April 21, 2021
By Rebecca Batisto
As of 2020, the U.S. restaurant and food service industry’s sales levels were projected at $899 billion. Then, the pandemic hit. The 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report released by the National Restaurant Association reported a shortfall of nearly $240 billion as tighter restrictions led to temporary or permanent closures, and people were dining out less. Despite this, people still need to eat, and many are reliant on takeout. That means plenty of businesses are still operating and need to protect themselves and their staff. So, how do you reach out to offer your services?
By understanding the food and beverage industry’s ins and outs, you can leverage your knowledge when contacting prospective clients. Look into the various hazards that affect these businesses, understand health regulations, research work safety protocols, and see how business flow at restaurants works.
Keep in mind that many restaurant owners are looking to cut costs in the wake of the pandemic. You might be able to lower their premiums, so that’s a good way to get attention.
You’re more likely to gain a new client if you have expert knowledge of their work, and you can find the most appropriate policies for their needs. It’s also an excuse to get a good meal for the sake of “research.”
If you’ve been making use of social media to build your marketing and reputation, you’re in a great place to reach out. Many quality restaurants and bars use social media’s visual medium to entice new guests with their products. Thus, they are easier to reach, engage with, and ideally redirect back to your own social accounts. If you have done a great job of curating your digital presence, that will build faith in your work when you reach out for business.
Cold-calling or visiting is a great way to get in touch with restauranteurs and managers. However, as suggested, do the research and recognize the best times to reach out. The restaurant industry is full of ebbs and flow, and they will not give you respect or the time of day if you try to approach them during their peak service levels. Hint: a general rule of thumb is to reach out between 2-4 pm when business is often quiet or dead before the dinner rush. You can also take advantage of dining in to build a rapport with the staff that can potentially open a door for you with management.
Cater your website or a landing page to potential clients. Make a clear call to action to receive a quote and even sign up for a newsletter. Ideally, you’ll have a growing list of prospective clients to reach. If your website is clunky and dated, they’re unlikely to stick around, so make sure you do an audit of your site and even scope out the competition.
You likely know other agents working in different industries. See if they’ve been approached by any restaurant or bar owners who are outside their expertise and see if they’ll send them your way. Know commercial real estate agents selling space to a new café? Get in touch! What about a business accountant working on the books for a restaurant chain? Well, you get the idea. Never underestimate who you know and where they can lead you.
After making contact, you must make a plan to follow up with them. As lovely as it would be to believe that they’ll call, they won’t. They’re busy and generally work off of necessity, so it’s up to you to keep on them to convert them. Build an email newsletter, record videos, or write blogs that demonstrate your expertise with the food and beverage industry and reach out to them. With enough follow-through, you’re more likely to attract new business.
Getting your new business is challenging, but perseverance and research will set you up for success. When your new client is ready to purchase insurance from you, don’t forget the workers’ compensation policy. Normandy knows worker’s comp insurance. You can find detailed information on our policies, applications, and other services on our website: https://www.normandyins.com/index.html.