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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Old 12-30-2018, 03:45 PM   #1
Resesgrill
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Default Pitching your sauce

Has anyone ever bottled their sauce and had success pitching their sauce to a restaurant. Curious what im up against
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:26 PM   #2
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I know several people here have, but there's not much action on this forum right now for some reason.

I know you have to have it bottled by an outside source and most of them will have minimum amounts you have to buy.

Before you went to that expense, you should take your sauce around to local restaurants and let them try it, and then ask them if they'd be interested in using it. Local grocery stores can also be an avenue if you can get them to stock it on their shelves.

It's a tough market though, just go to any grocery store now and look at all the sauce choices. Everybody and their brother has what they think is the next great sauce and they're all fighting for a piece of the pie. It's an uphill battle to get your name out there and it's going to take a lot of up-front expense with little payoff for a long time.

Not trying to discourage you, I'm just sharing what I learned when I was looking into doing it. Good luck, and feel free to send me samples. In the name of research of course.
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Old 12-31-2018, 12:30 PM   #3
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I just noticed you're in Memphis. One of the places recommended to me for having sauce bottled was Ingredient Corp. of America, located in Memphis. Their pricing was reasonable and their minimums weren't as high as most others. You can check them out at www.memphi.net to start getting an idea of what your investment will be.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:16 PM   #4
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Yes they are reasonable I am talking with them now.. I have a white sauce I would like to market. Thanks for the insight!
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Resesgrill View Post
Yes they are reasonable I am talking with them now.. I have a white sauce I would like to market. Thanks for the insight!
In all seriousness, I'd be interested in trying it and possibly using it on my food trailer. I've made a few versions but I'm not a big fan so I can't really judge it, but it could be a nice option for our customers. It wouldn't do much to grow your brand outside of my tiny area, but it could be a start.
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Old 12-31-2018, 01:35 PM   #6
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Awesome I would love to get your opinion.can you Pm me an address to send it to?
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Old 12-31-2018, 03:26 PM   #7
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I would not invest in a lot of bottled inventory until you have talked to restaurant owners/buyers. The approach is this: "I am thinking about marketing my white bbq sauce recipe, and am looking for advice. Can you help me?" You will learn a lot from this, where going in with a salesman hat on will not get you nearly as much. Then at the end of the conversation, you ask "Do you know anyone else who might be willing to give me some advice." Then stay in contact with your best sources and best prospects. This is the way to build a network that eventually can become a source of orders and leads.

https://memphis.score.org/ can help you. This is what SCORE does. Look hard at their 5-session "Simple Steps Starting Your Business" workshop beginning on January 14.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:24 AM   #8
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You mentioned your white sauce, do you have other sauces to sell? If I was getting into the sauce business, I wouldn't really start with restaurants, I would start with retail, and LOTS of sampling/demos.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Has anyone ever bottled their sauce and had success pitching their sauce to a restaurant. Curious what im up against
Sweet Baby Rays for $25 a 5 gallon bucket is what your up against.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:36 PM   #10
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I'm curious about the white sauce. Almost everything else on the shelf is - not - white.
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Old 01-03-2019, 05:55 PM   #11
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... If I was getting into the sauce business, I wouldn't really start with restaurants, I would start with retail, and LOTS of sampling/demos.
The OP's market investigations should lead him to the best initial target market and the SCORE guys can help with that too. Selling directly to consumers via shows and farmers' markets is another time-honored way to initially offer a product. I had two sisters as SCORE clients who did exactly this, testing and developing their bagels for a couple of years. Now that have a very successful bagel shop in a trendy part of town.
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Old 01-04-2019, 12:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resesgrill View Post
Has anyone ever bottled their sauce and had success pitching their sauce to a restaurant. Curious what im up against

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Sweet Baby Rays for $25 a 5 gallon bucket is what your up against.

^ + 1 Keep in mind that the average consumer considers the act of adding the sauce to constitute calling food BBQ.


Personal taste is a major hurdle to overcome, it is just too subjective to our individual preferences. I am sure five tasters could taste the same product at the same time and give you five different reviews. Regional and ethnic tastes are the greatest variables in our own individual likes and dislikes. There are so many sauces to currently choose from, it's a lot like wine; many styles, many regions, and many twists. I don't think there is a right or a wrong selection, just preference. I have tasted some sauce that I think were bad, but other people people think it's the greatest sauce in the world, it's all a matter of preferred choice.



You will also find that most commercial BBQ sauces are high in the sweetness factor. Lots of high fructose corn syrup, simply because it is cheap. This may not be what people like, but rather what they have been taught to think they like because it is the only thing made available to them.



We have been conditioned by corporate America with the products pushed on the consumer for decades upon decades. Sweet-sticky cheap BBQ sauce is here to stay because it turns a large profit. Another example of this is pancake syrup; It amazing at the number of people I meet who actually prefer diluted corn syrup flavored with fenugreek/methi seed over natural maple syrup. We have been conditioned since we were able to eat, that this is the flavor we have come to expect. I've met hundreds of people who have never tasted real maple syrup.



I agree with airedale that you have to develop your "niche" market to break the barriers of what one is comfortable with to get them to try something new or different.
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Old 01-04-2019, 01:08 PM   #13
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Not sure about a restaurant, but have you tried your local grocery stores? Most of our stores have quite a selection of local sauces & products on their shelves. It's like a "thing" these days.

Either way, you're more than likely going to need to have a co-packer...unless your sauce falls under your state cottage law (which it may).
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Old 01-04-2019, 07:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba
Sweet Baby Rays for $25 a 5 gallon bucket is what your up against.


^ + 1 Keep in mind that the average consumer considers the act of adding the sauce to constitute calling food BBQ.


Personal taste is a major hurdle to overcome, it is just too subjective to our individual preferences. I am sure five tasters could taste the same product at the same time and give you five different reviews.

Good point - I brought the best part of a pork shoulder to a party on Jan 1.
I cleaned it up good, no excess fat. I sauced it with Sweet Baby Ray's,
because. I left the SBR bottle if anyone wanted more, and one guy squeezed so much on I was aghast. No one else wanted more. To each his/her/its own.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:25 AM   #15
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Thanks guys for the insight! I really appreciate it
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