theSauce.com, a vendor-neutral e-commerce portal for independent restaurateurs, announced the inaugural order on the nation's first fully integrated online ordering solution for independent restaurant owners. The ordering system allows the site's more than 4,000 registered users to directly order tens of thousands of different food and small wares products from top distributors and suppliers including Alliant Foodservice, Inc., Edward Don & Company and Golberg & Solovy.

theSauce.com's ordering engine provides the technology platform for the independent restaurateur to take inventory and place orders over the Internet from PCs or handheld PDAs that run on Palm(TM) Software. Once placed, the restaurateur's order goes immediately to his or her preferred distributors and trucks start rolling. In many cases, a response is sent in real-time to the user to confirm their order.

This ordering solution is completely electronic, free of charge for the restaurateur and moreover, unique to theSauce.com. It's also very powerful. According to theSauce.com's proprietary research, more than 15 percent of an independent restaurateur's time is typically spent taking inventory and purchasing. Through its innovative handheld PDA solution, theSauce.com's objective is to reduce that amount of time by 75 percent, from 12 hours to three hours a week.

"The time intensive "CPFF method" (clipboard, phone, fax and feet) of placing product orders has finally met its match," said Peer Munck, the CEO and President of theSauce.com. "Creating one of a kind day-to-day management solutions for the time-strapped independent restaurateur is what theSauce.com is all about."

Embraced by foodservice distributors and equipment suppliers, the online ordering solution saves time and effort by eliminating manual paperwork and streamlining the ordering process. In addition, being able to offer this service to the independent restaurateur is another great sales tool in the distributors' and suppliers' competitive arsenal.

Registered users in Los Angeles can have full access to the ordering engine with minimal initial setup supplied by theSauce.com's sales force. Once in place, their customized electronic ordering guide has additional value-added features including allowing registered users quick access to past orders and the ability to track stockroom inventory. Other user services available on theSauce.com site include finding and training qualified employees; retaining services and equipment usually reserved for national chains; and finding new ideas for menu preparation, operations and marketing from industry experts.

"It's about time someone offered these services to the independent restaurant industry. In addition to the other site features, the ordering engine offered by theSauce.com will allow me to get what I need, when I need it. Ordering over the Internet from all of my distributors saves me and my staff an incredible amount of time and effort," said Raphael Lunetta, chef/proprietor of Los Angeles-based Jiraffe restaurant and registered user of TheSauce.com.

Ordering Engine Serves up Online Buying Services

theSauce.com first launched in Los Angeles, the largest restaurant market in the country, in April 2000. With the food and equipment ordering capability completed, theSauce.com is now ready to begin its national rollout campaign. theSauce.com also operates FlyInTheSoup.com, a community Web site for restaurant employees. For more information, please log on to www.theSauce.com.