How to Sell Your Product into Dot Foods
Google “how to sell to Dot Foods” and you’ll find that submitting a product through their site is the first step. This might not be a bad option if you’re ready for a very long review and sales cycle. However, if you’re not prepared for how the company operates, there are plenty of potential pitfalls to submitting a product early as you may only have one chance.
DOT Foods was established in 1960 as a family business by Dorothy and Robert Tracy. The big dream on which this company was founded was solely to streamline the food supply chain in their local environment.
About 60 years later, the company is still thriving and continually delivering its promise to provide customers with top quality services and products. DOT Foods has marginally cut the time, energy, and resources spent in delivering food from the manufacturer down to the final consumer.
When asked how the company has been able to achieve this, Simpson Clarke, Public Relations Officer of the company, said that it has remained their secret over the years and has stood as their edge in reducing industry competition. While this information might not be open to public space, it is known that the company utilizes sophisticated technology approaches and innovations in carrying out their daily activities.
Leadership and Management
DOT Foods remains one of the few companies in the United States, where a significant percentage of the board of directors’ leadership board members are direct descendants and extended family members of the founding member.
Dorothy and Robert Tracy have a large family tree since the current leadership structure of DOT Foods is enormous, all of whom are family members. Joe Tracy, Chief Executive Officer, and Dick Tracy, President of DOT Foods, said in a joint interview that the parents aimed at building a company that eliminated the complexities of the industry and made the supply chain cost-effective both for the manufacturers and the final consumers.
Other non-family members of the executive board include Anita Montgomery as Chief Financial officer, Brian LeDuc as Chief Information Officer, George Eversman as Vice President for Business Administration and Resources, Cullen Andrews as Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Matt Holt as Vice President for Human Resources, and Jeff Grever as Vice President for Warehouses among a few others.
Notwithstanding the leadership structure with which the company is run, it has developed a culture of inclusion and diversity. This has allowed the company to thrive on eliminating limitations based on color, differences of opinions, and varying backgrounds. Therefore, it is no wonder that the entire staff strength of DOT Foods considers itself a large family.
The company’s reach has increased to include other regions in the northern part of the country. From the last financial report of DOT Foods for the second quarter of 2020, the company currently services over 4300 customers in the country. These customers include food outlets, restaurants, health facilities, and some schools. The company is also partnered with over a thousand suppliers who provide many choices from which customers can systematically select.
At the end of 2019, DOT Foods recorded sales of $8.2 billion and an increment of about $600 million from 2018. That indicates an improvement in the solutions provided by the strategies and innovations adopted by the company.
DOT Foods currently employs approximately 6400 employees, all of whom are advantaged to be exposed to incentives, development programs, and even scholarship opportunities for those who wish to sponsor their children or further their education. It seems, after all, that with DOT Foods, family is all that matters.
Working with Foodservice Distributors
Every year, more people eat outside of their homes. This trend has led to a rising potential for food , beverage and seafood businesses to become foodservice industry suppliers. Restaurants, hotels, hospitals, retirement communities, nursing homes, military bases, prisons and leisure facilities are included in the foodservice sector and are often referred to as the HRI Trade (Hospitality, Restaurants and Institutions). Foodservice operators are aggressively pursuing a diverse supply of food and beverage goods and there is a rising appetite for local and unique food selections.
Many foodservice distributors can trace their roots back to the mid-1800s when they started as family owned companies. The trend has continued in the industry as new foodservice distributors have entered the market and some of the original companies have maintained their independent / family owned status.
There are different requirements for the foodservice trade than for grocery retail, especially with respect to packaging and labeling. Pack sizes are usually larger and labels that appeal to customers are not needed. In “me-too” items, foodservice operators have no interest. Your product needs to be distinguished from the competition. There are many ways of identifying a product; only a few concepts are packaging, convenience and a business tale. For example, there are many honey products on the market; by using more compact packaging, innovative recipes and sharing the unique story of how the business started, a new honey may be distinguished from the competition.
If you want to sell your line into foodservice, click here to get started.
Find a Foodservice
The food industry firm, Technomics, estimated that approximately 225 million meals are eaten away from home each day in the United States. This includes both restaurant and non-commercial eating places. Americans can be very busy and at the same time social. Many Americans prefer to have at least one meal outside every day. It could be the lunch during work, or the breakfast at a restaurant opposite the office, or a late dinner with a friend at a nice place; it is a dominant culture in the country.
However, we know the names of these restaurants, we may know the popular chefs but the people who deliver food products the restaurants prepare are hardly known by us because they are always behind the scenes. These people are known as foodservice distributors.
A foodservice distributor works as an intermediary between manufacturers of food products and the foodservice operator. This could be a chef, foodservice director, food and beverage manager, and independent food preparation businesses operator owners. The foodservice distributor procures, stores, sells, and makes deliveries of food products, providing foodservice operators with access to items from a wide variety of manufacturers. Foodservice distributors purchase pallets and bulk inventory quantities that are broken down to case and sometimes unit quantities for the foodservice operator. Most foodservice operators purchase from a range of local, specialty, and broadline foodservice distributors on a regular basis which could be daily or weekly basis.
It would have been very difficult for restaurants to meet the nutritional needs of about 65% – 70% of Americans who eat outside every day if not for the job of foodservice distributors in the line. There are a lot of things to be concerned with in the running of a restaurant and it would be an enormous burden if restaurants go to manufacturers of food products to keep getting supplies which could be as frequent as daily or weekly. Someone has to be in the line meeting demands and getting the products across to the restaurants.
It should be clarified at this point that foodservice distributors don’t only distribute to restaurants, they also get food products to cafeterias, industrial caterers, and hospital and nursing homes.
Estimates by the International Foodservice Distributors Association reveal that foodservice distributors in the Unites States, as a daily average, deliver approximately 27 million cases of food and other products.
There are several foodservice companies and they may very well range in size from a one-truck operation to larger corporations. There are broadline foodservice distributor offers a wide array of products, while a system distributor stocks a narrow array of products for specific customers, such as restaurant chains. A broadline distributor may carry up to 15,000 different items for purchase and operate topnotch warehouse and transportation operations.
The average American who eats out has the cause to be grateful to foodservice distributors. The industry sector is projected to grow as more eating places are looking at offering their customers more varieties.
Top 10 Foodservice Distributors
- Cheney Brothers
- Sysco Corp.
- US Foods
- McLane Foodservice
- Performance Foodservice
- Cooper-Booth Wholesale Co.
- Gordon Food Service
- DOT Foods
- Reinhart Foodservice
- The Martin-Brower Co.
- Porky Products
- Ben E. Keith Co.
- Shamrock Foods Co.
- KeHE Distributors
- Food Services of America
- Vistar Transportation
- Golden State Foods
- Lipari Foods
- Buffalo Rock Co.
- Merchants Foodservice
- Blue Line Foodservice Distribution
- Labatt Food Service
- Systems Services of America
- DPI Specialty Foods
- Coastal Pacific Food Distributors
- Dutch Valley Foods
- Vendors Supply Inc.
- Orion Food System
- Jake’s Finer Foods