Restaurant Depot: Savings on food and more

June 24, 2009 10:19:08 AM PDT
Restaurateur Vince Totaro makes several trips a week to The Restaurant Depot in Manayunk.

There, he can get just about everything he needs for his Trattoria, while keeping his expenses down.

SLIDES: A look inside Restaurant Depot.

"On the high-volume items I use, like chicken and cheese and bacon and canned tomatoes, I save close to 30%" off having a food-service company deliver the items, he explains.

Restaurateurs, corner store and deli owners and food-cart vendors are the Restaurant Depot's primary customers. The 48,000-square-foot warehouse isn't open to the public.

But if you're someone who has another kind of busines, or who works or volunteers for a non-profit organization, you can become a member, and take advantage of the savings, too.

"You need a non-profit exemption, " explains Restaurant Depot's Joe Vallely, "and the state of Pennsylvania or New Jersey gives those. Bring in the paperwork, show an affiliation and we'll sign you up."

On weekends, the Restaurant Depot is crowded with parents buying hot dogs and ice cream to sell at athletic events to support various booster clubs and organizations.

Connie Katz shops here to cater events at the Germantown Jewish Center. She says members there enjoy the whitefish salad and lox.

Some of the items are sold in huge quantities -- like a 50-pound bag of carrots. But they also sell smaller packages, like one-pound bags, as well.

Among the deals we spotted:
A carton of 8 mangoes for $4.95
Spareribs for $1.29 a pound
And a ten-pound bag of oranges for $5.50.

And the Restaurant Depot has more than just food. "We have everywhere from dry goods to produce, to frozen foods to meats, even equipment. We can equip an entire kitchen for a restaurant," explains Gary Stiglitz of the Restaurant Depot.

In addition to the Manayunk location, there are Restaurant Depots in South Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey. For more information, click here.

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