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Aug 6, 2013 05:30 PM


gets mixed reviews here. What do they do right, and wrong?

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  1. FSA's a better outfit. Almost 30 years experience with both.

    1. They demand 100% loyalty to their company. To me, that's wrong. They are not all that.

      18 Replies
      1. re: coll

        ???? And you know that because/how???

        As an operator, I am free to chose my distributor.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          They do not want you to buy dry goods and meat from them, but produce and dairy from someone else. Etc. Maybe just here on Long Island, since they are new and very aggressive? You seem to be into the one distributor way of business, but before them it was easier to pick and choose from several, and consequently get better pricing.

          1. re: coll

            I have been part of an extremely large buying co-op for the last 18 months. US Foods is it's distributor. Let's just say it hasn't been a particularly happy experience.

            Prior to that only about half my food purchase $$$ went to Sysco. Most perishables - i.e. milk, produce, pastries, bread, along with beverages, snacks were all purchased through local vendors. While Sysco may have wanted the business they didn't have, it had no bearing on the business it did.

            1. re: DiningDiva

              If you have the right salesman, it can make all the difference I find.

            2. re: coll

              What you have described could be an anti-trust violation. If you are pressured by a salesman to buy all your products from Sysco, perhaps you should suggest to your salesman that he ease up or you might have to call the DoJ.

              1. re: Bkeats

                perhaps you should suggest to your salesman that he ease up or you might have to call the DoJ.

                Hmm, me thinks not.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  You don't think there is an anti-competitive issue on trying to strong-arm a customer into using a single source supplier?

                  1. re: Bkeats

                    It wasn't just an individual salesman. When they first came here, they went out in "packs" trying to conquer the world, there were as many managers as worker drones on the street; there was some kind of perk from being inclusive with them. I don't remember the details, but it just wasn't the way it had been done anytime in the past, so it struck me as weird. US Foods does the same thing once a year, it's some kind of big rebate if you buy exclusively from them for a set period of time. Guess it's not against the law. Just not my cup of tea.

                    1. re: Bkeats

                      I *know* it's not an anti-competitive issue.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        My compliance and reg guys would be all over me if there was any behavior close to what has been described in my world. But I will drop the issue as its totally off topic.

                      2. re: Bkeats

                        There's nothing wrong with offering incentives...or in other words, receiving exclusive pricing to purchase from one supplier. That's very normal and common in food service.

                        1. re: fourunder

                          Perhaps in food service but not in other businesses. That could land you in very hot water where I work.

                          1. re: Bkeats

                            It happens in many businesses and industries.. You purchase exclusively from someone who gives you the best prices. My son sells cars....brokers from all over the NY./NJ area purchase from him because he gives them the best prices and delivers the cars. It happens in the Construction business. My buddy sell steel studs, in fact, every one use to build Yankee Stadium. You give the best prices and the builders purchase from you. To think it is illegal is silly.

                            1. re: Bkeats

                              See my reply below. Isn't it just volume discounting?

                            2. re: fourunder

                              I used to work for a major international airline. The more business a tour operator did with us the higher their commissions. Same thing IMO.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Buy 3 tires, get the 4th free!

                                Go get those dirty bastards DOJ! Go, go.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  :) In a previous life I worked for a company where the VERY first thing you did after coming on board was read a lengthy piece regarding anti-trust laws and sign a document saying you'd read and understood. It never mentioned that 4th tire :)

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    anyone need a 5th wheel? 'cause I fit that bill to a 'T'!

                                    ehh volume discounts and overworked kitchen owner/managers and a vendor who identifies that situation. sad but not surprising.

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. I think it can be an uninformed snobbery. The reason I say that is that so many of the diner-type places we eat get a lot of their food from SYSCO and equivalent companies. We scarf it down and then criticize their sources. Oh well.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: c oliver

                      I understand SYSCO has a high quality line, and I think two of my local restaurants that serve lobster bisque and crab cakes are SYSCO customers. Both are very good.

                      1. re: Veggo

                        Agreed. When we lived in Oregon, our fave breakfast place had one of those large food trucks pull up in back.

                    2. About 50% of the restaurants you and I (and everyone else) enjoys would probably either vanish, or raise their prices, if SYSCO was not around.

                      Are they perfect? No, but then who is? And, really, perfection cannot be the criteria.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Where I am, SYSCO is a newcomer. We got by fine before they popped by, plenty of other distributors who are not strong arm types. And they are far from the cheapest, please!

                        1. re: coll

                          Looks like you're in LI, and yes the SYSCO operating company/distribution center just opened up about 3 years ago.

                          But that doesn't mean that SYSCO didn't already have a distribution network for the NE corridor, and NY in particular.

                          Whether you like SYSCO or not, you cannot ignore the fact that they've been part of your dining experience -- either directly or indirectly -- for probably longer than you care to realize.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            As you said, the last few years. They appeared on the scene here around 2005, I remember it well. Previously they were in NJ but didn't get out here that I know of. They started operating covertly out of Connecticut, only made it physically onto the island in the last year. I just have something against monopolies, which is what they want to be. I like a little friendly competition myself.

                            1. re: coll

                              I think you misunderstand.

                              Their lack of a physical presence in the NE corridor does not mean that their products were not being distributed into that region.

                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                Yes they've been testing the waters for awhile, that much is certain. I don't misunderstand, I've been aware of their presence since day one.

                                1. re: coll

                                  Strong armed types?? Are you suggesting that you do not have a choice of who supplies you? What is SYSCO the food Mafia?