Tips for Selecting the Right Food Distributor

Posted by Leeanne Potgieter on

Have you ever ordered at a restaurant only to be repeatedly told that the menu options you selected weren’t available? Chances are, that was the last time you visited that dining establishment.

The Distribution needs of hotel, lodges and remote accommodation getaways like beds & breakfasts rely on food distributors to reliably deliver high-quality ingredients for their menus in order to provide consistent service to their customers. Even a small secluded lodge with access to locally sourced foods may need to supplement their shelves and coolers with products offered by a wholesale specialty distributor.

Reliable access to ingredients is the lifeblood of any food service provider. A good distributor will do more than fill an order – they will strategize with you to help set you apart with unique offerings. Your distributor rep will also keep you updated on new food trends and products, provide ideas and recommendations on your product line, and ultimately care about the success of your business as much as you do.

Finding the right food distributor

Here are some tips for finding the best one for you:

Gather information

Check with local hotels or other lodges in the area to get their feedback and discuss service and pricing. Do a simple Internet search to understand the various services and products local food distributors can provide.

Ask questions

Consider how your establishment operates and whether the distributor can accommodate your needs and schedule. Perhaps delivering on the weekends and holidays is necessary or carrying items directly into the walk-in is important to you. What are their terms of credit? How quickly can they turn around an order after it’s placed? Do they offer seasonal options?

Determine products

Ask if the distributor carries the majority of your product needs, including core and specialty items. If you need customized products, make sure to seek out a specialty distributor that can fill that niche and offer their expertise. In fact, some distributors specialize in remote hotels and/or lodges like Matumi Distributors. Specialist Distributors know the latest trends in the industry and can pass that knowledge on to you.


Set expectations up front and make sure your partnership is a win-win. Work with a Food distributor who is committed to a long-term relationship and doesn’t put your account on auto-pilot once the contract is signed.

Consider Multiple Distributor Options

Most distributors are not one-size-fits-all, and your business will likely need to rely on multiple providers to get exactly what you need. While the staples of most kitchens can come from larger distributors, you may need a specialty distributor for niche items.

Distributors are on the front lines of the food industry and can inform you about new products, benchmarks and best practices. When evaluating your existing distributor relationship or seeking new options for your hotel/lodge, select one that matches the criteria and products you need to be successful.

Now that you have determined how to select a distributor, gain some additional insights on how Matumi Distributors supplies quality foods & long-lasting supplies to remote Hotels & Lodges.

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