When it comes to cooking, everything comes down to the ingredients. Quality produce can make or break a business, so where a restaurant gets its produce is one of the biggest decisions they can make before cutting the ribbon and opening the doors to hungry customers. This is why it’s imperative for a restaurant to find the right produce distributor that will ensure quality produce is available on any given day. The right restaurant supplier is out there, and we’re here to help you get the basics down before heating up the stoves.

So What Is a Produce Distributor?

You’re going to need food, and you’re going to need a lot of it. Enough to feed potentially hundreds of people over the course of a week. So where is this food going to come from? This isn’t as simple as a trip to your local grocery store, but there’s no reason to be afraid. There are companies in place whose sole purpose is to make it as simple as that. During this stage of stocking your restaurant, finding the right supplier for your business is going to be the first kind of shopping there is to do.

Once you’ve found the right restaurant supplier, the hardest part is covered. From there, a produce distributor’s job is to help you fulfill orders. The right supplier should help you set up accounts for your company to help keep your shelves reliably stocked. Their job is to then keep your company in mind when deciding on what to bring in via deliveries and keep their warehouses ready to keep your business running and to keep your kitchen hot. Establishing a healthy symbiosis early on with your produce distributor is one of the most important steps in setting up a thriving food service business.

Types of Produce Distributors

Now that you know what a produce distributor does, it’s important to understand the different types of distributors. Not all distributors are the same, just as no two restaurants’ needs are the same. There are a wide variety of restaurant suppliers to choose from, but for now, it’s good to have an understanding of two basic types: nationwide produce distributors and local distributors.


Nationwide distributors are large scale distributors where the name speaks for itself. These produce distributors work on a national level, typically providing services to restaurants and grocery stores across a wide range of states, spreading out as wide as across the entire country. These types of distributors are ideal for large restaurant or grocery chains that span multiple states and need to secure a chain of supply to their various locations. This means they’ll need supply fronts relatively close to each of their company’s branches.


Local produce distributors work on a much smaller scale. Typically, they only ship out to their own city and not much farther out. Therefore, these distributors are typically less known or unheard of brands. However, an advantage is that these distributors will specialize in your location’s local produce market. This means steady business for local, smaller farmers that are personally owned by families and not much larger. This also means that restaurants utilizing this type of produce distributor will have access to seasonal produce unique to your restaurants location. Also you’ll have more refined options as you won’t be working with the risks of large scale distribution.

Here to Help

This might all seem a bit overwhelming, but rest assured, it’s not as scary as it appears. With companies like AgriExotic, they’ll start your supply of produce off on the best foot possible. Establish solid roots with their produce distribution service and get the best you can for your restaurant business.