Pizzas are a nationwide sensation across North America. From Toronto to Vancouver, Los Angeles to New York, and everywhere in between, you can find pizza establishments across all states and provinces.
Many foodservice entrepreneurs see the well-documented popularity of Domino’s and other pizza companies as a clear opportunity.
There are tens of thousands of large pizza chains in the US and Canada, so there’s a big enough market to focus exclusively on this type of business. But what’s the best way to approach established chains that already have suppliers?
In this article, we’ll review the steps you need to follow to approach big chains and generate this type of lead. We’ll also share a list of steps you should proactively take, actions you’re better off avoiding, and tips for approaching chains that will increase your chances of reaching these foodservice decision-makers.
Before delving into the dos and don’ts of approaching chains with household names, let’s review the instructions to create a strategy.
All companies are different, and pizza restaurant suppliers are no exception. Thus, you can’t take a cookie-cutter approach if you want to land a contract with Little Caesars, Domino’s, and other large chains. Instead, you need to study the different chains, learn which market segments you can serve, and build a website as well as marketing materials that help you attract this type of business.
In short, you must create a custom strategy for your approach to pizza restaurant chains. However, it’s paramount to note that the list of dos and don’t is similar when working with any of the major chains that are present nationwide.
Now that the basics are covered, it’s time to cover the best strategy to approach large chains. Here are some steps you should follow and actions to avoid when trying to drum up some B2B pizza business.
First, let’s start with a few best practices to help you land a contract with big pizza chains. Remember that Papa John’s, Domino’s, and every other pizza chain will likely have most of its suppliers in place. You may play a long game with well-known pizza chain restaurants. Learning about each brand’s history and nurturing these relationships is crucial because it can help put your business in a good position next time a nearby pizza shop needs to change providers. In addition to the above, some of the best practices to follow when trying to work with big pizza chains include:
The most crucial step is understanding each prospect’s menu and ideal customer base. This will help you know if your products and solutions are a good fit for every establishment you visit. A great way to use a comprehensive food industry database containing many relevant establishments, menu data, and insights about the foodservice industry.
Remember how we mentioned relevant establishments in our first tip? By appropriate establishments, we mean every pizza business in your local service area. It’s always more accessible and profitable for B2B providers to work with their local markets. So, instead of prospecting restaurants nationwide, ensure your efforts are laser-focused on your immediate surroundings.
Paying attention to your products may sound intuitive, but many suppliers want to work with big chains without considering the fit. For example, if you specialize in loyalty program software, you can pitch the idea to a pizza business that wants to entice customers in a particular delivery radius, say, a neighborhood in San Francisco. Now, if your product needs to be purchased by the corporate headquarters and distributed to all restaurants worldwide, there may be better ideas than targeting local branches.
While big pizza chains receive a lot of resources from the parent franchise, some companies don’t issue a POS system, loyalty program software, and other digital resources. Learning about a pizza shop from its technology stack is possible, so take the time to analyze the software your target is using. You can identify challenges that can be addressed through your solutions and give your sales team superior resources.
As with any other B2B space, building relationships with pizza shop chains is a gradual process. Rather than aiming for a shorter turnaround, you should create a sales funnel with this cadence. In other words, ensure you bake in an extended nurturing phase when building your sales funnel. This will give restaurants the time to get to know your company and see your solutions as a positive contribution to their customer experience.
Landing contracts with leading chains can be very profitable. Acquiring and maintaining these relationships is also a delicate process, so foodservice manufacturers and other industry suppliers must avoid any action that may drive pizza restaurants away from your brand. Some of these actions include:
As a general rule of thumb, you should only approach a pizza company with prior research. This is because you will look unprepared. After all, you won’t have a natural sales pitch or rebuttal ready.
Foot traffic is essential for restaurants. But, as a foodservice provider, learning about the businesses you want to engage in is more important. So, it makes sense to access details like menu data rather than the area’s consumer trends.
Social media is a great way to reach consumers, which has led many B2B entrepreneurs to underestimate the value of channels like LinkedIn. But the truth is that social networks like this B2B platform can help your prospects learn about your brand and reach out to your representatives.
Are you looking to create the perfect pitch to target big pizza chains? With Brizo FoodMetrics you get a comprehensive view of millions of establishments across the US and Canada. Contact us today to learn how we can help improve the way you approach chains.