What standards do you hold your purveyors to?

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Joined Jul 28, 2001
A compliment my friend.

   I knew you went to Conn. You like Conn? Are you you in a hoity toity area? Way some of those areas used to hold a butt load of wealthy dedicated customers. I only know everything up and down 95. Hitching back and forth to jw. Used to pick up private work in New Haven and Fairfield. Sometimes spending days and missing school, partying with Navy buddies in Groton. Probably all different now. I came up in the S. Bronx in the '60's.

  It seems with wealth, there's dedication. I've had my place in THE hoity toity area of Dallas, for 17yrs. This past January, the residential average income within 5 mile radius was 7.4 mil. annually. 

 Our shopping center is supposed to be #1 in the country, for what, I don't know. Lease cost? In the past year, 4 competitors have moved in. To wealthy soccer mom types, playing business (give them a year).

That Sprinkles cup cake lady has been here a short time. 1 gluten free place 2 doors away. There are 2 spaces next to me my landlord doesn't own. He's more pissed than I am. When he found out, he took me to lunch and I must have heard the word unethical 300 times. Even with all the places that have come and gone we've managed to increase income annually all 16 yrs.although 2008-10 were small . We seem to do better when competition rolls in. I never backed the idea of cupcakes until Sprinkles moved in. Now we sell 1.5-2 hundred a day, go figure.

  The last to move in was the guy who has the show on TV about his bakery in NJ. He obviously didn't come see the property. 17K a month base, triple net. He has 4 parking spaces/img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif  There's a large 2 level parking structure in the middle of the center. It will remain mostly empty 24 hrs. a day except for employee parking.. People in this area will not park the car and walk somewhere, it's fact. I'm lucky, I'm on the outer shell and have plenty of parking right in front I guess

  I say all this because the wealthy customers seem to be more dedicated and loyal than other groups I've had contact with. Just a stones throw is Mickey Mantles property, Perot, Bush, Mary Kay, Ebby Halliday, etc.

Hope you're killin it!

p.
 
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I respectfully disagree that the salesperson has nothing to do with the quality of product. Sometimes, your right they don't. But sometimes they absolutely do. I have had plenty of salespeople try to push product on me that their superiors are trying to have them push for obvious reasons.
Yes and no. Your sales person can direct you to good products and bad, but for perishables, your sales person is not there to pick and load your order, someone else does that, and therein lies our problem. Minimum wage lacky who know nothing about food quality.
 
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Your right. On my side, there aren't many reps with knowledge of pastry items. I forgot to add, I tell them not to sell me anything but give me the brochure of written info..
 
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Sometimes a wonder if they actually think they can fool me <_<. 

Its usually me and another cook that verifys any product that comes in the restaurant, and before signing off on anything I WILL OPEN THOSE BAGS UP AND CHECK!!

Watercress is all yellow and with holes.... as you said TAKE THAT SH*T BACK. 

Last week we were using corn, we needed it for a puree. The guys delivers some half *ss young corn, that is still white not even yellow yet. One half is just terrible the other was spoiled. The cook during the day shift (my buddy) tries to call him an no pick up, tries to text, no answer, she got p*ssed and she goes to the nearest pay phone with no caller ID and calls the guy up. Returns that sh*t and just goes to the supermarket and gets corn herself. 

A few days ago some guys delivers some god awful small chicken breasts, all hacked up and beaten <_<. I complained and now we have a new supplier for those. 

Beef guy sent in some terrible thigh (inside round), looked like it had just survived an explosion before making into the kitchen. There was a no return policy <_< "wait no return", well i called my boss told him i wasn´t going to take the fall for this this sh*tty delivery and sent him a dozen pictures of every angle of the meat. <_< lets just say exceptions were made to there no return policy... 

I understand that the sales rep isnt completely at fault, but if they wouldnt buy it and feed it to there family if it wasnt in good conditions, why do they think the restaurant should and serve it to its clientele. Sure sometimes it may be boxed, sometimes theres layers of ice, sometimes its heavily wrapped, and it isnt always the delivery guys fault, but i don´t think it means the cooks are then required to cook it and serve/sell it. 

Last week i wasnt available and didnt catch the fish guy deliver the salmon <_<. He charged 32 pounds <_<..... there was only 22 pounds of salmon, the other 10 were split between the ice and the plastic wrapping the fish. Meaning my employers paid for 10 pounds of something that was non-existent in the delivery. They got mad... but then again maybe someone other then 2 people should have the common sense to inspect whats being delivered. 
 
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To answer your thread title question @ChefTorrie  in three words.....pretty damn high! I have literally told the larger purveyors to go [email protected]*k themselves and have taken a lot of time and research in finding the best local farmers and purveyors that exists around our part of the woods. I even took a full day every week after a larger purveyor tried to sell me some BS (un-politely I might add) to go out of my way to travel halfway across my province (a very large state for you US folk about the size of Texas) to get product as I absolutely would not buy from this purveyor nor its businesses that bought from them I was that peeved. Lol....I can get to be one angry farm-girl that can throw her weight and then some if you think you BS is gonna fly with me. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/cool.gif
 
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I've tried to live my life under the philosophy that if I don't dick around with people or treat them with respect, they'd do that same for me... and to be honest it usually works, except when it doesn't.  Just recently got a small shipment of live BC spot prawns, but these ones were clearly dead for the better part of the day.  Let's just say I'm not paying $20 a pound for them, but at the end of the day it's like pulling freakin' teeth to get any concessions.  As restaurateurs we bend over backwards when a customer complains or when something legitimately gets sent back, but I feel that the rules don't work the same from the supplier side.  Or that time where the local porcinis looked like swiss cheese... are you serious???
 

thespit

Banned
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Joined May 17, 2016
 
I've tried to live my life under the philosophy that if I don't dick around with people or treat them with respect, they'd do that same for me... and to be honest it usually works, except when it doesn't.  Just recently got a small shipment of live BC spot prawns, but these ones were clearly dead for the better part of the day.  Let's just say I'm not paying $20 a pound for them, but at the end of the day it's like pulling freakin' teeth to get any concessions.  As restaurateurs we bend over backwards when a customer complains or when something legitimately gets sent back, but I feel that the rules don't work the same from the supplier side.  Or that time where the local porcinis looked like swiss cheese... are you serious???
In my 28 years on this miserable earth, i have learned to treat people like dirt when you have the upper hand because in my experience, i have been and are treated like dirt by those that have me by the ba**s.
[h3]Homo homini lupus est[/h3]
 
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In my 28 years on this miserable earth, i have learned to treat people like dirt when you have the upper hand because in my experience, i have been and are treated like dirt by those that have me by the ba**s.
[h3]Homo homini lupus est[/h3]
Sounds like you've had some pretty bad experiences.

To use your venacular:

DE GUSTIBUS NON EST DISPARTATUM
 
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I dunnoo.....

When I worked at the big hotels and clubs, the purchaser and/or Chef would deal with reps. So I never experienced a good rep.

When I worked at the smaller places (read, smaller accounts) I got the usual crap. I am grateful though, I learned how to cheat, and how not to trust anything that was promised. This prepared me well for when I ran/run my own, albeit, small business.

I also believe the reps DO have control over the quslity of produce that is loaded on the truck. Take for instance Moms day, every body wants strawberries. Purveyor only has so much, and not enough for all the orders. So does everybody that ordered get 1case? Or do the big accounts get what they ordered, and the small accounts get shorted, get the green ones, or the mushy ones?
 
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Joined May 5, 2010
I dunnoo.....

When I worked at the big hotels and clubs, the purchaser and/or Chef would deal with reps. So I never experienced a good rep.

When I worked at the smaller places (read, smaller accounts) I got the usual crap. I am grateful though, I learned how to cheat, and how not to trust anything that was promised. This prepared me well for when I ran/run my own, albeit, small business.

I also believe the reps DO have control over the quslity of produce that is loaded on the truck. Take for instance Moms day, every body wants strawberries. Purveyor only has so much, and not enough for all the orders. So does everybody that ordered get 1case? Or do the big accounts get what they ordered, and the small accounts get shorted, get the green ones, or the mushy ones?
Yes I see what you are saying and your example of Mother's Day is something that does happen from time to time.

By and large though, the process of picking the product in the wee hours of the morning is done, not by your rep, but by someone else.

That person reads off a computer generated list.

They take that list into the cooler to retrieve those strawberries.

They guy scratches his head and says to himself...."I've got thirty-six flats of strawberries but I need to fill forty-seven orders."

Where's the rep now?
 
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thespit

Banned
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Joined May 17, 2016
 
Yes I see what you are saying and your example of Mother's Day is something that does happen from time to time.

By and large though, the process of picking the product in the wee hours of the morning is done, not by your rep, but by someone else.

That person reads off a computer generated list.

They take that list into the cooler to retrieve those strawberries.

They guy scratches his head and says to himself...."I've got thirty-six flats of strawberries but I need to fill forty-seven orders."

Where's the rep now?
all comfy sleeping in his bed dreaming ways of how he can Scr** more people out of their money/img/vbsmilies/smilies/frown.gif
 
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You would be surprised on what you can get out of your purveyors.I Had had one company that delivered to 3 of my accounts. They would deliver to my sites at the times I wanted it delivered. They put the product away and informed me of any products that didn't look good. My salesman met the truck in the morning and found out if there were any outages so he could act on it quickly. It's my job to manage my business and guarantee what I promised my clients that day. It's not up to me to order something and then be told the product is out. In many cases my salesman with pick up what was outed from a cash & carry. I tell my purveyors "Don't make your problems my problem". I have had a salesman drive 150 miles to get me 6 cases of prime rib that missed the truck. 
 
5,436
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
 
Yes I see what you are saying and your example of Mother's Day is something that does happen from time to time.

By and large though, the process of picking the product in the wee hours of the morning is done, not by your rep, but by someone else.

That person reads off a computer generated list.

They take that list into the cooler to retrieve those strawberries.

They guy scratches his head and says to himself...."I've got thirty-six flats of strawberries but I need to fill forty-seven orders."

Where's the rep now?
The rep now?  I did acknowledge that there are good reps out there.  Those are the ones who are good buddies with the company purchaser and know what they have for inventory in the warehouse that day.  The pickers have been uhh.... "informed" that the key accounts get what they ordered, even if they have to call the rep at 4 in the morning, or there will be holy h*ll to pay.

If you ever chat up your driver, you know that most places get the drivers to load trucks before giving them a driving job, some places even get drivers to load their trucks  (drygoods)the day before.  But all the drivers I've ever spoken to know the sales reps, some they speak of in awe, some in bitter hatred, some (in confidential tones) are on their way out.  But the drivers are in daily contact with the reps.  Reps have a good idea of what's going on--the good ones at least, but it's just plain business sense that the key accounts get taken care of first, and whatever is leftover goes to the smaller ones.

The last broadliner I dealt with was local, and they were very close to my place.  Here I noticed a pattern as soon as I started dealing with them, I'd get a new rep every 3 months or so.  The good ones would get moved on to the downtown hotel turf, the bad ones left or went to the ordering desk, but I'd get new reps at least 3 tines a year.  I found myself "educating" the reps: No, local peppers don't come in 1 1/9 cu bushel cases dearie, that's American, local is done the intelligent way, by weight.  No, frozen pasta is not "fresh", fresh is fresh, no preservation methods involved, m'kay? Look, here's how you read a Julian code, Yes, I know the case of cling film is damaged, I won't accept it even if you gave it to me for free, because its an exercise in frustration and futility for every one of my employees.  And so on, and so on.  And then the rep gets moved and I get a fresh face standing in my kitchen.

So yes, I acknowledge that there are good reps out there.  I've just never experienced one......
 
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Two months ago I had to take on a rep from my gourmet products. Some German company sucked them up and

the new SOP is 'NO HOUSE ACCOUNTS'. I told the new rep that I have parred my items in a way that allows me track usage and

order when I have enough to meet the minimum. I told him it's about every three weeks.

  This kid comes in and bothers my wife every week. She has to stop, call me ' in my office' yadda, yadda. I told him I would call him

when I had an order ready. It is probably going three weeks before I call you.

  Tuesday morning: damn if he doesn't walk in and bother my wife. Six days from when we talked.

So now, it's my mission to either drive him crazy or drive him off.

   I called his number at 3 am yesterday, he didn't respond till 4:30pm. I told him we have already closed, but I need this one item and I need it before 7am

tomorrow. Pause, then he says, "ok, you want a hot shot?" I quietly screamed at him," how the hel_ would I know if your car is air conditioned or not",

if the chocolate is melted, I'm turning you around to get new stuff! ( about 40 min. away, 1 1/2 hrs. with traffic).  I hung up as he started to talk.  He has been a no-show so far today.

Great! now I can someone who will actually listen to my words.
 
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The rep now?  I did acknowledge that there are good reps out there.  Those are the ones who are good buddies with the company purchaser and know what they have for inventory in the warehouse that day.  The pickers have been uhh.... "informed" that the key accounts get what they ordered, even if they have to call the rep at 4 in the morning, or there will be holy h*ll to pay.

If you ever chat up your driver, you know that most places get the drivers to load trucks before giving them a driving job, some places even get drivers to load their trucks  (drygoods)the day before.  But all the drivers I've ever spoken to know the sales reps, some they speak of in awe, some in bitter hatred, some (in confidential tones) are on their way out.  But the drivers are in daily contact with the reps.  Reps have a good idea of what's going on--the good ones at least, but it's just plain business sense that the key accounts get taken care of first, and whatever is leftover goes to the smaller ones.

The last broadliner I dealt with was local, and they were very close to my place.  Here I noticed a pattern as soon as I started dealing with them, I'd get a new rep every 3 months or so.  The good ones would get moved on to the downtown hotel turf, the bad ones left or went to the ordering desk, but I'd get new reps at least 3 tines a year.  I found myself "educating" the reps: No, local peppers don't come in 1 1/9 cu bushel cases dearie, that's American, local is done the intelligent way, by weight.  No, frozen pasta is not "fresh", fresh is fresh, no preservation methods involved, m'kay? Look, here's how you read a Julian code, Yes, I know the case of cling film is damaged, I won't accept it even if you gave it to me for free, because its an exercise in frustration and futility for every one of my employees.  And so on, and so on.  And then the rep gets moved and I get a fresh face standing in my kitchen.

So yes, I acknowledge that there are good reps out there.  I've just never experienced one......
This is SPOT ON Foodpump.

While in Chicago running the banquet place I did not allow Sysco in the building from day 1.

I used Kraft and US Foods.

My reps were excellent and kept me abreast of any changes that might happen.

They even delivered stuff the driver or I forgot personally.
 
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Joined Apr 17, 2006
Some real horror stories here. I never had that much trouble with any supplier. I never wasted time trying to negotiate prices. If they know you do that, they just mark up the price before they come around so you can feel good about getting three cents off on a pound of something. Not wasting my time. I'd tell my suppliers I expect the best price they can give me, and if they can't I'll get it elsewhere. I never had a problem returning things or getting credit. I was lucky in that there were several suppliers in my area. I bought expensive stock and we paid our bills on time, so I had suppliers knocking on the door wanting my business. Anyone who thought about giving me trouble over inferior stock was reminded that I don't pay in counterfeit money, so I expect to get what I pay for. The worst that would happen to me would be the occasional out of stock item, an occasional order mix-up or short. My sales people always took good care of me, sometimes delivering items themselves that weren't in stock when the delivery went out . I once got some crappy scallops from a company that was usually good. I called the supplier about it and they thanked me because I was their first warning about it. They ended up not charging me for what I used because they sent the whole lot back to the company and refused to pay for any of it. I always  tell them that I guarantee quality to my customers, so they darn well better guarantee it to me.
 
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