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May 28, 2020

5 Foodservice Innovations to Address COVID-19 & Beyond

The food and beverage industry is one of the industries worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses in this sector are expected to lose millions of dollars in sales and revenue, with many possibly closing down after the crisis is over. Many businesses in the foodservice sector, however, refuse to let this pandemic bring them down. Although these companies are not allowed to carry out their normal operations, they are still finding ways to provide their service or deliver their goods to meet the needs of their customers, and people, in general. In the UAE, foodservice operators have already found and implemented innovations that have helped them cope with the pandemic. Since the coronavirus is expected to usher in a “new normal,” these changes will stick around even after the crisis is over. But what changes have foodservice operators in the UAE implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Trusted food suppliers in Dubai list them below: 1. Delivery Services Although delivery services have been around for years, the coronavirus global crisis has motivated restaurants, food suppliers, and other foodservice operators to rethink and put their own spin on this amenity. For instance, some restaurants that did not previously offer delivery services are now including this in their provisions. Aside from food, they can also deliver beverages, both hot and cold. In addition, many dining establishments and food suppliers are also providing consumers with more options. Aside from ready-to-eat meals, they are also offering a variety of meats, fish, vegan and dairy products, desserts, pantry and bakery supplies, beverages, condiments, and other items that can inspire home cooks to create their culinary masterpieces. With the rise of delivery services, consumers can still enjoy their favorite foods from their preferred restaurants in the comfort and safety of their homes. Whether they order the ready-to-eat option or the ingredients for dishes they have to cook, everyone can still indulge. 2. Improved Food Handling Workforce Safety Even though there is no proof of COVID-19 transmission through food or food packaging, restaurants and food suppliers are still putting in place stringent new safety measures to protect both their staff and customers. All foodservice businesses have put up clear protocols which employees, suppliers, partners, and customers have to follow. One important part of these SOPs is the frequent washing of hands for at least 20 seconds. All delivery personnel are well-trained and instructed to follow health protocols regarding the collection and delivery of orders. These include frequent sanitization of their hands and vehicles. For restaurants and foodservice businesses that offer takeaway or pickup services, physical distancing recommendations are strictly observed. This means that employees have to stay at least two meters away from their coworkers and customers. The number of employees in the food preparation area is also now limited. Establishments are limiting the number of customers inside the premises as well.   Moreover, hand sanitizers are available and free for all customers to use. Employees also have to clean and disinfect touchpoints, such as doorknobs, payment stations, and baskets regularly. 3. Improved Food Packaging Dining establishments were already particular about the packaging they used for takeaways and deliveries. However, with the pandemic, foodservice businesses have doubled their efforts. Foodservice businesses are now choosing packaging materials that can maintain hot and cold temperatures for as long as possible and uphold food quality. Additionally, closed packaging now has a tamper-proof seal. Other popular packaging options today include adhesive seals on take-out bags that tear the bag when opened, and carryout containers with plastic tabs that break when the food is accessed. Some foodservice businesses are also using tamper-evident labels, cartons and cups or lids with tamper-evident seals or adhesive strips or bands. Additionally, many restaurants are labeling food packages with the time and date of pick up. They also offer heating or reheating instructions if necessary. With better food packaging, foodservice businesses can help ensure their products are safe for consumption. 4. Click and Collect Aside from delivery services, local food suppliers and some restaurants are also offering a click and collect option. This service allows customers to order and pay for these items online and pick them up in-store or at a centralized collection point. With this option, the consumer can choose the place where they collect their purchases. This collection spot can be somewhere near their home or anywhere that is convenient for them and they feel safe to go to. Another advantage the click and collect option offers to consumers is that they can select a collection area that will allow them to pick up frozen proteins from their preferred meat suppliers in Dubai and store these quickly in their freezers at home or in their commercial establishments. 5. Service With Empathy and Generosity Lastly, foodservice businesses are going beyond simply providing consumers meals; many are doing so with genuine concern and compassion not only for their customers but for other people in general. Many food suppliers are working hard to deliver their products to the most vulnerable people during these difficult times. These include hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Additionally, many foodservice businesses are donating supplies to feed the frontliners and the needy without any thought of getting anything back. With these innovations, foodservice businesses can cope with and survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, these worthwhile changes will endear them to customers — something that will prove useful in the future. Know more about the supplies we have at hand ready for delivery or collection on our homepage.
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May 10, 2020

The Top 5 Tips for Buying Cooking Oil in Bulk

Edible oil is a staple ingredient in restaurants, commercial kitchens, and homes. Without this key item, dining establishments won’t be able to prepare and serve their dishes. And even if they do, the food won’t taste the same, which can cause an outcry among the customers. Having enough stock of cooking oil in your pantry is, therefore, a must if you own a restaurant, catering company, or any business in the foodservice industry. It is an essential ingredient that everyone who cooks needs for various purposes, which include frying, seasoning, and dressing. Purchasing cooking oil in bulk ensures you never run out of this ingredient. It is one of the kitchen staples that you can store plenty of that does not spoil quickly and cause you to lose money. You can even save some money when you buy it in bulk. If you are purchasing this key ingredient in bulk for the first time, follow these tips shared by leading wholesale cooking oil suppliers from Dubai: 1. Identify the types of cooking oil you use regularly Cooking or edible cooking oil comes in different varieties. It would be best to know the types you frequently use in the kitchen to ensure you will buy and stock up on the right ones. Palm, canola, corn, and vegetable are the usual types of oil used for cooking. Aside from these, there are a few others that you may need in your kitchen. These include: Light olive oil: Often used for high-heat cooking and vinaigrettes. Extra virgin olive oil: Best used in vinaigrettes and as a finishing oil. Avocado oil: Used by chefs for sautéing, roasting, and searing. Sesame oil: An all-purpose oil used for sautéing and roasting, and as garnishing. Shortening oil: Used in baking, particularly for making short dough or crumbly pastry. Knowing the recipes of your menu items will give you a good idea of how often the different types of oil are used and how much your kitchen crew needs every week or month. You can use this as the basis for the number of bottles or containers of oil you should order and stock up on. 2. Find the right supplier Although you can purchase the different kinds of oil you need at a supermarket, as a restaurant owner, you can enjoy more benefits when you buy these directly from a supplier. Wholesale suppliers of cooking oil sell a variety of products and brands, which means you will be able to order the different types of oil used in your kitchen. Moreover, they offer delivery services. Because of this, all you need to do is wait for the items to arrive; you won’t need to send your staff out to buy them. Additionally, you can work out a delivery schedule with a supplier on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on how fast or slow your kitchen team uses up the supplies. With this arrangement, you won’t have to keep calling up or sending purchase orders to get your required products. Additionally, the best food suppliers in Dubai have loyalty programs and offer discounts to repeat customers. As such, you can save some money when you stick to one wholesale distributor. 3. Discuss your budget with your supplier With the right supplier, you can get the correct quantity of high-quality cooking oil without going over your budget. Talk with your supplier regarding the products and the quantity you can get within your price point or goal. Make sure the two of you come to an agreement that benefits both parties. In case the supplier can’t meet your price, they can still offer suggestions that your business can benefit from. 4. Opt for larger packs To ensure you never run out of cooking oil, purchase the biggest containers that you can get for your budget. By doing so, you cut out the packaging costs and lower your total delivery expenses. You can run a more eco-friendly establishment, as well, if you buy oil in containers that can be reused or recycled. However, work with your kitchen staff to figure out which packaging size will work for your product line and allow them to remain efficient. 5. Broaden your preferred countries of origin Accepting different types of oil originating from different countries can help you avoid the impact of high commodity market prices. By following this tip, you can source for the lowest prices in the market. Keep in mind that if you limit your order to a specific point of origin, such as the USA or Spain, you will miss out on other more affordable products. There are always other countries that manufacture good-quality oil that can be excellent additions to your pantry. Once you start stocking up on plenty of cooking oil in your kitchen, you need to know how to store these properly so that they retain their flavour, freshness, and quality. Tips for Storing Oil Most types of oil should be stored in a cool environment. If you have a wine cellar, consider putting these there. A basement or other cold room types are excellent options, as well. Wherever you store your cooking oils, make sure the temperature stays between 50° and 64°F. Additionally, ensure the oil is not exposed to light. Once you open a container, keep it tightly closed so that oxygen won’t enter the bottle. Oxygen can degrade oil and leave you with a bland, flavourless product that won’t do anything good for your dishes. Cooking oil is an essential ingredient for nearly all savoury dishes and even for some sweet ones. To avoid running out of this kitchen staple, order it in bulk and store it properly, so that you will always serve food of consistent quality to your customers. Visit our Products page to see our available cooking oil brands.
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May 07, 2020

5 Best Practices for Storing Meat in a Commercial Freezer

If you’re no professional chef but are planning to cook meat for your meals, then it is likely that you’ve been reading plenty of DIY tips and tricks regarding what you can do with your burgers, steaks, and other cuts of meat. At this point, learning how to store meat properly is probably the last thing on your mind. However, this doesn’t change the fact that proper meat storage is important. Keeping meat tucked away in your freezer correctly will help you avoid mislabeling headaches, or worse — finding out that they have gone bad because of improper storage. Of course, you also need to learn about standard meat freezing protocols if you’re running a restaurant or any other form of food service establishment. So, whether you’re seeking to stash meat for personal consumption or business, you must learn the correct way to store meat in a freezer. Ready to learn how you can keep frozen meat at their optimum quality? Here are five best practices we recommend for meat storage when using a commercial freezer: 1. Pack Them Properly to Avoid Freezer Burn One of the most cost-efficient ways to ensure that stored meat remains fresh and of high quality as the day they were bought is to keep the meat airtight. To do this, wrap it securely using wax paper before placing it inside the freezer. This can help prevent freezer burn. The air can affect the quality of meat while in cold storage. When exposed to dry air for an extended period inside the freezer, the meat oxidizes and gets dehydrated. While you can still eat the frozen meat even after this happens, it would no longer taste as good as when you bought it from your trusted grocery store or wholesale food supplier. This is one of the major reasons why you should invest in wax paper. But not just any wax paper; choose ones that are butcher-approved to ensure that your store-bought meat stays delicious even without the permeable packaging most grocery stores use for their meat cuts. When choosing a freezer or butcher wax paper, make sure that one side is substantiated with a wax coating. This should be the side that touches the meat when you pack them before freezing. You can also do this with plastic-wrapped meat as an added measure to ensure their quality. 2. Label Your Stored Meat After taping the meat shut that has been securely wrapped in butcher-grade wax paper, you must also remember to mark the date on the package clearly. Don’t forget to write down the kind of meat contained in the package. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s inside and avoid unnecessarily opening the package. 3. Freeze Fresh Meat Quickly and at the Ideal Temperature Another tip to ensure that meat is kept at its best quality when stored in a commercial freezer is to freeze it as quickly as possible. This process, called blast freezing, can help preserve the meat for future consumption without sacrificing the flavor and texture. It also inhibits bacterial growth that can compromise the quality of meat. You also need to freeze meat at the ideal temperature of -18°C. This can further help prevent pathogen growth that may cause food-borne illnesses. 4. Know the Freezer Lifespan of Each Type of Meat Another important thing you should learn before freezing meat is the lifespan of each type of meat. Remember that not all meat is the same, and storage times vary as well. Different meats have varying water and fat content, both of which are determining factors for proper freezer storage. The size of the cut and whether or not it has bones also matter when determining the length of time meat needs to undergo blast freezing, as well as the period for which it can be stored. Check out the freezer lifespan of some meat products below: Beef – 12 months Pork – 8 months Lamb – 12 months Beef mince – 6 months Veal – 10 months Sausage – 6 months   For beef and lamb, the storage times can be longer because of the hard, partially saturated fats that they contain. On the other hand, younger meats like pork and veal tend to deteriorate faster since they have less saturated fat content. Bigger cuts of meat also have a longer storage lifespan compared to smaller ones primarily because they take more time to blast freeze. This explains why minced beef has half the lifespan or regular-cut beef. 5. Avoid Overfilling Your Freezer Last but certainly not the least of the things you should remember when keeping meat in the freezer is to avoid overcrowding them. Cold storage units, especially those used in restaurants and commercial establishments, have recommended weights that should be heeded. This is because overfilling the freezer can cause a slower freezing action that may leave the meat unfit for consumption. Keep Meat Fresh in the Freezer As paradoxical as it may seem, keeping meat fresh in the freezer is something that can be achieved when best practices are observed. Here at Bidfood, we offer more than competitive prices and the best quality meat sold in bulk; you also get sound advice on how to get the most out of your purchase. Send us a message for inquiries on our frozen meat and other food products. We’d love to hear from you.  
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May 05, 2020

Working With Your Food Supplier: 6 Tips for a Fruitful Relationship

Suppliers play a crucial role in the success of a food business. After all, without ingredients, no high-end restaurant, quick service, café, or bakery would be able to serve any food to their customers. When you’re in the food service business, your relationship with suppliers is critical. In fact, there are more benefits to staying in good faith with vendors than just getting a steady supply of ingredients. For one, they can provide useful information about products and services that you might need in your business. A wise entrepreneur would accept every ounce of help when starting a business. They can also offer their expertise in evaluating potential new offerings, help you determine which opportunities would bear fruit, and even share updates about your competitors. In some cases, your food suppliers can also become your business partners. They can help you reduce costs, improve your menu, or even fund new promotional campaigns. If you want to improve your vendor-food service business relationship, then you’re in luck. We at Bidfood gathered some intel on the six best things you can do to maintain a fruitful work relationship with food suppliers:   1. Make Your Expectations Clear Like all other kinds of relationships, the one you’re establishing with a supplier requires crystal clear communication. This means you should express your expectations early on to avoid misunderstandings that lead to hiccups along the way. Remember that businesses – even similar food service businesses – have varying methods and internal processes. Thus, it is likely that your standard protocol for food safety, quality control, and logistics may be quite different from those that your suppliers have. Help them understand your internal processes by laying it out in detail. For example, if you have specific software for supply chain traceability, you should inform the supplier about it and explain their responsibilities in the process. Even better, offer examples of what is considered a good order and what is unacceptable to make sure that there is no confusion. This will help lower the risk of errors in the future. 2. Keep Communication Lines Open Aside from laying out your expectations, you should also keep the communication lines open. Remember that any businessperson won’t necessarily know everything about his company and customers, so never assume that your suppliers do. This means that if you have an issue with their service, you should bring it up and call someone’s attention. Don’t skip complaint protocols and move up to the chain of command until you go through the proper channels. In case the issue still remains unsolved, then you can start reaching out to those in a higher level of management. This way, you’ll have someone with enough authority working to remedy the issue and prevent it from happening again. If it still doesn’t work, then it may be high time to sever your relationship with that particular vendor. 3. Don’t Forget: You’re Not Their Only Client Aside from following your supplier’s SOPs and letting them in on yours, you should also remember to be considerate. Keep in mind that you’re not the only client they cater to, which means that you should adjust your expectations accordingly. Being a considerate client would help you build a strong relationship with your supplier.  4. Build Trust Trust – like communication – is a vital part of any relationship, and a supplier-food service business relationship is no exception. Never turn back on an agreement without sufficient cause so that suppliers will feel comfortable doing business with you. Say, for example, you committed to getting 5,000 pounds of homegrown coffee from a specific beverage supplier for a special kind of latte you’re planning to offer your customers. If the sales report for the month reveals that the drink didn’t perform well, you cannot just tell your supplier to sell it elsewhere – that is a grave breach of their trust, not to mention your contract. Whether you use it or not, you should stick to the agreement and buy the items regardless of its performance at your restaurant or store. Not only will this help you prevent breaking a binding contract, but it will also show the supplier that you know your trade and respect their business, too. 5. Stay Honest Aside from maintaining open communication and building trust, you also need to be honest in order to foster a healthy supplier-food service business relationship. If you’re dissatisfied with their service or any other aspect of a transaction, you should speak up. However, you must find a constructive way to express it to avoid coming off as confrontational. Then, work with them to come up with a solution that benefits both parties and honors your existing agreement. Just remember that honesty goes both ways. And you must always stay civilized, even when escalating a complaint. 6. Open Up About Your Plans and Goals Part of being honest is opening up about your future plans and business goals. This covers any plans to expand, downsize, and just about anything that can affect your future transactions with the vendors. Nobody wants to be blindsided by a significant change, so make sure that your suppliers remain in the loop. Cheers to a Fruitful Relationship Establishing a solid relationship with suppliers should be easy enough if you foster open communication, honor trust, be honest, and stay considerate. Follow the tips we have listed on this blog, and you should do just fine. Are you looking for a reliable food supplier for your foodservice business? Send us a message or look around our website for more information. Bidfood has a wide range of food and beverage offerings that may suit your specific business model. We’re looking forward to establishing a fruitful relationship with you.  
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March 19, 2020

2 Types of Syrups Guaranteed to Elevate Your Beverage Offerings

Much like food, some drinks require a bit of a boost to add another dimension of flavor. Coffee, for instance, tastes bitter on its own. With the right flavored sweetener added in, not only does the coffee become sweeter, but its taste profile changes, as well. The same theory applies to cocktails. Using flavored syrups can remove some of the bitterness and acidity associated with alcohol, creating a more palatable drink in the process. A cocktail can taste fruitier, nuttier, or even spicier, just by pouring the right type and amount of syrup. Syrups come in a wide range of flavors and consistency. You can browse through our online catalog to see the many unique flavors we offer, including popcorn, Falernum, Pineapple, and Asian lemongrass, among others. With having a variety of syrups in your coffee shop, bar, or restaurant, you can create personalized concoctions for any type of customer. Are you thinking of adding sweeteners to your establishment’s arsenal of sweet fluids? As an established and renowned beverage distributor in the UAE, we can guide you in picking the right syrup for your business needs. Become a master of syrups with this list of categories and types. Basic types of syrup The syrups that fall under this category are well-known and already commonly used in different beverage applications. 1. Simple syrup As the name implies, the recipe utilizes as much granulated sugar as water to create a gooey liquid. Some people heat the ingredients to ensure these mix well, much like when you produce caramel. However, you can simply make the syrup without any cooking or heat involved. Mix the two ingredients rapidly and forcefully until all the sugar granules dissolve thoroughly. This basic syrup is what you may find in your typical iced coffee, tea, or in simple cocktail recipes. Rich simple syrups are made the same way but with double the amount of sugar to create an overwhelmingly sweeter liquid. 2. Honey syrup Honey is naturally thick. Given this characteristic of honey, the temperature of the water or liquid is central to producing the syrup you want. For instance, cold water or ice can solidify or turn the honey into goo. On the other hand, using hot water can help break down its caramel-like consistency, making the liquid easier to mix into drinks. Add this syrup with your mix of tequila and sage for one smashing cocktail. 3. Turbinado or Demerara Sugars and sweeteners have unique flavor characteristics. Granulated sugar, for instance, contains no molasses. Because of its dry consistency, it doesn’t clump together and can be easily measured and sprinkled onto food or drinks. Brown sugar, on the other hand, contains cane molasses. They contain more moisture as compared to white sugar. The combination gives it more flavor, and when mixed in cookies, it makes the cookies chewy. Demerara is sugar made from raw sugar cane. The processing is minimal, just enough to make the sugar safe for consumption. As a result, the sugar contains more natural molasses as compared to white or brown sugar. Making this syrup is similar to the basic recipe. The result is a taste profile that resembles more of caramel. This type of syrup makes an excellent addition to tropical drinks. Specialty syrups As a major food and beverage company in the UAE, Bidfood offers a comprehensive line of syrups for flavoring coffee, mixing cocktails, and cooking purposes, among others. We have syrups in various flavors designed for specific purposes. Here are some of the types of syrups you may come across in our catalogs: 1. Sugar alternatives Some people need to be extra cautious with knowing what’s inside what they eat or drink to Health-conscious people or individuals with dietary concerns need to look for alternatives to certain ingredients. Individuals with sensitivities to gluten, for instance, require foods and drinks that are gluten-free. With the variety of syrups available, it is possible to find one that suits different dietary concerns. Now you can find natural, sugar-free, organic, or gluten-free sweet liqueur or sweetener options. To make sure you have the right one, check the label and description carefully before purchasing. 2. Concentrated syrups For cafés, coffee shops, bars, and even restaurants with an extensive selection of beverages, mixing drinks and cocktails requires precision and speed. Concentrates make it possible for baristas, bartenders, and the like to mix drinks quickly. Concentrates feature a bolder, sweeter flavor as compared to the basic syrups. Only a small amount of the syrup is needed to get the taste you want when mixed in coffees, teas, or other types of drinks. This makes concentrated syrups a practical flavorful component to any thriving bar, restaurant, or café. Are you ready to get creative with your coffee shop or bar’s line of drinks? Browse through our online catalog and send your orders through the Bidfood website today. Our online product catalog includes a comprehensive range of both popular and unique flavors from Monin and other leading brands.
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March 17, 2020

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Meat Supplier for Your Restaurant

Meat is a highly valuable ingredient in most restaurant dishes. In fact, it's often considered the star of gastronomic spreads. This only goes to show how crucial it is for dining establishments to pay close attention to the quality of the meats they serve. If you are a restaurant owner, ensuring the quality of your meats depends greatly on the supplier you choose, and this is no easy task. For many, this can take years of trying one supplier after another. It's important to note, however, that the difficulty in finding the right supplier is not just about the quality of meats they deliver. Their reliability is also a vital consideration. How to Choose Your Meat Supplier Indeed, choosing a meat supplier for your restaurant is bound to be tricky, but to make this critical task significantly easier, here are five tips to follow. Tip #1: Compare the meat catalogs of the top meat suppliers in your area. Catalogs will show you an extensive list of the meats the suppliers can provide your business. You want to make sure that they have the specific types of meat you need and more. Generally, catalogs also include information about the meats, such as where the origin, whether it’s free-range or not, and the certifications these have to prove their quality. Based on the information these catalogs have, you will gain a solid idea of which supplier can meet your restaurant needs. Tip #2: Conduct a background check and do a test run to determine reliability. Check out customer reviews, testimonials, and feedback online. There are sites dedicated to these, and you'll have access to the experiences of other people with the suppliers that you are considering. However, do not just rely on the experiences of others. It would help to have your own experience with them to base your decision on. Give the highest-rated or most recommended meat suppliers a test run. Place a challenging order and see how well the suppliers can provide you precisely what you need and when you need it. If the supplier delivers everything to a T, you pretty much have yourself a winner. Tip #3: See how excellent their customer service is. A supplier's quality of customer service is another important variable to consider. It will be to your restaurant's advantage if your supplier demonstrates a deep commitment to assisting your business in its growth. There are efforts or gestures that demonstrate this, such as giving your restaurant a call whenever top-quality meat comes in or being knowledgeable about your usual orders. There are even meat suppliers who are real experts at what they do, so they can also recommend the best cuts and types of meat for certain dishes. And the best type of customer service that meat suppliers should deliver is a guarantee of freshness and high quality. If they fail to ensure both for your orders, they should be willing to refund your money if you are not satisfied. Tip #4: Study the value the supplier provides. Value is not just the price set for the products you get; it includes everything else — the brand of customer service delivered, the after-sale service provisions, deals, freebies, and so much more. The best meat suppliers are devoted to providing their clients with the best value for their money. This is their way of strengthening their industry image and reputation and securing customer loyalty. If you come across a supplier that doesn't pay much attention to these details, it only shows that they don't care about developing strong business relationships. Your restaurant will not benefit from a partnership with such an establishment. Tip #5: See how well the meat supplier keeps up with food trends. You know a meat supplier is a keeper if their offerings grow over time to accommodate the evolving demands of their customers. Not only that, but they should also remain adequately stocked to cater to the high demand for certain meats because of trends. Again, find a supplier that can serve as a one-stop shop for your meat requirements and can even inform you about the latest food trends that your restaurant should consider jumping on. With such a supplier, your business can quickly meet its productivity goals. BidFood - The No. 1 Meat Supplier in the UAE and Saudi Arabia If you are based in the UAE or Saudi Arabia, and your restaurant is in need of a reliable meat supplier, BidFood is the perfect company for the job. We are an international wholesale food distribution company that operates across five continents. This allows us access to the best sources of high-quality meats to serve world-class hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Ordering from us is a breeze through our online store. So, anytime you need to replenish your stock, give us a call or leave us a message, and we’ll have all your orders delivered right when you need them.
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