DSRs, YOU Are the Difference Maker to help Manage through COVID
From an Operator’s standpoint, most companies and products are commodities, therefore pretty much the same. Your customers need you now more than ever before and they need a true business partner.
Don’t be a commodity DSR
In today’s global marketplace just about every company is essentially the same unless you are a Tesla, Southwest Airlines, Chick-fil-A, Amazon, Google, or a company that has spent years building a great brand that outperforms the rest of the herd.
With that said, many operators also believe that many DSRs are pretty much the same and commonly ask, “Why should I buy from you?”
If you really look at What and Why operators buy, you should realize they are shopping for or buying, YOU. What they are buying is the belief that they can trust you. That you are going to deliver on what you say you are going to do, and that you are going to be there for them when they need your help to solve problems. At the end of the day, they are spending money to solve business problems and be more successful.
Your business is totally dependent on their business, and when this is all over, the real winners will be the ones that help their customers the most. We are all connected in this foodservice industry DSRs distributors, manufacturers, brokers, operators in all segments. We do not know the long-term impact of the coronavirus and what is going to happen with the economy, but we do know the short-term implications for the entire foodservice chain are critical. AFDR stands behind the DSR distributors, operators, manufacturers, farmers, purveyors of all items used in the entire foodservice industry.
All parties included are having to make difficult decisions that ultimately are for the greater good of our health and society. AFDR will continue to share conversations that hopefully will support and encourage our industry during these uncertain and trying times. We believe that once covid-19 and the economic crisis pass, more people will truly realize we are all connected. This is an opportunity to understand that no one link of the foodservice supply chain can really be healthy unless every link in the foodservice chain is healthy.
Take a few of these action items to help support the foodservice chain. Manufacturers and distributors to help operators create and post everywhere recipes, then follow up with creative recipes that work well for to-go orders. Consider making a short video on how to prepare. The more YouTube-style, the better, because it might go viral. None of us can forget about operators and the segments like hospitals and long-term care. They are still at work, still eating food. Help operators with ideas on how they might revamp/improve their business model, including branding, menu review systems, advertising, and the use of social media.
Help operators come up with an advertising plan to let guests’ patrons know the procedures they are taking to keep their food and the preparation safe. Many folks are not going to go into a place that they do not think that people are taking precautions. This part’s critical. Find websites and phone numbers for operators to call for government financial help, like small business loans zero percent interest, and send them to customers. Review and research to go non-food items for new products to help them in this crisis transition to generate cash flow.
And this is for all folks that work in the foodservice industry. Support restaurants in your neighborhood by ordering to-go food. If we all do that, that will really help the restaurants out there. Ask folks you work with, both upstream and downstream of your position, how you can help them, since most of us are working from home, should be easy using technology, and please share ideas. We are all trying to figure this out. What to do next till cash flow continues.
If you or your team comes up with any ideas, share them with the industry, post them everywhere. There might never be a better time for courageous food service business owners to gain market share while trying to help their communities. We saw this in 2008 during the mortgage meltdown, and in 2001 after 9/11, the operators that held strong and adjusted, and modified in order to stay in business were richly rewarded when the economy finally recovered.
What people hunger for the most right now is a glimpse of being normal, something normal. They are looking for a familiar smile. Optimism. We do not win by running with the herd. We win by taking the road less traveled. Your customers need your encouragement and fresh ideas, so be that encouragement your customers need.
We wish everyone good health and a Sales Uprising.
DSRs, Be a Resource… and Sell Something!