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Restaurant Buying Groups  - What is restaurant buying group

What are Restaurant Buying Groups and Why Should You Care


what is a restaurant buying group


Core food prices are up.

Labor's getting tight and that's never fun.

New workplace rules and requirements keep popping up.


Need some good news in the Restaurant business?


Here it goes.


Restaurant Buying Groups are providing savings up to 30%


And 10's of 1000's of restaurants are taking advantage of this.


It's starting to make the rounds at the restaurant owner's version of the water cooler (the bar).


Let's learn how restaurant buying groups work.


We can even quote an actual invoice here:


You can jump to any of the main sections here:


Lots to cover.


We'll leave you with some quick stats to show just how explosive this new trend is on the market.



Let's see if we want to join the rising tide.

First...the basics.

What is a Restaurant Buying Group


At its is a contract. be clear, the Restaurant buying group is a 3rd party that contracts with food suppliers for preferential pricing.


It's a big group discount.


Very similar to how health insurance carriers contract with hospitals for PPO plans.

They basically say...


"Look...we have these 1000 smaller restaurants (or chains) but we're grouping them together under one purchasing contract"


Show us the money!!


As an individual restaurant or chain, you'll still have control over your own:

  • Ordering
  • Purchasing
  • Shipping
  • Customer Service




It's just the pricing RATE that is grouped together.


You don't have to share tomatoes with the restaurant down the street!



A restaurant buying group is a way for smaller entities to have the leverage of a large chain.

The suppliers respond to volume.


Volume is king.

And queen and prince.


There's no way to get them to budge on pricing if you negotiate alone.


That's why the buying groups are exploding right now!

The savings can be significant.


It's pretty easy to see what you can expect with actual purchases.


Just upload an invoice here and we'll run the pricing!



We'll like the how does the day to day work?

How do Restaurant Buying Groups work


We touched based on why they work but what about my daily process?


Good news there depending on the buying group chosen.

Your day to day will actually improve in most cases.


Our current winner of the best buying group (buying group comparison here) partners with one of the top two nationwide restaurant suppliers.


You'll have total access to all their tools.


This generally offers huge advantages in the following:


  • Online and standard ordering
  • Product selection and menu planning
  • Delivery tracking and logistics
  • Market trends and news


The pricing only works if everything else goes smoothly.

That's not an issue if the food supply partner to the top buying group (two separate entities) knows their stuff!


We'll constantly update with feedback on the major restaurant buying groups but two are leading the pack.


We'll quote your actual food and supply invoice here to see what savings are expected.


Again, your day to day is still between you and the supplier so that won't change.


It may even get better!


What are the big restaurant buying groups


Right now, there are 5 buying groups that are leading the charge.


You can find a complete comparison and review of the big 5 here.


For restaurants, the first two are really the pure plays.

Their focus IS the restaurant business which has advantages.


Of the two, it then comes down to the partnered supplier.


We'll discuss how to compare this below in the "Which buying group is better for restaurants" section.

Who can join a restaurant buying group?




Just kidding.

Generally, the main requirement they have centers around a minimum level of volume.


 It tends to be about $2K/shipment.


Certain types of restaurants do better on the pricing side but the best way to check that is to just run a quote here:


We see savings anywhere from 10-30% on average.


The best restaurant buying groups will allow you to apply this to the broadest range of products.

We also find that certain kinds of restaurants do better with buying groups.


Otherwise, we're allowed to have multiple locations and shipping destinations.


In terms of larger size restaurant chains, check the pricing.


You can run your food invoice quote here.

What about a GPO? Is that the same thing?


Is a buying group the same as a group purchasing organization


The two terms get bantered around quite a bit.


Are the same thing?

What's the difference?


First, GPO stands for group purchasing organization.


There can be differences in structure but really GPO's and Buying Groups are usually the same thing.


Technically, the services offered by the two of them might vary.


Ultimately, the rush to either is because of the preferential pricing so we're less concerned about the other aspects.

They both allow leveraged purchasing for smaller restaurants and chains.


That's what is important.

Get more info on how group purchasing organizations work for restaurants here.


On this site, we'll use them interchangeably since the net result is the same to restaurants.

What savings can be expected with a restaurant buying group


Many things can swing the expected savings.


On average, we're seeing between 10 and 30%


The type of restaurant and actual items ordered can affect the pricing.


What doesn't affect the pricing:

  • Location
  • # of locations
  • How often orders are placed
  • Quality of product line


Submit your actual invoice and we'll quote what the new pricing would be for your restaurant.


You can quickly run your invoice quote here:


You'll get a full analysis of the pricing, items, options and the better restaurant buying groups will provide further guidance on ways to save specifically for your situation.


This savings can vary quite a bit but here are some basic guidelines on savings by types of products.


Food items


One of the reasons the big suppliers offer such great pricing is that they want to grow their per customer purchase.


For example, if a restaurant chain only buys supplies from a supplier and they add food purchases as well due to the much better pricing...

That's a win for the supplier!


And that's why they offer the buying group pricing!


For this reason, we tend to see pretty good savings on food purchases of all sorts with group buying.

Again, just run your invoice quote on food and we'll see how it compares with what you have now.


Supplies for Restaurants


It's not just food that does well with group buying.


All your ancillary supplies are also available at group buying savings.


The savings are not as strong for your basic consumable since these are commodities already.




We still tend to see double digit savings on restaurant supplies.


Include the supplies in your invoice quote here to see how they would fare as well.

It's good to get a spread of available products that represents what you buy on a weekly basis.


Restaurant Equipment


Beyond supplies, there's a range of actual equipment we can purchase under the group buying pricing structure.


Although these aren't repeat or ongoing purchases typically, you can see some pretty steep discounts in this category.


It's definitely closer to the top of the discount range.


We recommend submitting a separate invoice just for equipment from your day to day purchasing needs.


You can quote any of these items here:

Which restaurant buying group is best


We have an entire article dedicated to comparing the major restaurant buying groups here


Cut to the chase...of the 5 big buying groups, a clear winner comes out of this ever-changing segment.


Leverage Buying Group is our favorite for a few reasons:


  • Partnered with one of top 2 nationwide suppliers - a dominant and expansive supplier of nearly everything
  • Pricing structure with 10-30% discounts on average
  • Reasonable threshold for minimum order of $2K/order
  • Ordering, Tracking, Delivery all with one contact


You can quote them here by uploading a sample invoice.


Of course, we're happy to address questions by email.


Get more detail on entire field of restaurant buying groups here.

What are the retention rates for buying groups



As to be expected.


We're seeing retention rates above 90% across the buying group space.


It's pretty interesting.


We'll get a quote request from a restaurant (chain).

They'll see the rates and then have questions.

They usually are in disbelief of the pricing at first.


A dedicated rep walks through the process and how it works and most times...


They sign up!


If we're with the best buying group for restaurants, they rarely come off.


Unless they go out of business, sell the restaurant, or run into financial issues.


Otherwise, the restaurant segment is so margin dependent on input prices, it can mean the difference between making it and closing shop.


That's why the retention range runs from 90-99% for restaurant buying groups.


Pretty impressive.


If you have questions -

Otherwise, let's see what the rates are!

How can i quote restaurant buying group pricing


This is easy.

And relevant!


Just upload a recent or sample invoice here.


Receive a full pricing based on items typically purchased...generally in 48 hours


Get access to a dedicated rep who will walk through any questions on quote and how buying group works.

That's it!


There's no cost for the quote of course.


The pricing has to work in order prompt a person to make adjustments in purchasing.

That's typically the case but let's make sure before hand.


Make sure to submit items you're actually purchasing.


This way, you get a good apples to apples comparison.


The backend process (ordering, shipping, delivery, etc) are all well executed so it's the pricing that matters up front.

How can I enroll in a restaurant buying group


Once the pricing advantage has been determined and all questions have been answered, enrollment is pretty easy.


It involves a standard purchasing contract that allows you to then purchase under the preferential agreement the buying group has with the supplier(s).


A dedicated rep from the buying group will guide you through this process.


Some buying group have a membership fee but our favorite one doesn't.


You're not locked in for a period of time but that's rarely an issue any way since the advantages are pretty evident.




To get help, email us here.

Wrap on Restaurant Buying Groups


We covered quite a bit but this is new.


It's actually the same thing you've been doing on your own.


Negotiating contracts, establishing purchasing agreements, developing relationships.


The difference now is that you have a 3rd party advocate.


It's as if Yum Brands was your big brother and decided to negotiate for you.


You get to piggy back their contract with large suppliers.


You also get their preferential treatment for any quality level of food and supplies you purchase.

That's group buying.


Pooling together 10's of 1000's of smaller restaurants and/or chains to purchase together.


Separate invoicing, delivery, accounts etc.

Just one, giant, sweet, purchasing agreement and pricing structure!


That's why this segment is exploding in growth.

With every new added restaurant, it gets stronger.


Join the tide and ride the wave of savings.


Use that saved money to update, improve, market, or make your restaurant more profitable.


As least, see what the pricing looks like for your situation here:


Quote a food invoice to see your ACTUAL Savings


Again, there is absolutely no cost to you for our services.  Email us at



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1000's of Restaurants
$Million's SAVED
1000's of Restaurants
$Million's SAVED

from ML

"No... Thank you.  I wish I had found group purchasing earlier.  It's a no-brainer"

from SO

"We have seen a reduction of 18% for last quarter for one location.  Can't wait to roll it out other sites."

from PA

"The cost savings I realized on purchasing went right back into upgrading our meat and produce quality.  We basically subsidized the needed move to higher grade at no cost."

from TM

"Thank you so much!  Very happy with service.  If there is any way I can contact supervisors to let them know about your great service let me know"

from TR

"I'll be honest...I didn't believe the pre-rollout saving estimates.  Seemed to good to be true.  I'm pleasantly wrong on that"

from CH

"After test at one location, we're ready to move forward across chain.  Great resource to have. "

from SD

"Wow, I can't thank you guys enough for your help...I couldn't imagine trying to tackle this on my own!"

from EF

"Thank you so much for your marvelous work.  I don't want to tell any of my restaurant buddies so this stays with us"