Prices to Restaurants VS. Farmers Markets and other Places

rustico_2009March 23, 2014

How does the price you get vary at different places for your produce?

Farm to table restaurants, small stores that feature organic or local farmers pledge produce?

What does/should a small farm to table place pay for tomatoes? 1/2 pints of really good blackberries ($3 at market). Will they pay anything for big fresh onions? I have gotten as much $1.50 for 1 pound+ sweet onions with green tops and the market manager said I should have asked for $2.00. I can't imagine a restaurant paying $2 for an onion no matter how good.

The restaurant I sold butternut squash to did pay the same as market $1.25 lb a couple of year ago. I am asking $1.50 this year .

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Normally the prices restaurants pay are very comparable to retail prices. I work at a wholesale/retail produce farm that deals with a lot of restaurants and they usually pay 10% lower than retail. The stores pay wholesale price which is around 40% cheaper than retail, sometimes 50%.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 9:45PM
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grow_life(6A OH)

I get $4 pound for early tomatoes, $3 a pound for main season tomatoes from my one restaurant customer. All heirlooms. I've seen tomatoes at roadside stands around here for anywhere from a buck a pound to $5 for a pint box with 3 red ones in it. I dunno. Phil

    Bookmark   March 24, 2014 at 6:09PM
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I know pricing can get pretty weird and people have different philosophies for both how much they will try to get for their stuff and how much they will pay. There is a man here who puts up a sign and sells tomatoes for .75. His disabled brother grows them and it helps his quality of life. Meanwhile they are basically being good samaritans with cheap garden fresh tomatoes for the neighbors.

Thanks for clearing up that farm to table restaurants typically pay pretty close to retail, R&T.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:50AM
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jrslick (North Central Kansas, Zone 5B)

We have several restaurants that purchase produce at the Farmers Markets. They are charged regular price and they don't ask for discounts.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 12:01PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I think it depends on how much a restaurant buys. If it is a lot in a year, I think they should get a bulk discount and be closer to wholesale. I always do bulk discounts in general for sales.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 11:34AM
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when I sold to restaurants I would give case prices on case lots, otherwise they paid full retail. Most were happy to be able to by less than a case of most things from me and had no issues with the price as the produce was very fresh and better quality than they could get from their purveyors.

Last year, though I dealt with a "fine dining"place that wanted to pay nothing for high quality and like to argue with me about my prices. they went out of business after 4 months, i suspect because their vegetable quality in their dishes was pretty awful (the one time I ate there the veggie side dish was pretty much inedible). I would not have dealt with them at all but they were local to me and i really was delighted that such a place has opened in my podunk, redneck town and actually sorry when it closed even after having an awful time with them.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 6:14AM
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