Is there a price list available anywhere?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by coup-de-feu, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. coup-de-feu


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    Professional Chef
    I am trying to find a list of average market prices for foodstuffs.  I got two lists from purveyors that I work with, but they tweek it and hide stuff and make it difficult to know the price of what I am looking at.  Really all I want is a general list for menu planning.  

    Does anyone know about a foodstuff market price guide?  Or something like that....


  2. chefwriter


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    Professional Cook
    Your purveyors may not be hiding anything. Make sure you are looking at comparable products when comparing prices. For example, paper product prices may seem cheaper brand to brand but are the product sizes and specs the same? By the case or each? I would make a list of 10-15 random items from all categories, being very specific about size and amounts-by the Gallon, case, pound, etc. Then compare purveyors, brands as well as retail. There are more choices these days with price clubs, supermarkets, ethnic markets for specialty spices and products. Fresh produce, meats, seafood and dairy can fluctuate to market conditions, seasonality but on a given day you can compare one supplier to another. And don't assume you are familiar with all the purveryors in your area or the full product list they may carry. Do a bit of research to make sure you know all your resources. And don be afraid to mention that with your current purveyors. Never hurts to make them a little less confident of your continued commitment to them. Unfortunately, this is a long, continued process because conditions change over time and so will prices.
  3. foodpump


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    Ehhh.... NO.

    Get thee to thine Costco, to thine safeway, to thine ethnic grocer and look at prices.

    Big boy purveyors like to lump prices into volume, do "X" amountof volume and you fall into price category 1, "Y" volume and your into price category 2 etc.

    If big box stores are cheaper, and in an amount that makes financial sense to spend 2 hrs/week buying stuff like dairy, pop, and drygoods, thenit's time to have a lil' chat with the purveyors and ask them why you shouldn't go to the big box stores.

    For my part, I've had far better pricing buying coffee froma coffee supplier, poultry from a poultry supplier (even throws in a cse of bones for every $200.) beef from a beef supplier, pork and charcutierie from a German guy, and produce from they guy down the street, car better pricing on "case lots" for stuff like tomatoese, onions, pots, and staple fruit and veg.

    One of my big "sayings about life in general" goes something like this:
    -Giants play best with other giants--not saying we all can't get along--but when giants play with other giants, neither goes home feeling like they got  shi**y deal.
  4. michaelga


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    Retired Chef
    You're looking for the holy grail - I wish you luck but you won't find it.

    It's a lot of work making the lists yourself but it will also help you to be a better chef / manager.

    The lists have to be specific to your place, food and region, let alone even country.  An everything list would be way to cumbersome and full of way to many things that you will never purchase or use.  Consequently not be very useful or let alone even get used.

    Having an establishment list is actually not hard to get - just grab the invoices and start typing.   Lots of work but you can even get someone else to do the grunt work, hire a student etc.  or one of your staff.  Mistakes will quickly get corrected as you will need to constantly update and revise the list.

    I get calls from suppliers now and just ask the prices of a few key items that I know we go thru a ton of and the answers to those few simple questions tell me a bunch.  

    The items I use as a reference will mean absolutely nothing to you or anyone else though.  

    Sorry there is no easy fix for you.
  5. brandon odell

    brandon odell

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    If you are simply needing it for menu planning, make your purveyors set you up for online ordering. You'll have access to their complete list of items with pricing for the pricing tier they placed you in. If they are attempting to withhold prices from you, you are getting cheated somewhere and should find other purveyors.