A third-generation food distribution institution that dates back to 1901 and the tenth-largest food distributor in the United States, Labatt Food Service is truly one of the greatest and most reliable foodservice distributors of its time. Labatt Food Service is a corporation that has in, over a century, recorded growth, innovation, stability, and integrity.
The purpose of the establishment and its mission statement is to reduce the cost of distribution and help its customer’s business grow. The company aims to achieve this by being the best in quality products, best in people, and best in innovative services. This implies that customers are placed at the pinnacle of priorities. This, in turn, helps in the continuous growth of the company.
Labatt Food Services has witnessed tremendous growth over the years. It evolved from a company with 20 employees and annual revenue of $8 million to an institution with over 1700 employees and more than $1.3 billion in sales.
Built on the bedrock of integrity and putting people first, the firm has successfully given back to society and given careers to its staff and customers. The company specializes in transporting food products such as Grocery (its largest category), dairy, fresh produce, condiments, beverages, and many more.
Labatt Food Service is fully dedicated to providing standard food products to its customers, ranging from cafeterias, family restaurants, and much more. The desire to provide customers with quality services birthed the provision of in-house and value services. The in house services include; Produce Service, Beverage Service, and Diet Sourced Meat
Also, Labatt Food services provide food products to its customers by building long-term relationships. This relationship has been preserved through continuous innovation and impeccable performance. Some of the customers and sectors in the nation the company provides include Schools, The Healthcare sector, the Military, and Independent Vendors/Retailers.
To make life easier for customers, Labatt Food Service has launched the ‘’Labatt Food Ordering System’’, a program that allows customers to order and even price their goods online from the comfort of their house.
Additionally, the company has developed a virtual distribution network, ‘’Disribunet’’; a national distribution program and ‘’Where’s My Truck?’’; a location software that helps customers track their deliveries once it leaves the warehouse.
Management And Partnership
Labatt Foodservice is smoothly run and operated by an 11-man Board of Directors. Each officer has their special functions and duties that contribute to the organization. The management team is headed by Blair Labatt, who is the President and CEO of the firm.
The company has teamed up with natural brand manufacturers, forming a long-term relationship. This partnership is based on total accountability for the source of the product delivered. It enables the consumers to know where their food products are headed from.
For Bakery, the company has partnered with Sara Lee Foodservice, Pillsbury, Otis-Spunkmeyer, and Rotella’s Italian Bakery. For Dairy products, the food company has teamed up with over 150 manufacturers, including Land O’Lakes and Schreiber Foods. Also, a partnership has been established with grower-direct firms for fresh produce.
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