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Question added to topic MarketingMarch 21, 2008

How do I court restaurants with my food product?

I have a unique dessert product, with excellent presentation and marketability. After sitting down with a S.C.O.R.E. counselor, I have a business plan to market this product as a delivery service to the local college. The S.C.O.R.E. counselor asked me to think about my plan for expansion, because he anticipated that the product will sell well. But I think adding drivers will make operations more complicated than I want them to be. So I was thinking that maybe I could sell this dessert on the menu of some of our favorite restaurants. Is there such a person as a food broker that I could hire to try to get my dessert on the menu of a chain? Or is that as likely to happen as winning the lottery?
The best way to court restaurants is one-on-one. If you are in an urban area, where you can visit restaurants that specialize in high-volume lunch-time takeout, I suggest you start slowly and take samples of your deserts to several. They may be tempted by a unique, homemade and high-quality item that they can sell with a large markup. Just be sure that you can produce enough volume to meet their orders from day one, or unhappy customers will torpedo your plans early on. Once you have a product that's demonstrated as in-demand and a kitchen that is proven reliable, you can build on this track record by going to additional restaurants to sell your desserts.
Kim Gordon is the owner of National Marketing Federation and is a multifaceted marketing expert, speaker, author and media spokesperson. Her latest book is Maximum Marketing, Minimum Dollars.

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