From the desk of Kirk Jaudes, VP Sales & Marketing, Kent Precision Foods Group, Inc.
As the foodservice industry continues to evolve, there are certain strategies that are timeless. Serving great food in a great atmosphere at a fair price is one of those tenants that create success. As we look around our industry we continue to see pioneers who step out by faith to start a business that has one of the highest failure rates in business. Yet these passionate foodies seek to find a niche in every market in our country. So how do we help them succeed?
Passionate food service entrepreneurs are always looking for the latest trends. “Sustainability and waste reduction are increasingly important issues across the restaurant and foodservice industry,” according to Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association as stated in an October 2013 press release. It’s on everyone’s radar. This creates both challenges and opportunities when it applies to distribution and how food manufacturers respond to this trend.
Small footprint restaurants are emerging quickly. We continue to see a great number of new restaurants opening in 1,200-1,500 square feet locations. This creates opportunities for small distributors, cash and carry stores as well as local farms to supply this type of operation. Cash flow is priority for these new entrepreneurs and high dollar drop sizes tie up much needed cash. With the large broadline distributors requiring drop sizes of $500 or more, it limits the small operator’s ability to meet these demands. And along with the smaller footprint comes less refrigerated and freezer space. This is where dry mix companies can capitalize. Dry mix products take up less storage space and offer the operator small batch options. Frostline is a leader in dry mix frozen treats, offering flavor varieties, simplicity and cost control.
As I stated earlier, there are foundational elements that will never change. People buy from people, and they buy more from people who take an active interest in their success. Manufacturer sales reps, broker sales reps and distributor sales reps are most successful when they bring the operator solutions. Today’s environment requires more than a good price, we need to provide menu applications that are on trend and a consulting sales approach with the end result of bringing more customers through our customers’ doors. And one last thing that should never change in a sales call is asking for the order. If we can apply these things to our daily business strategies we will all succeed.