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Restaurant Depot

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So, a Restaurant Depot is opening here in SLC. I've heard about it before. I'm really curious. It looks like the type of place that a pro can go and get EVERYTHING there that they would ever need and not ever have to deal with purveyors again. 

 

So, I'm curious about some feedback. 

How is their seafood section? 

Produce? 

Baking goods?

Cheese?

Etc...

 

How is their equipment section?

We have a Standard Restaurant Supply here. How would their equipment sections fare against something like that? I'm guessing not so good.

 

I'm guessing this is the type of place that I could go and get big boxes of food, maybe pick up some whites for a new cook and maybe a new fryer thermocoupler while I'm there? 

 

Are their prices going to beat out sysco, nicholas, etc...? 

 

Or, just any general comments about Restaurant Depot.

 

Is my wild assumption correct that I could just drop my vendors and go there once a week with a pickup truck and do all my own shopping? If so, I think this would be awesome! Or, at least it's another option here. 

 

Can you tell I'm excited for them to open? 

post #2 of 14

The place is as big as a Home Depot, they have a fair selection of stuff. Fresh seafood no, all the usual suspects as far as frozen, plus sushi stuff. Cheap small wares, mostly generic stuff.

Some prices are great, others I can get cheaper.

You could get quite a bit of your supplies there, order the specialty stuff from your broadliner.

The closest one to me is in Portland, which is about two hrs away. When I'm in the area I load up on stuff that I can't get locally or from my broadliner.

Question is, is it worth your time?

post #3 of 14

I have never been to Restaurant Depot but our owner makes a bi weekly trip there, about 40 mins from us. In a nut shell restaurant depot is a great price option for most everything, but they are not top quality. I would not get produce, meats, seafood etc. from them, but things where quality is not super important it's a great option

 

Yes, they beat sysco on most everything, for us at least. Canned goods, frying oil, blended oil, spices and peppercorns, salt, boxed cooking wines, paper goods, sterno burners, some cleaning chemicals amongst many other things are comparable to sysco quality but at a better price point. Some things I hear are about half of what sysco charges.

 

If you are an upscale place it's probably not worth going to source what you need because you probably won't find it. If you are a more casual place I would say they do save you a good amount.
 

post #4 of 14

Go to the website and download a sales flyer to get an idea of prices (if you look today, you can see another one tomorrow since they change on the 1st of every month).  From my own experience shopping there,  I think they are best for dry goods, frozen items, and cheap smallwares.  They have different grades of meats, mostly choice, but some things in prime (mostly the primal cuts), the beauty there is that you can look through and pick out the ones that look best.  If you plan on spending a lot of time in the refrigerated section, they have winter parkas you can borrow (I usually regret passing on that when I realize I have spent 20 minutes perusing/inspecting cuts of meat).

 

If you do plan on going, make sure to check out their website as you will need to show them certain documentation in order to purchase things there.

post #5 of 14

They'll let you take a tour before becoming a member. Print out your inventory and go walk around. I used to have a membership, it's pretty cheap and worth it, but I didn't use them as a main purveyor because my time is worth more than what I would pay for delivery markup.

 

They were cheaper than Sysco on most items. Cheese selection was really good, frozen seafood was good but not fresh seafood. I think seafood is always best bought from a small purveyor that knows the product, how it's been handled, etc.

 

Chef coats were okay priced, but I get them cheaper off the internet, especially after pay for embroidery. Paper goods and smallwares were pretty cheap. Produce at the one where I am is comparable to Sysco's or US Foods, but that's not saying much. A local vendor is always better for produce in my experience.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

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Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #6 of 14


I've used them for 15 years and you should be extremely excited. They have everything you might need in your day to day operation, soup to nuts, 7 days a week. According to their website they open in SLC on 5-28-14. Hope this helps, thanks

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stormfisher18 View Post
 


I've used them for 15 years and you should be extremely excited. They have everything you might need in your day to day operation, soup to nuts, 7 days a week. According to their website they open in SLC on 5-28-14. Hope this helps, thanks


ROFL

 

welcome to the site~!

 

I'm so glad to hear about your enthusiasm for RD.

 

Please tell us a little something more - you have used them for 15 years to do what? 

 

You are an owner? 15 years as a manager seems a bit ... ack

 

Which RD location have you used for 15 years....

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Funny, I just had a RD rep come in to my cafe and give me a flyer advertising their opening here in SLC. That was about an hour ago.
post #9 of 14
Been going to RD for about 5 years now. When I have the time I will go spend an hour or two there once every week or two. Wish I could get there more but with the amount of hours I have to put in in my now short staffed kitchen, and a newborn at home it's tough. Prices are great and beat almost any purveyor most of the time. I load up on fryer oil and other dry goods and smallwares when I'm there. Not bad in chef white and gear but like previously stated I usually get my personal stuff online and embroidered for cheaper. Their produce and meat might not be absolutely top notch, but I've always gotten good product because I can take my time and really browse/inspect. Luckily I have one only about 20 minutes from me. They just moved to a brand new building and added fresh seafood. Not as perfect as my local fish guy but I've purchased some and have had no Complaints because like I said it's right in front of you and you can really go over and inspect whatever your interested in. I would definitely make it worth your time to get up there and check it out. You will be able to make your first run or two without a membership but after that you will need to get one. I believe all you really need is your tax ID information. Hope this helped.
post #10 of 14

There are 3 RDs in my state, the closest about a one hour drive. As others have stated, don't expect high end, but for good quality product for a mid range restaurant, it really can't be beat. Most everything I buy blows Sysco away, but that's not saying much. I wouldn't buy any real equipment there, and I find the small wares cheaply made and are less expensive on-line at Webstaurant.com. But canned goods, spices, baking supplies, branded meats like deli, shaved steaks, bacon, sausage etc. all 20-30% less that the broadline guys. Produce is sometime good but I prefer my local guy.

post #11 of 14

Take two cases of 24-count Romaine Hearts... The Restaurant Depot case will weigh less (unless you're in California during Summer) than a premium purveyor.  Typically Depot purchases seconds and over productions from manufacturer lots and that's where you get your cheap prices.

post #12 of 14
OK. I'm not meaning to start off w/ an attitude but ... anyone who's first comment kisses up like a drag queen or rips something a new hole ... is a shill, and should be dismissed.

I've been shopping RD for a number or years. I pretty much agree w/ chefbubba in post #2. I don't think it's a stretch to say that different stores in different locations just may have different choice levels of product quality. The stores in Chicagoland have great prices/selections on produce. If anything, the store I shop at most is heavy on their boxes and if you even just frown about it, some guy will open another box and jam more in yours. Seafood is no better than any other wholesale store, just cheaper. As far as equipment, that same RD carries the regular name-brands stuff. How can you call them out for quality? Quality chef coats $19, usually $14 on sale. Meat is meat. It's got it's grade stamp and it's price; choice or prime ... buy what you want. Yes, if you don't mind being in the freezer section you can stay as long as you like and pick what you want. Bakery is over the top ... if you get there at the right time. It's just OK if you don't. Remember, I'm talking Chicagoland. Lots of bakery production is very close. Would it be cheaper to go to the source? Maybe, but you'ld have to be buying a whole lot to make it worth another trip. Plus I said you've gotta hit the right time. NO, everything is not sunshine and rainbows in my eyes however. Sometimes all they have available is stuff produced in areas of the world that I don't like. They do order stuff for me though ... I just gotta wait. Membership is free. You just gotta fill out forms. Some, if you're lucky, sell alcohol, but you gotta have a special card for that, verifying you've got a liquor license.

NO, I don't work for or have any capital interest in Restaurant Depot. I do shop at other stores. I'm not sayin' ... I'm just sayin'.

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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post #13 of 14

I thought it was alright.  There is a local place like that in my city, but it is also open to the public, and I like it better.  Those guys know everyone in town, and know who you want to talk to about anything.  They know their stuff and even if they are not cheaper than RD in everything, they've been around a long time, know a lot of owners, chefs, purveyors, etc.  You can network here and these guys are willing to talk on the phone with you for 30 mins to answer any question they know the answer to even if it is not a sale, not just because they know it is money in the bank later from you, or someone you know, but because these guys like their business and the population they serve.  They also will give a bit of credit if you are a regular (not much, they're not crazy).  And, if they special order something for you, they will deliver it sometimes (more depending on who you are).  That is hard to beat.  These guys hooked me up with a really cheap (older) Vitamix one time, and I always try to give them my business because they could have easily hocked it for double what they charged me on principle alone.  Places like this are special.  RD is not IMO.

 

I didn't think anything was super special about RD honestly.  Nothing bad to say, but if you have a good local community of purveyors and suppliers, and relationships with good people, RD may not have anything too special to offer you to make you be a big spender there.  I still like going to many different places and comparing and getting to know people though. 

 

After reading some of the negative response in this thread, they do not surprise me.  I kind of got some of those impressions and wondered how much cheaper could they be getting stuff for and why.  Oh well, it's not Sysco.

 

They were kind of like a general version of an Asian place in my city.  A lot of cheap junk and questionable deals with some truly okay stuff.  I think it is good to have options though. 

post #14 of 14

Just got back from my monthly Depot run. As many have said, it's great for some things, okay for others, and nothing special on still others. I find the fish department is pretty good, but they are competing with some really terrific local fish mongers for my dollar. And they'll never compete with the few fishermen that knock at my back door with Striped bass, flounder or Bluefish caught that day. But today, they had cherrystones which I needed to make chowder and couldn't get from my local monger because the ground has been so frozen these past few weeks.

 

I usually spend between one and two grand on a bunch of items I can't get elsewhere for anything close to the price. Spices, dishwasher chemicals (huge savings here) , nuts, oils, are all especially cheap. Produce is hit or miss so I prefer my local sources. Paper goods are okay, small wares not so much. Their smoked salmon is top shelf and priced extremely well. Ditto their imported cold cuts and cheeses. Meats are priced fairly, sometime terrifically, and I like being able to pick out my own. I get a frozen ready to proof croissant for half the price of US Foods. I sell the crap out of it, it looks like a million bucks on the plate and costs me less than .50 cents vs. over a dollar.

 

I calculated my saving once to see if it was really worth my time as it's about an hour away. Using my shopping list I save a full 50% each trip, or about $20K per year. For me, that's worth the effort.

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