If you’re a company that sells food or beverage products, the chances are that you’ve often considered the option of selling to restaurants and food service businesses, rather than retailers and direct consumers. Selling to the food service industry is a wonderful way to get your product out there, and in the hands of your customers. It’s also a wonderful way to start building your background as a food or beverage company, and contributing to your community.
However, if you want to sell to restaurants, you might need some help with understanding the food service industry, and getting them interested in your product. At Dynamic Retail Solutions, we specialise in helping you get your product into the food service channel. Here, we’ll give you just a few professional tips for how to approach a restaurant.
Step 1: Know your Chosen Restaurant
If you don’t know enough details about the restaurant that you’re trying to communicate with, then the chances are that the owner isn’t going to be very receptive to your message. Try to learn as much as you can about the types of food that they already sell, what they specialise in, and who their customers might be.
Once you’ve learned about your chosen restaurant, ask yourself how the product that you’re trying to sell fits in with their existing growth model. For instance, are you giving a dessert that can be added to their menu, or a specific drink that can take the place of a more mass-market option?
Step 2: Try Using Social Networks
The chances are that you’ll have a better opportunity to get in front of the decision makers at your chosen restaurant if you can make a connection with them on a more personal level. You can use social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to search for people you know who might be able to get you in front of the right executives.
If you’ve already been in contact with other restaurants in the area, or you’re using a food distributor to help you get connections with the right people, then you’ll find that building these all-important relationships should be much easier.
Step 3: Remember to Get to the Point
These days, restaurant managers and owners don’t have a lot of time to waste on marketing exercises for other people. Make sure that when you’re trying to connect with food service professionals, the first twenty seconds of your introduction make the right impression. Be sure that you introduce both yourself and your products, and note any connections that might increase your credibility.
Ideally, you should consider taking steps to help the restaurants that you approach visualise a life with your product in their kitchen. If restaurants can’t see how your product will help them to boost sales and profits, then they won’t buy your product. Try to come prepared with a story about how your restaurant can market your product to customers.
Be Prepared to Approach Restaurants
When it comes to approaching restaurants to help boost your food or beverage business, or connecting with any potential investor or retailer, it’s important to be prepared. Often, this means that you should have the most crucial numbers in your head regarding things like costs and profit margins. Additionally, it may also mean that you should consider bringing samples to any meetings you might have.
No marketing copy or picture can equal the power that comes when a chef or restaurant owner is given the opportunity to taste, feel, and see your actual product. When you visit a restaurant, make sure that you bring what you’re hoping to sell with you and prepare it as necessary. The personal experience that you give them could give them a much better idea of what your product can really do for their business.
For more help selling to the food service industry, contact Michael on 0408 338 446.