Restaurant depot near me: When it comes to buying restaurant supplies, there are many different options available. There are several wholesalers that sell directly to restaurants, as well as retail stores that specialize in selling restaurant supplies. When you’re ready to purchase new equipment or restock your pantry, it can be challenging to know where to look for the best prices and selection.
Even with all of these options, one supplier stands out above the rest as a great resource for restaurants: The Restaurant Depot. This company has almost two decades of experience providing high-quality foodservice products at a wholesale price. Their online catalog is extensive and easy to search by keyword, department or brand—making it an excellent resource for purchasing everything from canned tomatoes and dinnerware to flatware and fryers.
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10 Tips for Shopping at the Restaurant Depot
The restaurant business is constantly evolving. New ideas, trends, and products are always emerging. It’s what enables this industry to remain dynamic, ever-changing, and exciting. And while the constantly-shifting landscape can be challenging for restaurateurs, it also presents some opportunities. In recent years, many businesses have begun using a technique known as Retail Collaborative Procurement (RCP). It’s a strategy that involves buying goods in bulk at a centralized location — in other words, shopping at a wholesale depot. And if you’re an independent or fast-casual restaurant owner who wants to cut costs and boost profits, the Restaurant Depot may be just the place for you. Read on for 10 tips for shopping at the Restaurant Depot
What Is a Restaurant Depot?
A Restaurant Depot is a wholesale distribution center that caters to the foodservice industry. In layman’s terms, it’s a warehouse where restaurateurs can buy large quantities of merchandise — everything from paper goods and cleaning supplies to kitchen appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves. The idea behind this business model is that one depot can serve many different restaurants. That way, instead of each location having to buy the same items at multiple retailers, they can purchase them all in one place. The restaurant business is a competitive and expensive industry that requires a lot of upfront investment. That’s why many operators choose to go the RCP route. Doing so allows them to buy needed supplies and ingredients in bulk, which reduces costs and increases profit margins.
Don’t go alone
The vast majority of Restaurant Depots offer free samples. They exist primarily as sales and marketing tools. You can take advantage of this free resource as you shop. Try out different products and decide which ones you’re interested in purchasing. That way, you can narrow down your selection and create a shopping list. That said, you shouldn’t rely solely on samples for product research. Instead, bring your purchasing team with you. The more people who are involved in the decision-making process, the better. If you’re the owner of a mid-sized or large chain, you probably have purchasing agents on staff. If you’re an independent restaurateur or a franchisee, though, you probably don’t. In that case, you may want to employ a consultant.
Which products are available?
You may have a particular product in mind when you go to the depot. If so, make sure to ask if that item is available. Because RCP vendors offer a wide range of products and services, the Restaurant Depot may not stock everything you want. But if it’s a common item, it almost certainly will be available. RCPs pride themselves on carrying the widest selection of food, beverage, and cleaning supplies in the industry. If it’s a rare product that you can’t live without, you can always buy it directly from the manufacturer. RCPs usually carry a few select items, but they don’t carry everything.
Estimate your needs
Before you rush off to the Restaurant Depot, make a list of everything you regularly buy and use in your business. Then, go through it item-by-item and estimate how many of each product you use per month. That way, you can get an idea of how many of each item you’d need to buy to last you throughout the year. Keep in mind that the Depot sells products in bulk. That means you’ll get a lot more paper towels, cleaning chemicals, and other supplies than you normally use. That’s actually a good thing. It means you can maximize your profit margin by buying items in larger quantities. It also means you’ll have plenty of supplies on hand to last you through the entire year.
Set a budget
Note that when you estimate how many products you need, you’re not just figuring out how much of each thing you need to buy — you’re also determining how much you can spend on them. Most Restaurant Depots have price guides that list the cost of each item in the store. That way, you can quickly and easily figure out how much you can spend on each product. You should, however, also include a 10-15% markup on your budget. That way, if you find a product you want to buy but it’s slightly over your price range, you’ll have some wiggle room to make the purchase.
Be patient and don’t rush your decision
Decision-making is a critical part of any business. But it’s even more important when you’re making purchases in bulk. In those situations, you’re committing to a large investment that will last for a long time. That’s why you shouldn’t rush your decision. While you’re shopping at the Restaurant Depot, take your time and make sure you’re 100% positive you want to buy a product before you commit. In fact, you may want to put everything you’re considering purchasing on hold until you’ve had time to fully research it. That way, you can make sure you’re making a smart financial decision that will help you grow your business.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The Restaurant Depot employs experts who know their products inside and out. They can help you make the best buying decision. In fact, many RCPs have product experts on staff who specialize in answering questions about the products stocked in their stores. Keep in mind that though these experts are happy to help, they’re not there to do your shopping for you. So don’t expect them to pick out every item you need for your restaurant. Instead, use them for general advice and guidance. That said, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you have questions about any products, don’t be shy. The experts want to help you make the best buying decisions. They’re happy to answer your questions.
Check the products you selected
When you’ve made your selections, you can either purchase them right away or put them aside for future purchase. If you do the latter, make sure to check the products you selected before you leave the Depot. That way, you can be sure you purchased everything you wanted. It’s easy to get distracted while shopping at the Restaurant Depot. You may spend 10 minutes talking to one customer and then 10 minutes talking to another customer. In that time, you could miss out on products you wanted to buy. Note that the selection at the Depot varies from week to week. That means the products you see in one week may not be available in the next. If there’s something you really want, make sure you purchase it while you have the chance.
The restaurant industry is constantly changing and evolving. New ideas, trends, and products are always emerging. It’s what enables this industry to remain dynamic, ever-changing, and exciting. And while the constantly-shifting landscape can be challenging for restaurateurs, it also presents some opportunities. In recent years, many businesses have begun using a strategy known as Retail Collaborative Procurement (RCP). It’s a strategy that involves buying goods in bulk at a centralized location — in other words, shopping at a wholesale depot. And if you’re an independent or fast-casual restaurant owner who wants to cut costs and boost profits, the Restaurant Depot may be just the place for you.