Buchmann Bakery & Restaurant Distributor – Southern California’s Premier Ingredient and Packaging Supplier, Located in San Diego County
Buchmann Egg Bakery & Restaurant Supply

How To Create a Cost-Effective Order Guide for Your Business

local food service distribution warehouse

Most small bakeries and restaurants begin using big box stores for their ingredients and supplies, as they think this is the most cost-effective way to acquire goods for their business. However, what most businesses do not factor in is time, labor, and gasoline. Food service distributors offer a more efficient way to shop, as many have a higher quality product offering, free delivery service, convenient will call hours, and a knowledgeable sales representative / customer service team to assist with the order process. The following are tips to creating a cost-efficient order guide for your business to supply to your local food service distribution warehouse.


  1. Menu Evaluation: Review your menu and ingredients needed to create all dishes, baked items, along with the supplies needed to do so. For example, if you offer fresh baked muffins, what size liners do you need for your pans or do you use pan spray?
  2. Monthly Product Use: Review monthly pars on all items including ingredients, inclusions, toppings, prep supplies, packaging supplies, and janitorial supplies. Many distributors carry the most commonly used supplies at a bulk rate, which saves in the long run.
  3. Product Quality: Some big box stores private label commodity items, which may be of lesser quality than name brand items. Distributors work with manufacturers to carry a variety of their top, mid, and low line items for even distribution. Don’t compromise on ingredients, as quality ingredients elevate your finished products. When purchasing quality products, it’s important to look for consistency, which will be key in your ability to provide consistent menu options to patrons of your establishment.
  4. Variety of Products: Most distributors offer a diverse range of products which can be a one-stop solution for all your bakery / restaurant’s needs. While there may be some items that need to be sourced from other suppliers, it’s easier to source everything from one distributor if possible.
  5. Work with a Distribution Professional: Most distributors have a customer service and/or sales team to assist with building an order guide. This tool is very helpful for ordering, maintaining knowledge of monthly usage (pars), and determining whether there is a need for ingredient substitutions due to supply chain issue or pricing increases. Reach out to ask for a Sales Rep to be assigned to your account. Many have worked in the industry for many years and provide useful product knowledge.
  6. Pricing: While cost is essential, it shouldn’t be the only factor you consider. Work with the distributor to provide competitive pricing without sacrificing quality. Taking the time to meet with a sales team member is vital, as they can learn your business needs and goals for profit making.
  7. Timely Order Submissions: Always submit your orders early or on time to avoid delivery interruptions. If you require a new product that have a lead time, plan in advance to provide an estimate on pars to make sure there is stocked inventory when you order.
  8. Delivery and Will Call Options: Timely delivery is crucial in the industry. Ensure you work with the distributor on the delivery routing schedule. Some distributors offer once or twice weekly deliveries. They also offer will call service. If you require a special delivery run, please note you may have to pay a fee for that service. Planning in advance is always the best solution.


The above are 8 top tips with working with a bakery / restaurant ingredient and supply distributor. Food service distribution is a key to your business success. Planning and working with the distribution sales team is an important factor in creating a cost-effective and efficient way to manage your cost of goods, while increasing your profit margins. Save time, labor and gasoline, let a food service distributor work for you!

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