Question added to topic Marketing • March 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.