Reminder to foodservice marketers: Cooking is not an art

During a recent video shoot, I was chatting with the onsite chef who had seen it all during his career.  He’s worked as an executive chef for upscale restaurants, a senior R&D chef for a manufacturer, ran a mom & pop diner, taught at a prestigious culinary college and, most recently, became an author on gluten-free foods.

He reminded me of an important fact that I think many of us marketers forget.  Cooking for a living has almost nothing to do with “artistry” and everything to do with business processes.  The romantic visions of preparing beautifully plated dishes and riding the latest culinary trends are dreamy, idealistic and best left for television shows.

That’s not to say having great food that is presented in a pleasant fashion isn’t important.  But what cooks and chefs worry about every day is how to turn orders fast, consistently and, most importantly, profitably.

So, as marketers, focusing content on ease of prep and how to make money will catch a decision-maker’s eye faster than yet another beauty shot of your new grits-crusted walleye omelet recipe (try  pulling that one off!).

  • Make it easy. Offer hints and real-world examples of how your product reduces the heavy lifting of kitchen prep.  Or how one ingredient can be used a dozen ways.  It’s all about doing more with less in the cramped kitchen.
  • Show ‘em the money.  Yes, the price of your product may vary considerably in different markets.  But providing conservative examples of per-plate costs is always attention-grabbing because controlling food costs is at the top of most chefs’ lists.
  • Mess with the mess. Offer ideas on how your product makes less mess and stress — if it truly does.  Keeping a clean kitchen is a huge pain point.  Exploit any advantages where your product reduces scraping, mopping, scrubbing or wiping!

And, as always, constantly communicate these benefits out to the sales network.  Simple prep, making money and reducing labor will start better conversations with operators than yet another pretty picture of a sandwich made from your new sardine-flavored bologna.

Planning Considerations for February

  • Include a quick scene of the product case in your video… along with a person’s hand to provide a relative comparison of the case size.  This is an important image for operators who must decide if your product can even be stocked on their cramped shelves.
  • Make your videos easily downloadable for brokers and DSRs so they can save to their laptop, tablet or phone.  It’s the easiest way to get more use for your videos if reps don’t have to surf the web to find your content while on a sales call!