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Isthisidok

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello all, I’m new to the site but have been a pfs rep for almost a decade after being a chef for two decades. Was interested how the big dogs view our company. It’s shocking to me how unknown we are to a lot of the industry and the public in general. USF and GFS have been writing huge up front rebate checks in my area. USF strips away the rep, hands you an iPad and tells you to call customer service with any issues. Seem insane to me as I believe I am worth 3-4% margin alone with the insane service I provide on a virtual 24/7 basis. Then the prices escalate a few months into it and the customer is trapped if they can’t repay the cash.

Any rumors on mergers or acquisitions? Don’t you feel like a decade from now we will be down to just a handful of companies?

Let me know your thoughts
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doingthisfortoolong

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Reply with quote  #2 
Been with PFS now for many years myself. We are still the new kid in some markets. Most know the name Roma. I agree that being able to write the margins we write now we soon fizzle out. IMHO US Foods destroyed this business by doing what they are doing by just “moving cases for no profit”. This used to be an honorable job. You earned a nice commission for what you sold and services the customer. USF killed that by teaching new TM’s to just get the order no matter the cost. At least Sysco still knows how to make money
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FSVET

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Reply with quote  #3 
Both Sysco and USF are beholden to shareholders. Corporate doesn't care if TMs and MAs make any money. 

The new USF pay plan, basically salary plus bonuses, is more concerned about cases and Cookbook, than profit.

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ISellLettuce

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Reply with quote  #4 
I've been with PFS for well over a decade, and yes, we are still viewed as the new kid on the block in many areas where we haven't been before. I've always viewed that as a great opportunity though to show customers what makes you different.

I agree, USF has tarnished this industry by writing upfront checks only to price-gouge customers once they're locked into a contact. Despicable really. Our mission was to always help the independent operator succeed and maximize their bottom line. USF took the complete opposite approach and put the operator at risk just for the sake of moving cases. 

I'm still old school and believe that value still means something to our customers. If I can provide great service, solutions to problems, and great products at a competitive price...that should mean something, and to most customers it does. That said, other operators still treat this industry as if they were shopping from Amazon where its "give me the lowest price and I can handle the rest". Problem is, only like 1% of operators can truly "handle the rest"  because as we all know, most operators get into this business with no clue on how to actually run an effective and profitable restaurant. That's where historically, we've been able to help out.
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yogibuck

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Reply with quote  #5 
From my view, most of the large distributors just want to get everyone to order by computers and take the sales rep out of it.  They don't value the sales rep at all.  Just see them as additional cost.

My guess is 10 years from now, your sales rep, if you are a restaurant big enough to warrant one, will appear in the restaurant via hologram.   So the customer can get the "in person" bond.

From the outside, I don't see much difference between Sysco, USF, PFS and or GFS.  

The truth is, for most restaurants, they all look the same also.  So it comes down to pricing, unique product that they want (not stupid crap like scoop or whatever) and/or a relationship.  Since pricing is so important, most of the big guys look at the spreadsheet guy analyzing the pricing as their mvp.  Hence catman. 

It will be the same pattern, repeating itself over and over again.  The big fish will eat whatever fish it can get, than the small fast hustling fish will grow and then be eventually eaten.  There is probably a guppy to whale story happening right now.

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