1233: Operator’s Relationship with a Product and a DSR

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It is short-term thinking to change a winning formula that’s been working great for years. Whether it’s with a person or a product.

When you hear people say that the food service business is a relationship business, some folks think that they’re only talking about the relationship that people have with people. Like who you know, what you think of them, and what they think of you.

While that’s true, and taking care of those relationships is extremely important, today we are talking about a different relationship on this show.

The example I’m going to share with you is from a day I was riding and working with a DSR on his route. I recorded these thoughts while waiting in the DSR’s car (by the dumpster) behind the restaurant after a half hour long conversation between the operator and DSR had just taken place about this other relationship. I had excused myself while the DSR finished up with his operator because their discussion reminded me that operators and DSRs not only have relationships with people, but also with the brands and products that they use and sell. They become connected with some products and brands because of performance and their dependency on that performance. In some cases, the relationship they have with those brands and products can be stronger than their relationship with their DSR. They were talking about the product like it was a person, a friend, if you will.

And just like relationships with people, a relationship with a product can change because it does not perform like it has in the past.

The operator and the DSR were discussing a national branded product that he’d been using for over 10 years. For the past few months the product had not been performing like it had for all those years. The operator explained he’d been getting complaints from patrons that something just wasn’t right with the menu items that involved the product and they had accused them of changing the recipe.

The DSR told me that this was not the first complaint he had received on this product. We believed something must be different, such as a change in the formula. As a result in this case, the relationship the operator had with this brand and product changed.

The operator asked the DSR to bring in samples of other brands of this product to test and see if they might work better than the current brand the operator had depended on and loved for years.

In this case, we did find out later that the manufacturer had changed the formula. So DSRs, if you have any relationships in your daily business that are good and working well for you like with your customers, brands, brokers, buyers, delivery drivers, peers, or with anyone or anything else, then you better think twice before you change your formula!!

DSRs, Be a Resource...and Sell Something!