The Best Way to Get Started

Discussion in 'General Food Service Discussion' started by MikeJ, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    My name is Mike and I am 25 years old. I am going to school to get my Class A CDL very soon which is something I have wanted to do for a long time. I would really like to be a food service guy. I worked in a restaurant as a manager for a little over 4 years and the place I worked at was pretty busy so our orders of food were pretty heavy and I was one of the people who checked the food in and put it all away so I am familiar with how it all works. I worked at a very busy pizza shop lots of cheese and cans and pizza dough, boxes and heavy cases of ground meet nothing light and easy to handle ha-ha.

    That being said I know that most of the food companies do not hire guys right out of truck driving school, which I understand. However I do know the Sygma (Sysco's Chain Division) sometimes trains new drivers, but it does not look like they do that in my state.

    I was kind of wondering what the best place to start is? I was kind of thinking maybe Schneider or Werner on Dollar General of Family Dollar? My though process is Family Dollar or Dollar General is plenty of tight delivery spots and then you are unloading the trailer. I know Family Dollar uses the roller ramps and Dollar General uses the carts and lift-gates either way is fine I really do not care.

    What do you guys think the best way to go about it is?
     
  2. Guardrail

    Guardrail Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Where are you located?

    Guardrail
     
  3. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

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    Apply in person at ALL the local food service companies in your area.
     
  4. Guardrail

    Guardrail Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If there is a Gordon Food Service in your area, apply on line at www.GFS.com.

    Guardrail
     
  5. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    I live in Cleveland, Ohio. We have a very large Sysco Warehouse pretty close to my house it's one of Sysco's main terminals it even has it's own name Sysco of Cleveland it's a huge facility. Also Gordon Food Service has a plant in Akron, Ohio as well as a huge facility in Springfield, Ohio. Mains which delivers to all the Burger Kings just opened a brand new warehouse in Oakwood Village, Ohio on the east side of town they advertise on the radio for help from time to time.

    I know Columbus, Ohio has a lot of opportunities as well Sygma has a terminal in Columbus, MBM also has a terminal in Columbus, as well as Blue Line Food Distribution which is Little Caesars in house distribution company. Mike Illich the man who started Little Caesars owns Blue Line Food Distribution.

    I know SoFo Foods out of Toledo, Ohio is also a fairly big outfit and I see them out and about. They used to deliver to all the Marco's Pizza's but I think now Marco's is big enough now to where they do all there food service in house because now all I see are JB Hunt trucks pulling Marco's Pizza trailers.

    We also have a handful of mom and pop food distributors or more regional ones like Northern Hasserot which is owned by Brandt meats, a company by the name of Sherwood Foods they have a facility in Cleveland and Lipari Foods and of course I see McClane at Pizza Hut,Taco Bell, KFC, Applebees and BW3. McClane up here runs all kinds of equipment I see sleeper teams from Nicolasville,KY as well as day cabs and all kinds of different trailer arrangements. McClane run's 36' trailers all the way up to 53' trailers here in Cleveland. I think McClane has a yard somewhere in Ohio, because they run a lot of day cabs up here.

    On a side note I deliver hard liquor from the state liquor agency to all the bars and restaurants around town so I pretty much go to the same places you all go to and from time to time have my stops the same time you guys have yours.

    I know MBM does Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Golden Coral and I think maybe Arby's.

    I only ever see Sygma at Texas Road House and Ruby Tuesday I think Sygma also does IHOP, but IHOP does not have a huge presence up here in Cleveland and we have no Tim Horton's at all up here .

    There used to be a company by the name of Mattingly Foods out of Zanesville, Ohio they used to deliver to Bob Evans, but they disappeared and I think Gordon Food Service has taken over Bob Evans here in Cleveland. I know we have a good number of GFS market place stores up here in Cleveland and I see GFS trucks pulling doubles on I-90 usually 3-4 in a row fairly often at night time heading west bound. GFS has a sales office on Canal Road in Valley View, Ohio which I think is some kind of shuttle site.

    Also DOT Foods runs turnpike doubles on the Ohio Turnpike and Lipari runs regular pup doubles as well.

    I see Performance Food Group from Indiana running sleeper teams at Outback Steak House up here in Cleveland, today I had a couple cases of liquor to deliver to Out Back Steak house and Performance Food Group was there delivering, it was a sleeper team arrangement from there customized division, which is all I ever see of Performance Food Group here in Cleveland. I think Performance Food Group also goes to Chili's and Macaroni Grill.


    Of course we have Cardinal Logistics Pulling for Papa John's I think they come from Pittsburgh as well as Domino's Pizza I see there private fleet up here I think they come from Michigan some place near Detroit. US Foods which is now Sysco has a fairly large terminal in Twinsburg, Ohio see them all the time.

    Then of course we have Splash Transport which is 7UP. Pepsi which is a company by the name of New Bern Transport they handle Dr.Pepper here in Cleveland. Then we have a couple Coca Cola Terminals up here in Cleveland. Then of course we have Budweiser and Miller-Cors and Great Lakes Brewery which is any more a pretty big micro brewery.

    Also we have a company by the name of Andersen-Duboise they were started in 1991 and they are the McDonald's supplier here in Cleveland. They used to be located in Solon, Ohio and they moved to Lordstown, Ohio and expaned operations from Ohio into Pennsylvania as well as New York State.

    I am not sure who does Wendy's I know Wendy's and Arbys are related, but I do not know if MBM does Wendys or if for some reason another company does Wendy's sometimes I see trucks pulling Wendy's own trailers although I have not seen that arrangement in a while. I know closer to Columbus you see Sygma trucks pulling Tim Horton's trailers.

    So obviously we have a fairly decent arrangements of places to choose from. I do not know if Sysco has a terminal in Columbus. I know Sygma has a terminal in Columbus but I do not know if Sysco does. Also we have some big time produce suppliers Sirna and Son's they are a produce company that has terminals in Ravenna and Norwalk, Ohio. They pretty much go all over the state running straight trucks they service a lot of places.
     
  6. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    Maines food service trains drivers according to there website. I looked into them last year but I live to far away. They have a driving school so you can go to there school and have a job right away. They make good money.

    GFS is a great company to work for. I'm hoping they put a warehouse here in MN soon. I miss working for them.

    Good luck and keep us posted
     
  7. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    GFS is at the top of my list. I know Maines has some kind of training program, however I would rather be at GFS then Maines. The restaurant I used to work at was serviced by Sysco for a while. The people who delivered were all pretty cool, however they all had certain gripes about Sysco usually routing and stop scheduling for some reason the router in Cleveland was not the best.
     
  8. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    I just don't know if GFS Will Hire You With out experience. You could go to Maines to get your experience then get on with GFS. I worked GFS for 2 years until I left for family reasons. I wish I still worked there. I would be making around or above 70k.
     
  9. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    I do not expect GFS to hire me without any experience at all I totally understand and if I was them I would be the same way ha-ha. That's why I kicked around the Schneider or Werner can.
     
  10. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    Personally if it were me I would go to Maines get my experience and move on if you didn't like it. You'll make more money and get treated better then going to Schneider or werner. Better home time to
     
  11. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    I also want to get my active passenger bus endorsement and the school I picked out has a Class A+Passenger Bus so that is the program I am going to go into, but I would certainly give Mains a shot. I know GFS and Sysco without a doubt won't hire unless you have experience and Sysco here in Cleveland isn't impossible to get into, but there not always hiring either and it seems people stay put once they get in at Sysco. Mains though advertises on the radio from time to time. Mains was advertising for help when they opened there new warehouse. I would consider Mains out of school and they might be my only option, it's pretty much looking that way.

    If not I would have no problem roughing it at Schneider or Werner for a year or so. I knew a couple people who worked at both companies and despite all the gloom and doom you read they said Schneider and Werner were not nearly as bad as some people make them out to be. The gentleman who I talked to said the worst part about Werner was living in the truck and being gone from home. He said as far as the company went he had no issues said the benefits started on day 1 and the dispatcher he had was fine. Said you just had to know how to play the game and talk to them respectfully say I can not deliver the load safely in this amount of time, but I can do it in this amount of time and let them know that no means no. Basically he used some diplomacy and everything will go smoothly. He said after a while it wasn't a big deal as you become more efficient then the loads they give you.

    I know that some LTL companies will let you work the dock and move trailers around the yard, to get experience, now I know that is not all LTL companies like I would never expect to work at like ABF right out of school and people usually once they get in at ABF or UPS Freight do not really leave even USF Holland and YRC even though YRC looks like they are in a bit of trouble right now usually the LTL guys stay where they are especially the union LTL guys. I know Con-Way and FedEx Freight drivers jump ship all the time, but ABF and YRC and UPS Freight those guys usually stay put.

    In all reality I grew up working in the restaurant industry and that is where I want to stay, but always wanted to work for a restaurant supplier and LTL I don't know I know it has it's good points and bad points, but I would rather do food service.
     
  12. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    ABF has a driving school to. They are hiring for that right now where I live. Conway and FedEx also have driving schools. I know I couldn't work at Schneider or werner but that's just me. I don't want to be away from home that much. I really enjoyed being out a couple nights a week on a food service route. You can make very good money in food service. You earn it. I also know a few guys that left LTL to go to food service or something else because they didn't like LTL. If I ever went back to LTL it would be line haul and not p&d. I could also never work for sysco.
     
  13. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    I know being in and out of truck stops is not anything I really want to do. I would do my best to avoid Swift and CR England at all costs. I'll email Mains and see what they can do. The money is a big part of this if I had to go OTR I was originally going to go with Melton Truck Lines they are a flatbed carrier out of Tulsa,Oklahoma. I guess for OTR outfits they pay pretty good really hauling freight in a dry van was not high on my list. It was either flatbed or food.

    If I had to do refrigerated OTR I was going to try and get on with Decker Truck Line out of Fort Dodge, Iowa but I do not see Decker very much here in Cleveland which tells me they probably do not run around here all that often. I'll give Mains a shot sounds like a good place to start. Thanks for the input.
     
  14. MikeJ

    MikeJ Well-Known Member

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    P&D LTL I have absolutely no desire to do. Food is one thing, but Pick up and Delivery LTL is another and I would much rather do food then P&D line haul.
     
  15. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

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    I will give you one thing MikeJ, you have done your homework! You sure know your stuff. My buddy was a Chef, he always used Sysco, always wanted to work for us, he got his experience at US Express doing dollar general and then came to us, I bring his loads in every morning.

    I can't believe Sysco Cleveland don't hire that often, with the nature of this job there is alot of turnover, They must be a happy bunch. Good luck whatever you decide to do!
     
  16. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

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    Northern Haserot and Brandt meats are owned by CA Curtze Co in Erie,PA. Food Service Distributor in Ohio & Michigan || Northern Haserot Apply in person. If Northern is ran anything like Curtze, it may be the last job you ever have ;). GFS does hire without a Class A. You would start as a driver-helper and have six months to get your A. GFS is a good company also. Maines also runs Wendy's out of that warehouse. It's team driving and mainly long(16-24 hour) routes, mainly nights. It's a start to get some experience. Sherwood is another good one. Also, check into Lapari foods. They may have a drop yard in Cleveland.

    Walk in and apply at all of the above. It's best to apply in person. Just because they say they want experience, doesn't always mean you have to have it. If you apply in person and show them you are interested and commited, they may take you.
     
  17. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

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    MikeJ,
    Sorry to do this, but I gonna pick apart your post. To many errors:
    "Mains which delivers to all the Burger Kings"
    Also Wendy's. Have two of their trailers in the same drop yard as me. They took over all the Wendy's in Western PA and eastern OH that a small company out of Eighty four, PA, called PDS, use to do. Six PDS drivers run the two trailers, teams. PDS was my first foodservice job in 2002.

    "
    Northern Hasserot which is owned by Brandt meats"
    Owned by and sister company to C.A. Curtze in Erie, PA. I run out of a Curtze drop yard ;)

    "
    There used to be a company by the name of Mattingly Foods out of Zanesville, Ohio they used to deliver to Bob Evans, but they disappeared"
    Lost both Bob Evan's and Wendy's contracts. Closed up in Zanesville and relocated to their other place in KY.

    "
    Cardinal Logistics Pulling for Papa John's I think they come from Pittsburgh"
    Cardinal lost contract. Now ran by Papa John's Corp under the name "Trans-Papa". Warehouse located just north of Pittsburgh in Freedom, PA.

    "
    I am not sure who does Wendy's"
    Maines and Sygma

    Moneyman01; "
    I just don't know if GFS Will Hire You With out experience"
    They will. Has to start as a driver-helper and has 6 months to get an A. Check website.

    MikeJ; "
    I would have no problem roughing it at Schneider or Werner for a year or so."

    No need to. Your in an area and want to get into an industry where it is very possible to get a job with no experience. I have been driving since 1998, started at the age of 23, and have been doing foodservice since 2002. I have ZERO OTR experience. From late 1997 till 2002 I worked as a mover for and ALLIED Van Lines agent. Did both commercial and household moving.

    And feel free to PM me with any questions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2014
  18. Moneyman01

    Moneyman01 Proud to be a dad!

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    Whoa whoa whoa I am never wrong..... lol he could also start as a van driver and work his way up to at GFS. Up here in the Arctic Reinhart food service does burger king and a small company called upper lakes food service use to do Wendy's and I think they still might. He might be able to get hired with no experience he should go and apply in person then try and talk to the transportation manager or call the manager and talk to them. I did it when I started driving.

    I started in 2006 with zero driving experience. I found a small company that was willing to train me. I spent 8 weeks with a couple drivers to get experience to go on my own.
     
  19. grocerythrower

    grocerythrower Super Mod

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    Geez, you guys don't know what your talking about, I would explain how WRONG everyone is but I'm tired and I have to go to work at 1700 today, just know that GT knows all and everyone else is dumb, maybe if I feel like it later I will break it all down for you dumb dumb's, then again maybe not....my head hurts I'm so smart ;)
     
  20. double r

    double r Dock delivery expert

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    You have been out of the loop to long, LOL. GFS in Pittsburgh hires helpers all the time without CDLs. They have six months to get them. Now, they may or may not be correct for every location but checking the careers page on the GFS website helps ;)
     

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