Friday, May 20, 2011

Marketing: Restaurants 101 - Step One

As you have seen from our posts, this week was Chef appreciation week on Polyface. We love our restaurant and retail accounts. The tricky part is getting one as your customer.

How do you get a restaurant account?

This is a several part process.  First you have to find the right place for your products. You can't just waltz into any restaurant and market your products.  Remember how we talked about knowing your target a couple of weeks ago? Well, its the same thing with restaurants.

What I'm getting ready to share with you is all assuming that you have a good supply of product and you are able to commit to a once per week delivery. Faithfulness is absolutely imperative in becoming a good marketer to restaurants.

Before you even make that first phone call or first visit, you need to do your homework

Step One - Prepare yourself a hit list.

You need to make a list of all the restaurants in your area that would be a good match for your farm.
Look for these here:
  • Trendy magazines (Washington Post, Cosmopolitan in our area)
  • Rich friends (ask your friends who have to go to "all those dreaded wine dinners with co-workers")
  • Internet - Yes, farmers, that's right. The internet is your friend. Look up restaurants in your area online.
Start your list and look up each restaurants website.  Look at their menu, pricing, what meals they serve and read the chef's story. Look for restaurants that boast local foods and specialty products. Gather facts.  Remember this is your hit list.

Next week, I'll continue with Step Two and what to do with this list. So come back!

Food for thought:

For Farmers-
What restaurants are in your area? 
Which ones would you just love to have carry your farm products on the menu?

For Foodies - 
What is your favorite restaurant to visit? 
What do they serve there that you recommend the most?


Kathy at A Better Way Farm said...

cant wait to hear step two. And hope to hear how to make sure your not stepping on the toes of other area farmers! ;o) This is my first year in business, don't want the entire local farming community getting mad at me! lol

Sheri said...

Thanks for commenting, Kathy. We'll talk more as we go :o)

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