Baldor unveils new restaurant series

bador22 When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closures of many restaurants on the East Coast, Baldor Specialty Foods, operating out of the Bronx, NY, pivoted quickly.

After all, the company partners with more than 1,000 farms to supply food items to restaurants, wholesalers, corporate foodservice, schools, hospitals and more, so something needed to change if they were going to get through this disastrous time and keep its 2,200 employees, 400-plus trucks and three distribution centers in business.

In response, Baldor created a new consumer delivery program that has been a huge hit, with just about every food item you can think of being available for home delivery. Produce is one of the top sellers, with more than 2,000 different produce items being offered, but Baldor is also finding success with specialty items and plenty of other products.

“Home delivery is now in all our regions and it’s moving along,” said Ben Walker, vice president of sales and marketing for Baldor. “We’ve some slowdown due to people going back to the stores and eating out a bit, plus it’s summer. We’ve seen restaurants come back a little bit, but we are certainly far from where we need to be and we’re going to continue to support our home delivery channel.”

With that in mind, Baldor has recently started a new restaurant series, where it’s working with restaurant customers and delivering different products to its home delivery customers. This could be anything from a heat-and-eat meatball and sauce kit to lobster roles, to a four-course dinner from a Michelin-star restaurant.

“We wanted to support our home delivery growth but also helps our struggling restaurant community,” Walker said. “We’re getting really innovative and coming up with new products to help support our restaurant community.”

Among the restaurants included in the series are Jeffrey’s Grocery, Hill Country Barbecue Market, Hearth Restaurant, Roberta’s Pizza and Crown Shy. Each curates a list of products that Baldor picks up and delivers to consumers.

“We’ll be continuing to add restaurants throughout the summer and continuing to get creative,” Walker said. “We’re excited to help bring the dining experience to the home, and I think that’s what you’re seeing all over the country right now — this off-premise dining—and we’re key in playing a part in all that.”

 Baldor has also launched a weekly features program where it puts its best products at a great price, every single week.

“We’re seeing that we’re being used differently than we have before both from our restaurants and food service community — they are looking at us beyond produce, which is exciting,” Walker said. “Produce has remained relatively flat as far as basket share, but we’re seeing customers leverage our other categories as well. We know restaurants are looking to consolidate the number of vendors that they work with, and I think Baldor is on the short list for many of our partners. We see us as being stronger on the other side of this.”

Of course, there will be challenges ahead, but Baldor is managing the business as best they can and holding on for the future.

“People need to support restaurants because we want them to be there when this is all over,” Walker said. “Our restaurant series brings the excitement and experience of eating in a restaurant to someone’s home, which supports Baldor and also our restaurants.”

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