This company delivers the goods that feed hungry restaurant patrons. Gordon Food Service (GFS) is North America's largest family-owned broadline food service supplier. The company boasts more than 20 distribution centers across the US and Canada. GFS's primary focus is distributing a variety of food items, ingredients, and beverages to restaurant operators, schools, healthcare facilities, and institutional foodservice operators in parts of 15 states and across Canada. In addition to its distribution operation, GFS operates more than 150 wholesale stores under the GFS Marketplace banner; these are open to the public. Isaac Van Westenbrugge started the family-owned business in 1897 to deliver eggs and butter.
Then 16 years old, Ben Gordon joined the business in 1916. Five years later, Ben married Van Westenbrugge's daughter Ruth and became Isaac's assistant. The company became Gordon Food Service in 1942 when Isaac retired.
Like other wholesale distributors, GFS competes head-to-head based on its ability to deliver goods at the lowest possible cost to its customers. As part of its strategy, the company keeps a close eye on expenses and looks for ways to make its distribution operation more efficient. GFS has also worked to expand its distribution operation through acquisitions and new construction. It has opened a new distribution facilities in Pennsylvania and has purchased a Florida facility from grocery store operator Albertson's.
In recent years, GFS has expanded its network of GFS Marketplace stores. Established in 1979 as a cash-and-carry format, the stores serve not only the public with products at wholesale prices, but also GFS truck delivery customers and smaller customers who want to pick up their own products. The company's GFS Marketplace stores now reach about a dozen states.
GFS is a regional operation in the US that mostly supplies customers in the Upper Midwest. It competes for business with many local suppliers, as well as other regional players such as Reinhart FoodService. In addition, GFS faces intense competition from such national distributors as SYSCO and U.S. Foods. – less