Author Topic: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?  (Read 27784 times)

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Offline chickenparm

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2010, 12:10:45 AM »
Perhaps you donít understand what I've been saying because you assume my stance is based on something personal or emotional, as has been stated more than once. Apparently people here think I want Restaurant Depot to change their policy to suit my needs, which is the farthest thing from the truth. In reality, I donít care if they change their policy because their policy will never affect me.

But you made this topic anyway,and is saying they should see you as the next possible successful Papa Johns that is some day going to need their business,but does not recognize you right now as such

Most of you seem to be looking at this from the perspective of an awestruck consumer who has only recently seen the inside of a foodservice warehouse for the first time, which apparently makes you assume Iím looking at it from the same perspective. But Iím not. One of the ways Iím looking at it is through the eyes of a prospective small business owner who will someday have to choose suppliers, based on things that matter in business, like which prospective supplier has already treated me as if my business matters to them, even if Iíve never bought anything from them. Another way Iím looking at it is through the eyes of a successful small business owner who has no time to look at the pretty warehouse or drive to the pretty warehouse, or shop at the pretty warehouse, or check out with the cashier, or load my purchase into my non-refrigerated automobile, or drive back from the pretty warehouse with a dangerously loaded, non-refrigerated automobile, or unload and stock my purchase. Iím also looking at it from the perspective of someone at the top of the distribution company; someone who wants the company to be as profitable as possible. Not just profitable today but also profitable in the long run.

As before,we,I,or etc have understand where you are coming from...what do you expect RD to do in the meantime?What if you died tomorrow and never open up that successful business you hope to have someday?If you do not like RD policies,you do not have to shop there nor bash them,you can deal with other suppliers as well.

The comparisons to diamonds and auto auctions are apples and oranges. If some regular Joe approached wholesalers, serious about buying the standard quantity of either diamonds or cars, the wholesaler would sell to him because itís not about who he is; itís about whether he can or will buy the quantity thatís for sale. The main (or only) reason it doesnít happen is because there arenít many consumers who have the resources or the desire to buy a stash of diamonds or a couple truckloads of used cars. No one sells to a market that doesnít exist.

You may be right there...but the point I was making,there are markets for both wholesalers and private parties.One requires tax and business ID,the other does not.The markets are set up for both.You can be a serious buyer off the street with no Business ID,tax or license info and you might get someone that deals with wholesale to sell to you once.But you will not be allowed to start buying at their auctions simply because you might someday be a everyday buyer.You still need to get the paperwork done before you can shop or bid there.

If I expected RD to rip open a 50-pound bag of flour and sell me 10 pounds of it, that would make your arguments valid, and everything Iíve said in this thread would be total BS. But thatís not what Iíve said.

RD and Walmart will both be gone in the not-too-distant future, and itís not because I donít shop there. Every day, people come to realize that the hassles of shopping at Walmart outweigh the money they might save by shopping there. The novelty is wearing off, and it will continue to wear off until there is no more Walmart. The same thing will happen with RD. Their top executives already know it will happen, but theyíre milking it for every cent they can make before it finally does happen.

All businesses come and go...very few stay around for decades...Not sure what the point is..I have already stated before,in agreement,that these businesses make enough money not to worry about someone that want them to do it differently,or wants to boycott them.

On the other end of the spectrum, In-N-Out Burger will be around for years to come, through good economies and bad, although on a smaller scale than Walmart or Restaurant Depot. Why? Because In-N-Out Burgerís business model functions in harmony with the law of supply and demand.

Interesting,I have never eaten at one,nor is there one anywhere near my home.I guess you could have just said McDonalds??

Look, I really donít care how RD does business.
what??? Yes you do,then what the heck are we talking about then?

I simply asked a few questions, first of all because I suddenly realized RDís policies seemed stupid to me, but also because I had recently wasted some of my valuable time looking through their web site for an answer to a question Iím sure they get asked more than enough to justify publishing it on the front page of their web site. I asked the questions because Iím always trying to figure out how things work, independent of the societal and economic rules our civilization has created, which operate on premises contrary to all the rules of nature. I asked the questions because the quality of posts on these boards impressed me enough to suspect I might receive some quality feedback.

I was pretty sure most of us answered sounds as if you did not hear what you wanted to hear,we did not answer you?I thought all the feedback was quality and not personal!

Unfortunately, my questions still have not been answered. Or maybe I already knew the answers, but I just wanted to find out if anyone had any good hypotheses that I may not have already considered, or at least explanations that would make me think a little deeper than I already had. But basically all the responses so far have been in line with the ďcommon knowledgeĒ that has essentially destroyed the global economy.

What does global economics have to do with this topic anyways?

If no one wants to respond with a well-thought-out response to the questions I asked, Iíd like the thread to die. But if people are going to keep replying with the assumption that I meant something I didnít mean, Iíll probably keep responding.

All the replies look well thought out...I even said we understood where you are coming from..what are you not getting? Its like you keep changing your mind about what you are arguing about...If you want to shop at RD,get the correct paper work to shop there.If not,go somewhere else.What is so hard about this?

Nothing personal ever of luck and wishes in whatever you choose to do.

Offline Zing

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2012, 11:15:20 AM »
UPDATE March 10, 2012. Based upon new information forwarded to me, I am deleting some of this message. My revised opinions will appear after the messages of March 9, 2012. I am just leaving my recollections of the RD in Queens, NY in this message.

My opinion for the "Not Open to the Public" stance? Zoning laws and finagles, sales and income tax issues, cost reduction by keeping out the people who don't know how to behave in warehouses.

I didn't know it for a long time, but I was a customer of the very first Restaurant Depot, going back to about 1992. A few blocks from where my sister lives was a foodservice distributor by the name of Hyco Restaurant Supply Company. Exact address was 54-44 74th Street  in Elmhurst (Queens), NY 11373. You used to see Hyco delivery trucks in front of places serving food all over Queens. Even back then, I knew that there was good 'eatin to be had from foodservice cash & carry outlets. My sister told me about the fact that this was a cash & carry. gives the opening of RD as 1990. I would not be surprised if the founders ripped off the Staples (founded 1985) concept. From here on in, I am relying on memory and some of the things I may not get right. But I think it gives a general explanation for their rationale.

Back about 1990, guys like Sysco were getting bigger and guys like Hyco were facing stiff competition. Foodservice guys were also charging big bucks to deliver food to mom-and-pops. Hyco let people walk around their existing warehouse and put things on wagons, just like at Home Depot. You just walked in, like at K-Mart. There was no trade credit; you had to pay by credit cards or cash. There was also no delivery included at that price. But the prices were low. To my eye, many of the people in cook's whites buying food for their bosses were illegals. On weekends, you would find people in there who obviously did not work in restaurants.

Sometime in the 90's, they started offering "membership cards", with a discount for using them. I also seem to recall the prices going up overnight by the same amount as you could save by using the card. Then, they started making you either have a membership card or a "temporary pass" in order to check out. You could still sneak in the door, however. The obvious "cooking enthusiasts" would simply ask the pretty girls at the desk for a temporary pass. A while later, they made you sign a swindle sheet to get the temporary pass. No ID required, probably because they knew most of the green cards were phony anyway. They did charge sales tax on non-foods on those temporary passes, though food in NY City is untaxed.

Restaurant Depot started to expand in the Metro NYC area. They would go into areas zoned for industrial use. I am really fuzzy on this, but I think I remember some resistance in one place, with opponents claiming this was a retail application rather than a industrial application. At the new locations, you had to have a good cock-and-bull story to get them to sell to you without a business license. After reading the Fundinguniverse history, I think it may have also been because the owner of RD since 1994, Jetro, also ran a wholesale cash & carry grocery operation catering to mom-and-pop groceries and bodegas. Jetro sells the likes of cases of small cans of Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup.

As for Hyco Restaurant Supply Company, they too are now owned by Jetro and operate out of a warehouse in the Bronx:

If you put the address of Hyco into Google Maps and go for the street views, you will get images from 2007 showing the first RD location vacant and before being sold to a self-storage facility operator. The customer entrance and customer parking lot was around the corner on 57th Avenue; just click on the arrows to waltz around the corner. RD Elmhurst moved to a larger building in nearby Maspeth, NY.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2012, 10:06:08 PM by Zing »

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #42 on: March 09, 2012, 06:04:06 PM »
I went and got a DBA for 20 bucks and got my RD card.

Offline Grimaldi

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #43 on: March 09, 2012, 06:30:46 PM »
I went and got a DBA for 20 bucks and got my RD card.

RD card is good to have, can't beat the Stanislaus tomato products, 1lb bag of basil, and parmesan reggiano - to name a few items you can't buy for anywhere close to RD prices (including Costco and Sam's). 

Offline jeffereynelson

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #44 on: March 09, 2012, 08:26:16 PM »

Our of curiosity, what are the prices on those items?

Offline Grimaldi

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #45 on: March 09, 2012, 09:16:16 PM »

Our of curiosity, what are the prices on those items?

Parmesan Reggiano is $11.99 lb, Basil is $7.99 lb, and Stanislaus pizza sauce is $27.46 a case (6 -#10 cans) and the plum tomatoes are about the same -  Italian extra virgin olive oil is $52.01 a case (4 -3 liter cans).

Offline Zing

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Re: What's the point, Restaurant Depot?
« Reply #46 on: March 11, 2012, 08:37:16 AM »
I think the reason Ryan is so upset with Restaurant Depot is because they are playing a game of "hide the bologna". They don't want to tell you upfront that they don't want you if you don't do $X dollars of business a year with them. And so they bust your chops to dissuade you. "No minimums" is false advertising.

RD and Jetro are now nationwide. In certain locations, they may on tenuous legal ground, zoning wise. In others, their receipt of industrial development grants may preclude them from engaging in retail business. As has been pointed out previously, they have a tax liability issue with respect to resale.

I am told that in one location, their parking lot is just big enough to hold the cars of businesses. Having the general public shop there would cause their lot to overflow and cause the restaurant owners who bring their goods home in the summer in unrefrigerated vehicles look elsewhere.

Asking for a business license (don't know if they make a photocopy of it or not, but google for stories of Restaurant Depot getting hacked and having their customer's credit card numbers stolen in Fall, 2011) is a cheap way to screen out problem customers.

Bottom line: they are no longer the same operation as before Jetro took them over, where anyone could walk in off the street and buy what they needed.