Foodservice distributors play a critical role in the foodservice industry supply chain, delivering food and other products to more than one million professional kitchens every day. The foodservice distribution industry touches the lives of every consumer - whether you’re having dinner with your family at your favorite local restaurant or grabbing a quick lunch at a national chain, the experience was made possible by a foodservice distributor.


Foodservice distributors work largely behind-the-scenes, buying, storing, selling, and delivering tens of thousands of products each day to professional kitchens. There are distributors that can supply a white tablecloth Italian restaurant with porcini mushrooms, range fed lamb, and Antimo Caputo 00 Pizza Flour. The same distributor might also deliver to a local cafe that serves simpler fair. “Broadline” distributors carry a wide range of products for a wide range of customers. Some have more than 10,000 items in stock. “Systems” distributors carry more narrow lines of products for their chain restaurant customers. “Specialty” distributors may specialize just in produce or protein.

It takes a lot of talented professionals to keep the foodservice supply chain moving safely and efficiently. From truck drivers to sales, procurement, finance, technology, and human resources, a career in foodservice distribution is part of a team effort that helps keep professional kitchens cooking!

How does a distributor get your meal from farm to table? Find out more in this IFDA Infographic.