Maines Helps Restaurateurs Adapt to Changes in the Restaurant Industry
If you’re under 35, when it comes to going out to eat, you likely have very different expectations than the generations of diners before you—expectations that have had a significant impact on the restaurant industry. As part of our commitment to our customers’ success, Maines is helping restauranteurs adapt to this new landscape, including effectively marketing to Millennials (those born from roughly the early 1980’s through the turn of the century).
“A lot of our customers have been in business a long time, and their menu doesn’t interest the 28 year old or 32 year old. They don’t go out for the traditional appetizer, salad, entrée,” says Guy Zehner, VP of Marketing and Brands.
Part of helping our customers address these challenges includes creating a mindset of going ‘back to the basics’. This applies to all facets of the business, from restaurants being fundamentally and operationally sound to their food being authentic. “It works for mom and pop restaurants up to white tablecloth establishments with culinary-trained chefs,” says Zehner.
For example, Maines can help virtually any customer improve a dish such as fettuccini carbonara. With the mom and pops, our sales and culinary teams can help them create a more authentic recipe. For higher-end restaurants, it may mean helping chefs make fresh pasta or cure their own pancetta.
That’s why Maines provides such a wide array of resources for restauranteurs, including hosting special events such as a recent produce-related gathering in Rochester and a brunch-focused event in the Hudson Valley.
In the end, however, this effort doesn’t work without ensuring that Maines’ own basics are being taken care of. “We can’t have those further conversations with our customers about their menus, [or] attracting Millennials, if we can’t source them the right products, deliver them at the right time at the expected prices,” says Dave Landrigan, VP of Broadline Sales Operations.
To help keep our service and operations on track, Maines has created two new positions within the Broadline organization: Sales Operations Manager and Inside Sales Representative.
Sales Operations Managers will help take many of the administrative burdens off the shoulders of sales people, allowing them to better focus on customers. Currently, the plan is to place a Sales Operations Manager in each of Maines’ fourteen New York and Pennsylvania territories.
As for the new Inside Sales Representative personnel, “They’ll be involved in a lot of sales completion activities, service issues, dealing with transportation [and] with purchasing,” says Landrigan. “They’re really trying to do the troubleshooting before problems happen.”
It’s all part of “The New Basics.” As Guy Zehner points out, it all fits perfectly with the Maines philosophy: “We go to market as a value provider and bring solutions to our customers.”