Advice For Sellers

Questions Sellers Should Ask Buyers

  • 01What products do you need, in what quantity, and when?
  • 02Will you be promoting my products in the restaurant or on the menu?
  • 03Can I give you a few of my business cards or promotional materials to display?
  • 04How will I, and when should I expect payment?
  • 05Who is the main point of contact? Are there addition contacts I should have?
  • 06What is the best way for us to communicate? Email? Phone? Fax? Text?
  • 07What is the best time, and day for me to deliver? Can you pick-up?
  • 08How would you like the product packaged?

Cultivating the Connection

Commitment & Consistency – Deliver what you say you will deliver, when you say you will be there, with consistent quality.

Communication – Maintain an open dialog with the chef. Tell them what’s going on at the farm, what you're growing, what products have been popular with other customers, and what is working and what is not. Be sure to follow up on deliveries and find out what the customers liked best. Determine an agreed upon time every week to check in and find out what the restaurant needs and if they are satisfied. 

Schedule – Find a regular delivery time that is efficient for you and the chef; ensuring they have a regular supply of fresh product and you have a scheduled sale. Know your customers' schedules and try to work around their busy times, like dinner and lunch rushes, or during other large deliveries. Timing is everything!

Sell what you can deliver – Don’t “short the kitchen” – the chef is expecting a certain quantity. If your product changes, notify the chef to see if they still want it. Look at past invoices or growing schedules, if you have them, so you can reliably predict what you will be able to offer through the season. Plan to grow a little extra and select the best produce.

Walk the walk – Go visit your customer, take free samples, and develop a relationship. Make simple suggestions to help chefs cook with your product, especially if you offer something special or unique. Help them plan a menu around your food.

Know your customers and their customers – Eat at the restaurants and find out how your product is used. Ask to see a menu, or sample seasonal menus if available. Determine ways to fit your products into their business. (Hint: Check online websites for menus!)

Maintain professionalism – Be patient and diligent, be punctual, be courteous, prepare invoices ahead, and call if you’re running late. You are the CEO!

Invoicing & Billing – It’s most efficient for everyone if you can establish an account and billing cycle.

Specialize & Diversify – Your farm is unique and so is your story. Talk with chefs and find out what they need in particular. Some growers find it works best to concentrate on one or two strong crops; others find it’s better to offer a variety and be able to cover most of a chef’s produce needs for a week.