Foodservice Tips for Selling to K-12

Foodservice Tips for Selling to K-12

Foodservice Tips for Selling to K-12

An integral part of my duties overseeing the menus and new product innovation in K-12 foodservice, I had the privilege of meeting many manufactures and brokers. I wasn’t sure if it was because I belonged to a large school district or not, but they would try to sell me everything under the sun.

Believe me; I understand how easy it is to get confused about what we were actually meeting for because of the continued barrage of products they wanted to sell me. As someone who has conducted many sales trainings for manufacturers on how to sell into the K-12 market, my approach was not only very well received, but participants reported they increased their incremental sales.

I’d like to share several of the key elements that training participants found most beneficial to help any foodservice broker/manufacturer to improve sales by incorporating them into their daily sales process:

  • Come with a clear precise agenda for your meeting. Most of the time it seemed like the meeting was set to focus on a certain item, only to find that it snowballed into additional items and services. I know sometimes that a product might fit a need, but you have to be cautious not to take up too much of the participant’s valuable time.
  • Present a maximum of four items at each meeting. Showing too many items can easily lose the audience for the entire meeting. Show your top products or those products that you might be running a promotion on or introducing to the marketplace.
  • Lastly, many school districts are strapped for cash and sometimes do not have any marketing dollars to promote and add new food items. You will be more successful going to the school districts with some type of promotion that incorporates using the products you are promoting. One offer that I’ve found is very well received is to offer a rebate for every case purchased during a specific time period, or perhaps a trip to ANC based on the number of cases used.

Manufacturers are doing a great job adapting to all of the changes that have been taking place in the school luncheon program, so this message is twofold. Let’s support our manufacturers but at the same time let’s put together some out of the box promotions that will bring your customers to the table.

Kern Halls, Chief Innovator of Ingenious Culinary Concepts, turns empty dining halls into gold mines of student activity! By seeking out and combining just the right “ingredients” to accomplish what many call impossible: Halls gets students to “want” to dine in your cafeterias!

For his FREE report, outlining Marketing Tips to help you generate additional revenue TODAY, a $197 value, please visit!


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