Restaurants React to Sysco and US Foods Merger

Posted at: 02/06/2014 6:29 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- One of the largest food supply companies is buying out one of its key rivals, making an even larger global distribution company. Sysco is buying privately held US Foods for about $3.5 billion. We talked to area restaurant owners who rely on the two separately to compare prices.
"We're expecting by next fall, possibly winter time,"  said owner of the Bear's Den in Byron, Isaac Raaen. They get a shipment from both companies each week. "We don't know what's going to happen we're very happy with both vendors right now," said Raaen.
They buy from the two to compare prices. "It fluctuates, one week we have a large order with one company, the next we have a large order with the other one," said Raaen. The same reason many restaurants, including Dooley's Pub in Rochester, buy from both "We just want to make sure we're getting the best quality product at the best available price," said Raaen.
To avoid getting monopolized, those at the Bear's Den says they plan to find a new, second vendor when the two big names officially merge. "We are currently using both companies so we'll definitely look at one of the smaller guys in the area," said Raaen.
Since there are other, smaller companies to choose from, those we spoke with in restaurant industry say they're not overly worried just yet. This past fiscal year,  before the merge, Sysco's sales totaled at almost $45 billion, shipping to 425,000 customers across the globe.