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How Should a Pop-Up Restaurant Choose a Bulk Food Supplier?


June 28, 2021

Choosing a partner as your food and equipment provider can feel like a daunting task. As a pop-up restaurant owner, you have unique challenges, so you want to ensure you get the best wholesale bulk food supplier for your needs. When choosing a purveyor, always consider your labor plans, business margins, and food costs. 

To help get you started, we’ve compiled the top four questions pop-up restaurant owners have about choosing a wholesale supply partner. 

Answers to FAQs About Restaurant Suppliers for Pop-Ups

Are you in the market for a reliable bulk grocery supply store, but unsure how to begin the process? Not to worry! Read on for advice on all your pop-up purveyor questions.

1. How Many Restaurant Food Suppliers Should I Work With?

For pop-ups, you want to streamline operations as much as possible to maximize profits. Narrowing the amount of food and supply vendors you work with can go a long way to saving on costs and time. Often, new pop-up owners might rely on a variety of different suppliers for their needs: one for wholesale meat and seafood, another for packaging supplies, and another for basic kitchen essentials. 

Partnering with one bulk supply store that offers all items under a single roof allows you to cut down on shopping time, supply minimums, and juggling multiple accounts. Look for partners that stock quality produce, proteins, beverages, cleaning supplies, and all the necessary equipment needed for your pop-up.

2. How Will My Unique Menu Needs Be Met? 

Consumers love pop-ups not only for their sometimes novel locations, but also their dynamic menus. When choosing a provider, you want to ensure you have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, choice meats, enticing spices, and more. 

Look for a bulk food supplier that offers a variety of products at competitive prices. Evaluate your menu and create an ingredient list. Consider your staples and take note of any specialty items. A quality supplier should offer a selection of basics and cutting-edge ingredients like wild-caught fish, game meats, and plant-based proteins. 

3. What Should I Expect from Their Sales and Customer Service Team? 

First and foremost, you should always work with suppliers that have a history of solid customer support, are knowledgeable about the foodservice industry, and that have been vetted by the community. Your expectations don’t have to stop there! 

Businesses that genuinely care about their industry partners will always go the extra mile to help support all aspects of their customers’ needs. In addition to quality products, look for a restaurant supply store that also offers:

4. How Can Bulk Food Suppliers Help Me Meet My Bottom Line? 

The key to a successful pop-up is making sure you wow your customers with exceptional food without going over your food cost margin. Pop-ups are unique in that they may have only one seating an evening and don’t always have the ability to store food for extended periods. Owners of temporary restaurants might be concerned that buying from a bulk supplier could mean excess product, food waste, and diminished profit. 

Buying from a reputable bulk and wholesale restaurant supplier doesn’t mean you have to over-purchase to get great products at competitive prices. Whether you plan on 20 covers or 100, you can still save on food and beverage costs. There aren’t minimum purchase orders and ingredients come in a variety of manageable portions. 

Partner with Your Local Restaurant Supply Store for All Your Pop-Up Essentials

At US Foods CHEF'STORE, we offer exceptional wholesale supplies for restaurants! Take advantage of our customer card benefits, including receipt management. Even get product delivered to your door. Stop by one of our many locations to see how CHEF’STORE can help support your restaurant. 


How to find your ideal restaurant supplier.

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