How to Choose the Best Wholesale Meat Supplier for Your Needs

Author : Eastern Bridge Foods | Published On : 21 Jun 2024

Picking the right wholesale meat supplier is a crucial issue from the restaurant, food service business, or grocery store point of view. To remain competitive, you require a supplier offering quality products at reasonable prices. Today, there are numerous wholesale meat Los Angeles distributors to choose from and this makes it quite a daunting task when deciding which of them to go for. Read this post to get a general idea of what you should consider when selecting a wholesale meat supplier for your company. Meat purchasing is an important practice in the food chain and requires some evaluation to make the best decisions.

 

There is a variety of questions to be answered before you start looking for potential suppliers: Consider factors like:

- What particular categories of meat do you expect to order (beef, poultry, pork, lamb, etc.)? Where are cuts or products?

- Instead, how many sets of each item will you need weekly or monthly? Explain your forecasted usage of inventory.

- What budget or price range do you want your products to be sold at?

- Is there an occasional need for special products such as organic, grass-fed, kosher, halal, or local meats?

- Do you require secondary products such as marinated beef and lamb or kebabs?

- Do you prefer to use local or regional supplies or go with a giant multinational company? Each method has its advantages and disadvantages.

If you define your ordering necessities and your business’s operational needs in advance, you can easily identify which is the best wholesale meat company to work with and whether they are suitable for your food service business or not.

 

Identifying Potential Wholesale Meat Suppliers

When you have determined what you need to purchase and the requirements for it, you can begin your search for wholesale meat distributors. Good places to find suppliers include:

- Trade shows/Industry events confined to the local or regional level and specializing in food service equipment.

- Trade literature such as Supplier Select, Fintrax North America, etc.

- Local restaurant or food service association or any association related to agriculture in your state

- To get information about the companies that distribute meat in Los Angeles, Google search regional terms such as “Los Angeles meat distributors”, and read the websites of the companies.

While searching, identify and compile a list of 2 to 4 potential suppliers who offer the desired products at reasonable prices. Ensure that the companies service businesses within your region or the market of your interest.

 

Evaluate Suppliers on Their Ability to Source Materials, Quality, and Safety

Before you can consider any wholesale meat company that you are very interested in, you need to ensure that you consider the key factors that include the following; Key things to examine:

Product Sourcing

- The location of the supplier of animals and cuts of meat can also be of interest. Domestic or international farms? What regions or countries? It is also important to understand that sourcing locale plays an important role in the taste of the food as well as the perceived quality of the product.

- Is the supplier directly involved in the processing of raw meat products? The best approach should be to say the names and the places. This approach is more effective in increasing tractability and decreasing the risk than using middlemen.

 

Safety & Inspection

- Which government agencies (USDA, FDA, and many others) are involved in frequent examination of the facilities and products? Ensure that your grades on inspection meet your expectations.

- Is there a proper screening and recall system in case the supplier has problems as she is? Ask for documentation.

- Ensure that the supplier facilities have complied with the Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) and should have certifications in the Square Food Certification (SQF) or the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in food safety and quality.

 

Product Quality & Consistency

- Inquire when the supplier conducts checks on the meat grades, freshness, proper trimming, accurate cuts and weights, proper aging, and so on, as this must be in question always since you don’t want to be receiving substandard supplies every time you order.

- Can they guarantee the right temperatures for the values of chilled and frozen products? Stability at a particular temp is essential so items do not become spoiled and lack pathogens.

 

Request a Trial Order

Planning to establish a long-term relationship with the first-choice wholesale meat supplier, ask for a trial order. Place a small test order for key items to ascertain:

- PRODUCT QUALITY – Upon receiving, assess the meat’s quality in terms of freshness, physical appeal, aroma, measurement, etc. Does it fit your requirements if you are a restaurant or a business that sells food items?

- Order Detail – Determine the product types, particular cut and trim requirements, weights, volumes, etc. of the order. Well, did you get what you demanded?

- Packaging – How is the meat packed to avoid a situation whereby the juices start dripping on another commodity? Are items easily recognizable? What is FREEZING and CHILLING?

- Accessibility – How does the time and frequency at which the supply arrives complement your use? Was the driver punctual and did she/he inform appropriately?

- Customer Relations – Were you able to get in touch with them easily during or after the process in case of any problems, and did they satisfactorily settle any complaints? What could you say about the account manager and their approach?

Thus, if the trial order yields good results, meaning high scores in all the above criteria, and if there are no significant issues during the trial order, then that supplier can be considered. It also recommends that one approves the remaining 1-2 distributors with extra caution before finalizing them.

 

Dealing with Price and Contractual Issues

Once you’ve settled on 1-2 preferred wholesale meat suppliers, negotiate specifics like:

- Pricing Discounts – Do not leave this topic without knowing how much the supplier is ready to give a break on quantity or if they have any preferred customer rebates. Ask if they can cut their prices closer to that of their competitors.

- Paying and Credit Arrangement – What form of payment do they allow? Is it possible to delay the payments made by paying invoices that exceed 30 days without incurring additional charges?

- Delivery Days/Windows – Ask them to deliver on a specific weekday to enable you to align your employees to the deliveries.

- Pricing – You may negotiate a 6-12 month contract to ensure you have locked in the agreed prices. Learn about the policies regarding renewal and learn about termination fees.

Another good practice is getting an account rep and someone who can be your direct contact just in case there are problems. Such issues should be well outlined in black and white to avoid future misunderstandings on the part of the employee. This is our supplier selection process:

 

Conclusion

Identifying the appropriate wholesale meat purveyor like Eastern Bridge Foods does require some preliminary effort in evaluating the organizational requirements, examining the potential supplier’s capabilities/safety measures, evaluating product quality and costs, and negotiating a desirable contract agreement. However, make time to select the appropriate suppliers, order samples, and also inspect the deliveries made to the company. Thus, an ideal distributor partner should deliver quality and reliable meats that can be relied on to offer value, including menu variety, to this restaurant/ food business to make patrons happy with what they get. Having acquired a multitude of options for wholesale meat Los Angeles distributors, you are ready to present quality proteins in any creative way you desire