It's my understanding that when a buyer "contracts" a price with Sysco, he must guarantee a minimum amount of the product he will buy for a 6 mth or 12 mth period. If I know your upper manglement boys, they have probably contracted prices for staples like bacon, tomatoes, veg oil, etc. and are relying on you to "help them" make thier minimum amount guarantee.
My understanding is that since we have contracted with sysco they give us a pricing agreement
on certain items which shows up on the order guide in red letters which lets the purchaser know that these prices are constant for the year. No reimbursement with this company. No F&B structure either only a clinical registered dietitian to support the skilled nursing facilities. All F&B agreements are made at the regional level which has turned over twice (VP and RD) in the last 2 years and the new people will not be willing to make any decisions which will rock there boat. Typical corporate attitude in this environment I am afraid.
I did notice when I first came on board that the pricing between this account and my last was quite different. Items cost me a lot less with my previous account where I spent 8 to 9 hundred thousand annually on food versus the 50 thousand I spend now. I also did receive quarterly reimbursements on my food cost per our contract which was a nice boon.
An example was I bought a case of dinner plates from sysco before I left my last account and 3 months later purchased the same case with this small outfit and paid 40 dollars more!
Also I was always visited by a sales rep at my last outfit with the RD or VP stopping by a couple times a tear to make sure I was happy where here I have never seen a corporate sysco person and my sales rep is frequently to busy to stop by and I get a quick phone call from the cell in the car. Man I sure do miss the purchasing power of being able to spend bigger money and the cost and customer service benefits it gives you.
Hi Chef, I'm on the other side of the State Northeast from you. What I see in my food service is, the convenience food I use, that used to be labor saving, is no longer affordable. The Convenience food items saved me labor dollars, so it was a win win situation. That gave me a two man kitchen and time to make everything right. Now that I can't afford the luxury of these items, and no longer can afford the labor, I have all the work of 4 people, back on the shoulders of two. It's getting harder and harder to give quality at a low price, something has to give, I guess Its me.............................The best.............Chef BillyB...................P.S
I feel for you man. I have seen the changes as I am old enough to remember when chickens came in whole and broccoli was delivered on ice. It was hard for me at first to start using some of the convienience items but now they have become a major staple in a lot of kitchens. I used to work at a major hotel casino in Reno and before I left the area I had breakfast with the chef who I used to work for and he told me he was purchasing a machine for the pantry which would eliminate 2 FTEs. He told me this machine was set up to where you could dump in cases of potatoes, onions and such and get whatever cut you wanted and that this would pay for itself in under a year.
I do know that convienence food has lowered the skill level required to work a lot of kitchens
but in your case it is quite justifiable as a labor saving device until as you say the pricing puts you at a breaking point.
Foodpump Chef you buy contract, if you have to you do not have to guarantee x amount. Most of them use last years figures as their guide. If they asked me for a guarantee, I would tell them I have to check other purveyors. You gotta play hardball with these guys. I am not saying be dishonest. Just hardball. Example truck drops off something and it is not mine or they did not bill me ,I tell them. This shows them I have ethics, but at same time If their price is high they are shafting me.That is not ethics on their part. Same applies if they send something in NG or bad. I call them up and say "Are we paying you with damaged checks or broken money? No ! then don't send me defective merchandise. they get the hint.
Maybe just maybe I can play a little hardball with my own corporate people as well as the sysco group. Broken money, I love it, great advice Chef.
I have a large list of suppliers...main and alternative
I used to be able to work that way even in health care (acute care hospitals have the most money) but I have found that the arena I am in now (assisted living) is at the bottom of the food chain as far as care and food is concerned.
Its sad to see how this health care biz is set up and how profit driven it is. Our regions employees received no pay increases this year due to the economy and not meeting projected profit increases.
Just a quick note that this is not Sysco bashing in any way but just a lot of frustration at attempting to do the best job with what I have to work with. I sure do miss Rykoff and other companies though...............