Bet your foodservice website is like everybody else’s

Odds are good that I can tell you what your foodservice website is all about without ever looking at it…

  • The site talks a lot about your company’s culinary expertise (and probably includes several photos of happy white-coated chefs).
  • There are many proclamations about having the highest-quality products, innovation centers, a long rich heritage and being humane to animals and/or earth-friendly.
  • About 99% of the content is static and is only updated when new products are launched, a recipe is featured or you launch a new contest in hopes of driving traffic.
  • Oh, and you offer lots of resources for restaurant owners — which is primarily a recipe database.

The good news is you’re no worse off than your competitors.  The bad news is you’re no better than your competitors.  In fact, a fun exercise is to review your two biggest competitors’ websites.  Read a few of their pages out loud, but replace their names with your company name.  Bet it sounds a lot like how your website reads, too!

We’ve done many content audits over the years to help clients evaluate their perceived differentiators in the marketplace.  We’ve probably thoroughly analyzed your content if you’re among the largest 25 food companies out there.  Through those audits, it’s eerie to see how much sameness there is in an industry that screams for differentiation.

  • Avoid the obvious. All the pat corporate messages (we’re the best, we know the food business, we’re vertically integrated) are important, but group them under “About Us.”  This is boilerplate that, frankly, only the smallest minority (although potentially vocal minority!) care about.  The vast majority of these messages are not differentiators.
  • Show it, don’t say it. Rather than creating just a pretty graphic for that new product, provide a video on five ways to use it.  Words simply don’t cut it anymore.  You can thank the Food Network for our fascination on seeing (rather than reading) how to do things.
  • Provide help, not marketing messages. Taglines are great in an ad, but they won’t catch the interest of the school cafeteria manager needing a healthy dessert alternative. Simple Lemon Bar Solution doesn’t say much when the manager is looking for Healthy lemon bars kids will eat!

March Planning Considerations

  • Two big celebrations are coming up that drive restaurant sales… Fourth of July and Men’s Health Week (June 15-21). OK, we’re kidding about Men’s Health Week. Got content to share with operators on how to grow their July 4th sales with your products?
  • Who’s the #1 broker sales rep and #1 DSR for your product line? If you don’t know him or her, you probably should. They hold your future in their hands.