully assembled and ready to go when you arrive.
    • There are also dedicated cash & carry outlets in almost every market. The best way to determine between going to cash & carry versus get having your products delivered, is to look at how you value your time:
  • Do you place a higher value on promoting & marketing your business, developing your menu, and enhancing your customers’ experience? Or do you place a higher value on looking around large warehouses for the items you need, standing in long lines, and engaging in the physical labor of loading and unloading your purchases?
    • Most establishments that use cash & carry do not fully appreciate the toll that the time and labor involved in the process takes on their business. Because of this, if you do choose to use cash & carry, using a distributor is the most beneficial choice. Often times, you can call your orders in to them and have them ready to be loaded when you arrive. This cuts down on time and makes the process easier.
      By asking yourself the previous questions, you’ll be able to determine that Woolco Foods is the distributor that would best able to serve your business. This is crucial, because you should look at your distributor as an integral partner in the success of your establishment. Woolco Foods would be honored to become your partner and help your business thrive.