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On this show, operators from Hospitals, College Food Service Operations, Casinos, Caterers, and white table cloth and casual dining establishments all give their advice to DSRs as to what works and what doesn’t work when a DSR is working with them.

Operators speak loud and clear about their likes and dislikes about DSRs.  The DSR’s customers also tell us how they like to be called on when a DSR makes their first call with them.

Listen in to hear what one operator says he’ll NOT let a DSR slide on, and what other operators say they expect out of their DSRs.  Operators count on their DSRs to have strong Product knowledge and to stay up-to-date on the market situations with the products they purchase from the DSR.

Greenhorns listen up; one of the operators actually likes dealing with newer sales people because it gives him the chance to train them versus dealing with a DSR who is not willing to change.

Listen to the show.

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The Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” star chef, Robert Irvine, sheds some light on what really goes on with independent operators on a daily basis.  What Robert does on this show is what any good DSR should be doing for their customers week in and week out.

The show really never digs into what happens “upstream” of the back door of the operation except to talk about which kinds of ingredients an operator should or should not be using.  DSRs do what Robert does with the front and the back of the house, PLUS they have to make sure their operators are purchasing the right items every week because the operator considers their DSR to be their most valued and trusted business partner.

AFDR DSR of the Year, Tony Gonzales, a DSR with Shamrock Foods, Todd Hauser, AFDR President/DSR with Martin Bros. and DSR Dave give great “real life” examples of how they and their companies’ SPECIALISTS help transform their customers’ profitability in their businesses and even their livelihood.

AFDR also suggests that Distributors might want to come up with their own version of what we call, “Restaurant POSSIBLE” team by using their specialists (or anybody they have in-house who has the necessary skills) to help their independent operators transform their operations into money-making machines.  Irvine is helping pave the way!

Sysco signed a deal with Mr. Irvine and The Food Network to be a major sponsor of the show.  Maybe someday soon Robert will recognize that most successful operators are working closely with a DSR on the things that matter the most in the day-to-day operations.   This is something he could leave the operator and their refurbished business with…a good DSR who will help implement the new systems that Robert put in place.

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Will Calls… most DSRs have a love-hate relationship with them.

Will Calls are a good measure for two important things:

  1. the confidence customers have that you can solve their problem
  2. how well you manage their order guides

DSRLive’s DSR Dave Miesse and guest host, Bill Hornung discuss how to minimize the Will Calls that you make, and penetrate your accounts at the same time. Order guides are the roadmap to success and to making less Will Calls.

Will Calls are a DSM management opportunity, listen up!

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624: Which DSR are you?

DSR Amy Mrozinski, a regular guest on DSRLive, went back to her hometown and did her own episode of “Restaurant Possible” to help a friend who had gotten into the restaurant business about a year ago.   Mrozinski asked the DSRs and distributors who were currently selling to her friend’s restaurant to send them  needed reports so she could figure numbers, product specs and come up with a game plan to make money in this operation.

Listen to how one DSR came through with the needed information, and one did NOT.  Would you have been the DSR who got the needed information, or the DSR who did not think enough of this customer to even respond?

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If price is always on the tip of your customer’s tongue, try helping them make money versus just selling them more products.

Fundraisers Help with Profit for All Involved…

AFDR “Hall of Famer,” Ray Eal explains to DSR Dave how he works with customers who need to raise funds for all kinds of projects.  Ray explains how he sets up these fundraisers to make it make them pretty easy to pull off.  Eal runs these events with schools, churches and any other non-profits that need a fundraiser.  DSR Dave says this is one of the best “how-to” explanations of taking price out of the conversation he’s ever heard.  It’s also one of the most fool-proof ways to help maximize raising funds for a fundraiser.  The show is short and sweet all the way to you and your customer’s bank account! 

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The latest inductee into the AFDR DSR Hall of Fame, Scott Boeyink of Appert’s Foodservice/Sysco in St. Cloud, Minnesota began his foodservice career at Harker’s Foodservice 22 years ago beginning in the warehouse and working his way up into the DSR role. 

While prospecting for new customers, Boeyink tells DSR Dave that he checks out the place, looking at the walls in the office and also of the establishment to find clues of what the operator might be interested in as it is very helpful when trying to build a relationship them.

Scott explains how he utilizes some of his vendors who are K-12 experts as speakers at a mini food show he hosts every year for his School customers.  Boeyink feels like it helps his customers keep up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations, and also helps his company win the customers’ business when bids come out.

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DSR Dave is riding in the car with AFDR President Todd Hauser, DSR at Martin Bros. Distributing, while they talk about the experience they had when they went into a new (tough) prospect to present some pricing Todd had put together on products the owner had given him on his last call. 

They sit down to eat while waiting for the owner to come out and talk to them.  When the waitress was taking their order, they asked her what items were the “most sold” on the menu so they could order them to see and taste them plus check out the kind of quality the restaurant was using.  Right after the owner sat down with them, their order, the “most sold” item, came out to their table and it looked HORRIBLE, and tasted AWFUL!  Todd & DSR Dave had hit the jackpot . . . opportunity!

The owner made it pretty clear that she was very happy with the suppliers she was using, and she really didn’t need another supplier. Then, DSR Dave just about got smacked by Todd when he asked him point blank, “Todd, why should she buy from you; you all have the same products?”  Listen in for Todd’s answer and more.

They then offered a sample of Heinz 14 oz. clear plastic, upside down ketchup bottle, as a solution (it worked) to a problem they identified at the table.

Todd and Dave went back a few hours later and ordered the same thing just to see if it was a fluke that it was bad when they were there earlier, and OMG it was worse in a different way!  So, Todd is going to ask the owner if he can come in and work a shift or two to see if he might be able to come up with a different procedure in the kitchen for that “most sold” item that came out to them TWICE in bad shape.

Oh, by the way, Todd got his first order a few weeks later and he’s in there every week to make sure the most sold item is prepared right!

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DSR Dave has a few suggestions on how to achieve the margin you need to make, and keep your customers in business plus making money.

Miesse explains it takes some work, but it’s worth it to get your calculator and your customer’s scales out and start weighing the yields and portion sizes.  Breaking things down to the basics is a must if you’re going to have any chance of helping your customers which ultimately will help you.

Pack sizes on the same kind of product are one of those little things that you really have to pay attention to because a lot of the times, case pack is the reason you win or lose the price opportunity/war.  For example, 4/1 hamburger patties sold by one rep in a 9 pound case versus 4/1 patties sold in a 12 pound case will have a price difference due to the case size.

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Owner/operator, Chad Beardon of Click’s Steakhouse in Pawnee, Oklahoma tells how he runs his day-to-day operations.  Since 1962, Click’s Steakhouse has been serving up steaks, seafood, and burgers, plus breading their own mushrooms and onion rings, along with making their own desserts.


Chad talks about:  

·         How many Distributors he uses, and how much he purchases per week

·         Not using Social Media

·         Not knowing the name of one Broker who reps any of the products he buys

·         Receiving information on products and trends through EMAIL

·         Using Ben E. Keith’s, KeithNet and their COP Specialist’s videos on YouTube for ideas

·         Brand websites, he does not have time to visit many, but did use one recently

·         What bothers him about DSRs

·         How fast he would like a call-back from a DSR


Listen to the show for Beardon’s thoughts on the above and hear if he is more loyal to his DSRs or the Distributors they work for J.


Click’s Steakhouse, Pawnee, Oklahoma, Chad Beardon: 

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