Bar Management| Industry & Culture

2-Minute Tuesdays: Healthy Relationships with Your Vendor Reps

By Trevor Bernatchez

Whether you’ve been working with the same reps for decades or just starting to work with a brand new vendor it’s important to have strong working relationships to keep your restaurant running smoothly.

2MT-Vendor Relationships-1


In our most recent edition of 2-Minute Tuesdays, Sr. Manager of Customer Education 
Trevor Bernatchez, outlines three steps to follow that will help you get the most from your vendor relationships.

Read on to learn more, or watch the whole video (~2 mins) above.


 

Whether you’ve been working with the same reps for decades or just starting to work with a brand new vendor it’s important to have strong working relationships to keep your restaurant running smoothly. 

Here are three steps to follow that’ll help you get the most out of your vendor relationships, without compromising your own plans or buying products that won’t sell to your guests.

1. Consider Your Particular Needs

First off, consider your particular needs. When sales reps get access to new products, they’re often pressured to sell it to as many clients as they can. If possible, taste a sample and have them educate you on it.

You’ll probably have a better sense of how the product will fit into your selection and whether it will really appeal to your guests.

That being said, you should never get too comfortable with your existing product selection. That can lead to complacency, which can leave you and your restaurant behind the industry’s constantly moving trends.

2. Research New Products

Next, you should be doing your homework too and researching these new products.

If you buy this, would you be the only restaurant in your area offering it? How much benefit, danger, or risk is there in introducing it to your market? Can you even sell this to your guests?

If you or your owner aren’t completely sold on a proposed product, there are alternative options.

Have your sales rep come in and do a tasting during a service to see how receptive your guests are to it. You can also run tests yourself by offering limited runs of new products as specials to your guests.

3. Build and Retain Trust

Something that often gets lost is that this is a business relationship. If you become too friendly with your sales rep and don’t stand your ground as a buyer, you may suddenly have 18 bottles of a random product in storage and no plan of how to use it.

Of course, this is a people business and you can still be friendly with your sales rep. Just remember that trust has to be earned, and you need to be an active participant in these sales.

Working with a reliable, trustworthy sales rep can feel like a real living partnership. That’s when you know you’ve achieved the relationship you need with your reps to get to the next level with your restaurant.


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