Dining Alliance, a foodservice partnership for independently owned restaurants, has signed a national contract with Pepsi, the first soda agreement to serve all of Dining Alliance's 15,000 member restaurants under a single national buy.

"We're pleased to have bid our old agreement and negotiated a very competitive rate for all of our members," said John Davie, president and CEO of Dining Alliance.

Prior to this signing, Dining Alliance had secured a regional contract with Pepsi Bottling Group, covering upstate New York, Pittsburgh and Boston. The new, national contract benefits the entire membership of Dining Alliance from coast to coast; the first such vendor contract to extend to every member in the U.S.

"The rates we've secured represent a three-fold increase in savings over our prior regional contract, which already was providing our New York area members with significant savings," said Davie.

More than 2 million gallons of beverages are expected to flow under the terms of the contract during its 5-year term. All Pepsi drink brands are included: Pepsi in all of its varieties, Tropicana, IZZE, Ocean Spray, Mountain Dew, Tazo, SoBe, Brisk, Gatorade, Aquafina and more. Both fountain drinks and bottled and canned beverages are covered — even Dr. Pepper in Texas and other areas where Pepsi has distribution rights.

"With this new competitive and expanded agreement, we at Pepsi are very much looking forward to growing with independent restaurants across the country," said Mark Minarich, FoodService senior manager at Pepsico.

Dining Alliance is a group purchasing organization that helps pool the buying power of independently owned restaurants across the country. Member restaurants serve on regional boards of advisors, who then negotiate with suppliers and vendors for favorable rates, high-quality goods, and guaranteed supplies. Regional purchasing groups are strong in Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, and many other major metropolitan areas. Dining Alliance maintains on-the-ground representation and support in each of these regions.

The company has grown dramatically from its inception in 1998 to a membership of 15,000 restaurants — 2,500 having joined in the last nine months alone — with a combined purchasing power of $3.5 billion annually.

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