The growing. “The restaurant industry is generally comprised

The Best Option            Out
of all of the possible ventures in replacing cardboard boxes and making money,
the restaurant industry is by far the best option available at this point in
time. The restaurant industry in the United States is enormous and steadily
growing. “The restaurant industry is generally comprised of independent and
chain full-service and limited-service restaurants. In 2015, the restaurant
industry generated around 257 billion in food and drink sales revenue.”(Jones, 2014)
Restaurants are in constant need of inventory to keep up with that amount of
sales that are coming in. They get
shipments of produce, meats, seasonings, drinks, and complimentary supplies in altered
amounts based on the individual restaurants. Although each restaurant is
different, one thing remains the same, they receive shipments packaged in
cardboard.  To ensure their profit
margins, restaurants frequently rely on foodservice distributors when
purchasing their inventory. A food service distributor is a distributor that ships supplies to restaurants, along with schools, hospitals,
offices and large companies. A food service distributor functions as the middleman between the restaurants or other places listed above and the food manufacturers.
Food distributors ship these packages on a regular basis because the
constant flow of foods and other items is in constant need. Foodservice
distributors obtain pallets and wholesale inventory quantities that are put
into cases and unit quantities for the workers.
“Most foodservice operators purchase from a range of local, specialty, and
broad-line foodservice distributors on a daily or weekly basis ”
(“Sysco & The Food Distribution Industry – The Mission – Medium,”
n.d.)                        “As
of 2014, there were over 16,500 companies in the foodservice distribution
industry. This industry serves the foodservice, or food away from home, markets
which accounted for about 48% of all food sales at the consumer level in 2014”.
(Sysco & The Food Distribution Industry – The Mission – Medium, n.d.)  Sysco is the biggest food distribution company
in the U.S. selling over 100 million dollars in products each year. They
operate all over the United States, with most of their facilities being in
Florida, Texas, and California. Sysco’s focuses on provided foods for away from
home type meals. U.S. Foods is the next biggest player in the industry, serving
major institutions such as government facilities as well as hospitals.  The U.S. Foods catalog specializes in
culinary and kitchen equipment. Reinhart FoodService
was founded in 1972 and supplies businesses with a variety of foods such as
meat and produce. They mainly service hospitals, hotels, restaurants, and
schools.  Reinhart
looks promising from some angles but they do a lot of their business with
hospitals and hotels and we want to focus on the restaurant industry because the
volume of cardboard boxes going through is extremely high. Food Services
America is a food distribution company that primarily distributes meat to their
customers, although they also sell culinary equipment such as glassware and
knives. They primarily service-oriented
businesses. Again, since this Food Services America limit itself to only meat and other items we have to
explore a different route to ensure we select the most diverse and innovative distributors. Shamrock Foods Company is a
family owned food distribution company that deals primarily with dairy
products. They operate a huge dairy farm through which they get their products.             Labatt Food Service is based out of San
Antonio and is, like Sysco, primarily concerned with the food consumed away
from home market. They operate around the American South and Mid-West, but they
are slowly expanding throughout the
entire United States. Their goal is to reduce distribution costs in order to
save both them and their customer’s money.This is something that catches the
eyes of our team because we have all discussed the same vision.     Cheney Brothers, Inc. is a family-owned company out of
Florida. They serve the Southeast specializing in meats and cheeses. They also
distribute restaurant equipment and janitorial supplies. This distributor does not fit our idea because we
want to be more diverse with items being shipped rather than just meat and
cheeses. Also, we look to expand this idea across the country to make a bigger
impact. Lastly, Glazier Foods is a food distribution company that operates
primarily in the south and midwest. They operate out of Houston, and deliver all sorts of goods to their
customers such as produce, meats, and also sanitation products. They are on the
smaller side at around 500 employees therefore we are steering away from this
company because we want this plan to make
an impact that is noticeable in the early stages. With a smaller company like this
one the chances of impact are slim.   

Two companies show the greatest promise in the market and
the best platform for innovation, Sysco and Labatt Food Service. Sysco has the
largest market share of any foodservice company in the United States, thus
giving our operation the greatest chance of maximizing profits. “Sysco
does 64% of its business with restaurants.” (“Sysco & The Food
Distribution Industry – The Mission – Medium,” n.d.)  Sysco is frequently on the cutting edge of
the industry, and is constantly
innovating. With such a large market share, a change at Sysco could result in a
change for the entire industry. The other targeted foodservice distributor,
Labatt Food Service, appeals to us in that they pride themselves on innovation
and exceptional customer service. “Others may talk about innovation, but Labatt
has a proven history of innovation in every area of the company, from sales to
order entry to warehouse automation to truck routing.  We believe that until   we reach
perfection, there will always be a reason to innovate.” (“Our
Innovations,” n.d.)  Clearly, Labatt
is a company willing to hear out initiatives that have the possibility of
improving their business. They operate closely with their clients, and if there
is a possibility of improving their distribution they will be willing to
innovate. With these two distributors
being aligned with our perspectives on reducing cardboard and making the transition to containers, the opportunity for
success is huge. 

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