Wholesale restaurant supply chain opens to the public for the first time — I left with TP, milk, and more (photos/tips)

Their website says nothing about this. Also it does specifically say they are NOT open to the public.

So, tell us the nuts and bolts or this is just some dream you had last night.

Was this directed to me? I linked to the news article where I heard about it: https://www.sfgate.com/food/article/Restaurant-wholesale-chain-customers-shop-15190921.php


I’ve tried to go before and was denied access (it’s SO close to my home). I didn’t have to sign anything this time. I just showed my ID.


There are so many untoward bins of things that shouldn’t be in bins at Restaurant Depot. There’s usually a bin of mops not far from the goats.

They could at least put them in the mop section.

They mostly stopped doing that years ago.

Though until a few years back they had several adhoc arrangements with various organizations for guest passes. They still have an agreement with the Kansas City BBQ Society where by members could get a day pass and shop on KCBS’ membership. Though you paid tax.

It’s also not terribly hard to get a RD membership. Any incorporated business or non-profit can join free. Though without a Tax Resale Cert or Tax Exemption you have to pay sales tax.


It’s technically true: cod loin is the “filet mignon” of cod, because filet mignon is beef loin. However, unlike filet mignon, cod loin actually is the best tasting cut of that creature. Despite it’s price tag, filet mignon has minimal marbling, so it’s not particularly flavorful, although it is very tender. Cod loin all the way, I say!


Now I know!


I think there is one in San Francisco on Evans and Toland!

Goat meat has the taste and consistency of a very mild non farm raised venison. As for the cost at about $6 a pound, that actually looks like a very fair price. I believe that these are dressed and frozen raw carcasses.

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Dam it. I pay to belong to Restaurant Depot specifically because the public can’t shop there. Now, not only do I have to negotiate a huge drop in business, I’ve got to negotiate around Grandma trying to decide if she wants the 4,5,6 or 8 to a pound hot dogs.
I wonder how long they will keep this up when their core customers like me, who spend a whole lot more than the avg consumer, decides to go to US Chefstore or another busines-only competitor instead.

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I know a chef who has access to our local Restaurant Depot. He says it’s been a real shitshow lately. Much more crowded and uncontrolled compared to the local supermarkets. He’d rather pay more at the grocery store chains than chance the crowds.

His experience and needs may be personally- and geographically- dependent, but newcomers may want to check the temperature before diving in.

And consider whether your neighborhood, independent grocer (if you’re lucky enough to have one) can get you enough of what you both need to survive another day.


My local Restaurant Depot (Hackensack, post Lex Luthor / Otisville incident) has always permitted visitors to purchase things, but you had to go to their membership desk for a 1-day pass. Maybe that part is now waived?

Came for the photos of abundant toilet paper at absurdly low prices. Left disappointed upon finding neither. HOW MUCH WAS THE TOILET PAPER?

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In my town Restaurant Depot and Smart Foodservice are very near each other. It keeps the prices more competitive, and now that RD is open to the public it’s even better.

Goat curry and curry goat (former Indian, latter Caribbean).


Are you currying flavour with that comment?


I am hankering for a curry for my elevenses, probably shouldn’t. Might have a beer though.

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I’ve seen a fair number of people on Next Door, etc., buying a 50# bag and selling off a fair chunk of it in 5# increments. The “Not for Resale” thing is probably pretty low on the enforcement these days.

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Restaurant Depot memberships are free.


And the “membership” is the equivalent of setting up a wholesale account. Which no wholesaler charges for, it’s pitched as membership because they operate physical stores instead of shipping.

You might of have missed the point of this whole thing. They’re specifically open to the public because of the Covid epidemic. In large part with all of their core customers are closed and not buying, their sales have tanked.

Just like all restaurant business wholesalers (like the company I work for, down 70% across the board minimum).

Most of them don’t do that. But some locations are lax about it. The guest passes are for specific things, like the KCBS arrangement i mentioned up thread.

I have 2 near me. At one they kinda didn’t give a shit and would just hand you a guest pass if you asked, the other was strict and check the KCBS card. Once turned me away because it was expired by a day (new one in the mail). Individual locations seem to have similar arrangements with local orgs. Like the ones by me apparently have something set up with the Knights of Columbus and Rotary. Couple of churches.

Couple years back they seem to have cracked down and both locations got a lot stricter. Though they streamlined it, you no longer had to pre-print a guess pass from the website with the proper tax ID on it.

You can get those at regular supermarkets. It’s not unusual for making a big pot of sauce.

It would take a fair amount of time as well. You’d be better off re-directing shipments to consumer suppliers but even that could end up with a lot of waste. We’re going to probably end up with some somewhat unfamiliar packaging on store shelves, like lots more whole chickens instead of quarters/joints.

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