There comes a time in every restaurateur’s career when the urge to explore other opportunities becomes more than just a passing thought. Essentially the “enough is enough” factor taps all of us on the shoulder at one point or another.
I received an email last week from a restaurant employee who has worked in the fast food segment of the business for ten years and has 15 years previous experience in the food industry. The writer wanted to know how to go about becoming a manufacturer’s rep for restaurant equipment and products.
Coincidentally, I know of at least two people who are looking for representation for their products in a variety of markets. There are manufacturers who needrepresentatin. this is especially true of artisan food purveyorswho are making there products in small batches and attempting to expand or broaden their market penetration.
That however, doesn’t mean the goal of becoming a manufacturer’s rep is easy. In fact, it may be very difficult to get started depending on what type of food service companies are in the area. In
One of the quickest ways to get started as a rep is to work for a firm that has numerous reps already in the marketplace with a substantial product line. Applying for a position with the big three suppliers- SYSCO Foods, Bi-Rite, or US Foods is also a great way to make a career switch. These companies are constantly searching for qualified, knowledgeable, dependable people to join their organizations.
Yet, if your dream is to be your own boss, and the manufacturer’s rep road is one that you choose to travel, search out products that are unique to the marketplace and attempt to handle those lines.
One of the downfalls of becoming a manufacturer’s rep is that the compensation is usually straight commission and no payment is received until the product is paid for by the restaurant. Also, there will be a capital investment required. On top of all of this the expenses incurred may defer any profits that one may see.
Switching from restaurateur to a product sales person may seem glamorous at times, yet the way to break into the field without any stress or taking on more worries is to join an organization that already has accounts, territories, and relationships with manufacturers.