How To Keep Food Fresh Longer to Lower Your Cost Percentages

Here’s one of the easiest ways to cut your cost percentages: receive fresh food directly from the suppliers. But it’s not that easy, you say? Well, now it is.

Give Your Ingredients A Longer Shelf Life

Buying cheaper ingredients is not the best way to cut cost percentages. We know, it’s a bold claim, but the savings you get when you take a rubber spatula to your sixth pans are slim compared to our one tip:

Purchase your food, fresh, directly from the growers and producers, instead of distributors.

Distribution companies like Sysco do almost 30% of their business by fulfilling chefs’ orders with ingredients that come from hundreds and hundreds of miles away.

When the best way to get bulk food for service is through distributors, chefs aren’t always left with many cost-effective options in the ways of fresh ingredients.


Don’t worry. You can give your pantry some staying power by buying fresh ingredients from nearby. It’s not hard. Cut out the distributor and buy directly from the farmers and growers with any of these options:

Access Direct Business With Farmers Online

Many kitchen chefs have quit using corporate distributors and are instead choosing to fill their inventory with the good stuff. Sourcing fresh food directly from the fields and pastures nearby isn’t that difficult when you have the right tools.

Want the best way to give your pantry some staying power? Buy direct and shop local.

Online Marketplaces

With the rise of the tech-age, the Internet is not simply a place to share and see pictures of chef’s dishes. Companies are increasingly becoming aware of the disconnect within America’s food systems and are creating tools for chefs to use to make it right again.

Online marketplaces like Farm’d give chefs transparent access to fresh ingredients and a space to do direct business with area-producers.

Platforms like this, where farmers and chefs can transparently interact and do business, are becoming a popular way of chefs to source fresh food for their kitchens.

Learn more about the Farm’d online marketplace to see how well it can fit into your regular ordering schedule.

Farmer’s Markets

Bring some of your farmer’s market haul to the kitchen for the night’s special. Not only will you get that food fresh, but you can also build your BOH into a powerful and knowledgeable team that can smell fresh and local food from up to 100 miles away.

And the ore often your kitchen works with products from fields near you, the better. “Let them put their hands on the food that we’re using every day,” Chef Brian Crain recommends here.

“When they see the quality of the food we’re getting in[…] they get pretty excited. To see the local farms, and know where [the food] came from -they definitely enjoy that.”

Find your nearest farmer’s market to bring fresh food into your kitchen.

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Small And Family-Owned Farms and Businesses

In and around metropolitan areas, many suppliers already have shops set up near you. A quick search for local farmers near you can easily set you up with growers that are already selling to other kitchens and would love to add to their delivery stops.

Tip: Dairy producers will most likely have storefronts to serve their nearby markets. Check out milk, butter, and artisanal cheese makers near you.

Search for local farms near you to buy direct.

Get better cost for your food and see your cost percentages go down by keeping an eye on how fresh your ingredients are when they get to your kitchen.

Keeping costs down is simple when you go direct -in person at the farmer’s markets or the producer’s business, or utilize an online marketplace like Farm’d to save you time and money ordering.

Want more tips on how to cut costs and bring fresh ingredients to your menu? Sign up for our Farm’d Chef’s Newsletter now: