Ben E. Keith Company, founded in 1906, is one of the largest and biggest distributors of food and beverages in the United States. Since its inception, the company has provided quality services that exceed customer’s expectations.
B.E.K, as it is fondly called, is currently one of the major leaders in the food and beverage distributing industry. The company has committed itself to excellence by being a reliable organization that delivers quality services. Over the years, this family-owned company has established itself as one of the most efficient distributors providing exceptional services to customers, vendors, and retailers.
The growth of the company has been a credit to the customers. Ben E. Keith has ensured that all products and services provided are customer-driven and polished to excellence. Currently, the company food’ division services fifteen states, and its beverage sector serves over 62 counties. The organization has employed a group of hardworking employees that work ceaselessly to satisfy the needs of customers.
Each section of the company, including sections such as Corporate, Sales, Delivery, and Warehouse, consists of highly efficient and friendly teams working together to ensure each customer is well attended to. The company has provided these exceptional and quality services through integrity, dedication, and hard work.
Ben E. Keith Company has a long-established heritage and culture of giving back to society and contributing to the growth of communities its employees work and live. Along with its employees, the company collaborates with several firms to improve, empower, and contribute to the development of communities.
A lot of volunteering through resources and time is also a major contribution of the employees to national and local organizations. A few of the company’s partnered firms include Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, The Family Place, Folds of Honour, amongst others.
The organization operates two service sections; the Food products and Beverages. Despite running two divisions, the company provides excellent services to its customers and vendors regardless of their locations. Food products delivered by the company are of the freshest quality; Ben E. Keith understands how food and food ingredients are the foundation of a good restaurant.
Therefore the company has partnered with globally recognized manufacturers to deliver safe food products such as meat, frozen food, seafood, and more. Admirals of the fleet, Bellacibo, 1906, 1885, amongst others, are a few of the partnered brands by the company. The organization also partners with the best firms and brands to deliver beverages that exceed customer’s imagination in taste and quality. Brands such as Budweiser, Bud Light, and Belhaven provide premium beverages for the company.
Accurate and timely delivery of products is guaranteed by the company’s delivery team, who provide the best services. This team consists of employees who possess highly rated communication and organization skills. The sales team also works together with the delivery team to establish and maintain relationships with customers. Food products are distributed to San Antonio, Oklahoma, Gulf Coat, New Mexico, and other areas. Beverage deliveries span across regions including Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, College Station, amongst others.
Every year, more people eat outside of their homes. This trend has led to a rising potential for food , beverage and seafood businesses to become foodservice industry suppliers. Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, retirement communities, nursing homes, military bases, prisons and leisure facilities are included in the foodservice sector and are often referred to as the HRI Trade (Hospitality, Restaurants and Institutions). Foodservice operators are aggressively pursuing a diverse supply of food and beverage goods and there is a rising appetite for local and unique food selections.
Many foodservice distributors can trace their roots back to the mid-1800s when they started as family owned companies. The trend has continued in the industry as new foodservice distributors have entered the market and some of the original companies have maintained their independent / family owned status.
There are different requirements for the foodservice trade than for grocery retail, especially with respect to packaging and labeling. Pack sizes are usually larger and labels that appeal to customers are not needed. In “me-too” items, foodservice operators have no interest. Your product needs to be distinguished from the competition. There are many ways of identifying a product; only a few concepts are packaging, convenience and a business tale. For example, there are many honey products on the market; by using more compact packaging, innovative recipes and sharing the unique story of how the business started, a new honey may be distinguished from the competition.
The food industry firm, Technomics, estimated that approximately 225 million meals are eaten away from home each day in the United States. This includes both restaurant and non-commercial eating places. Americans can be very busy and at the same time social. Many Americans prefer to have at least one meal outside every day. It could be the lunch during work, or the breakfast at a restaurant opposite the office, or a late dinner with a friend at a nice place; it is a dominant culture in the country.
However, we know the names of these restaurants, we may know the popular chefs but the people who deliver food products the restaurants prepare are hardly known by us because they are always behind the scenes. These people are known as foodservice distributors.
A foodservice distributor works as an intermediary between manufacturers of food products and the foodservice operator. This could be a chef, foodservice director, food and beverage manager, and independent food preparation businesses operator owners. The foodservice distributor procures, stores, sells, and makes deliveries of food products, providing foodservice operators with access to items from a wide variety of manufacturers. Foodservice distributors purchase pallets and bulk inventory quantities that are broken down to case and sometimes unit quantities for the foodservice operator. Most foodservice operators purchase from a range of local, specialty, and broadline foodservice distributors on a regular basis which could be daily or weekly basis.
It would have been very difficult for restaurants to meet the nutritional needs of about 65% – 70% of Americans who eat outside every day if not for the job of foodservice distributors in the line. There are a lot of things to be concerned with in the running of a restaurant and it would be an enormous burden if restaurants go to manufacturers of food products to keep getting supplies which could be as frequent as daily or weekly. Someone has to be in the line meeting demands and getting the products across to the restaurants.
It should be clarified at this point that foodservice distributors don’t only distribute to restaurants, they also get food products to cafeterias, industrial caterers, and hospital and nursing homes.
Estimates by the International Foodservice Distributors Association reveal that foodservice distributors in the Unites States, as a daily average, deliver approximately 27 million cases of food and other products.
There are several foodservice companies and they may very well range in size from a one-truck operation to larger corporations. There are broadline foodservice distributor offers a wide array of products, while a system distributor stocks a narrow array of products for specific customers, such as restaurant chains. A broadline distributor may carry up to 15,000 different items for purchase and operate topnotch warehouse and transportation operations.
The average American who eats out has the cause to be grateful to foodservice distributors. The industry sector is projected to grow as more eating places are looking at offering their customers more varieties.
Top 10 Foodservice Distributors
- Cheney Brothers
- Sysco Corp.
- US Foods
- McLane Foodservice
- Performance Foodservice
- Cooper-Booth Wholesale Co.
- Gordon Food Service
- DOT Foods
- Reinhart Foodservice
- The Martin-Brower Co.
- Porky Products
- Ben E. Keith Co.
- Shamrock Foods Co.
- KeHE Distributors
- Food Services of America
- Vistar Transportation
- Golden State Foods
- Lipari Foods
- Buffalo Rock Co.
- Merchants Foodservice
- Blue Line Foodservice Distribution
- Labatt Food Service
- Systems Services of America
- DPI Specialty Foods
- Coastal Pacific Food Distributors
- Dutch Valley Foods
- Vendors Supply Inc.
- Orion Food System
- Jake’s Finer Foods