Foodservice movement remains strong for Philadelphia area wholesalers.

Demand from the segment, including jobbers that distribute to restaurants and the foodservice operators that purchase their supplies from distributors on the Philadelphia Regional Wholesale Market, appears healthy, wholesalers report.

“That segment seems to be doing OK because we’re doing well,” said Todd Penza, salesman with Pinto Bros. Inc., Philadelphia.

“The restaurants all seem to be busy. We see demand as increasing.”

Foodservice movement remains steady, said Martin Roth, secretary-treasurer of Coosemans Philadelphia Inc.

“It has been holding its own,” he said.

“The restaurants all seem to be very busy.”

 

Consolidation

Consolidation also has affected the way business is conducted, said Chip Wiechec, president of Philadelphia-based Hunter Bros. Inc.

“There doesn’t seem to be as many foodservice people out there to sell to. It’s been a matter of attrition,” he said.

“Some smaller guys have been eaten up by larger ones or people retire. Some go out of business and end up owing you money. There are fewer foodservice people to sell to than in the past but you try to position yourself with the ones that are growing their business.”

Wiechec characterizes sales as strong and said the restaurants he visits are usually busy.

About 20% of sales for Philadelphia-based Procacci Bros Sales Corp. go to foodservice purveyors.

Wholesalers account for half of its sales, said Mike Maxwell, president.

“The restaurant business here is coming back,” he said.

“They’re doing quite well. They get their peaks during the summertime also but it’s a steady business and a healthy deal.”

Though sales to retailers and other wholesalers that serve supermarkets and foodservice customers account for the majority of business for Four Seasons Produce Inc., the Ephrata, Pa.-based distributor does sell to some foodservice purveyors.

“A lot of the things we sell are very specific items,” said Ron Carkoski, president and CEO.

“They may be only three things but are large quantities. Those items have increased the past several years. We are seeing strong business and good movement.”