Flanagan Food Show 2018


So this is a Flanagan show, it’s a
foodservice show, so they invite all their suppliers in and their suppliers
really kind of focus on what’s new, what’s exciting, what’s going to get me
as a chef excited to buy my product. So we have just under 200 vendors here who are sampling a lot of the new trends, what’s happening, showing some great
plate presentations. Flanagan’s always has a really great
showing and a really good base of customers that come in to the show, so
the support is amazing. We’ve been running this food show now for 35 years, And we get new, prospective customers to come and learn about who Flanagan’s is,
what we can do, and everything that we offer. They want to help you succeed just
as much as you’re there to be a customer to them and help them succeed. For customers to come in to see
what our capabilities are. To really understand, you know, what Flanagan can offer overall as a broadline distributor. Customer service is great.
Customer service is definitely by far the best. Everyone’s, you know, trying different things, wanting to know how to bring in more customers to theirrestaurant and make them happy. New ideas are here. Well we’re the largest independent,
Canadian-owned foodservice distributor in the country. We’re more flexible than
our competitors, we’re more responsive. They’re a really well-managed company
and a big part of that is because they obviously know how to train and
incentivise and recruit staff. We’re very fortunate to have the people we’ve got, the team of folks that put this on. Well when you look at all the hard work that goes into putting together a show like this, setting up in 24 hours, and trying to
do something that’s aesthetically different I think they did a good job, and we sort of embraced all their visions and let them kind of go wild with some of
the things, i.e. like: bringing in a full-size truck. An event like this, with the logistics involved, there’s a lot of good minds at work putting this together, and a lot of hard work that goes into it. And I think it’s reflected in our customer
base and our vendor base as well. We’re a people business, and we have the best. A restaurant has many needs, so it’s not
just food, as you said, so they also need packaging so we talked about Skip the
Dishes and Uber Eats and places like that, so now how do you have the proper
packaging so your food can make it to the customer, you know, that may take 20
minutes in someone’s car. Think about everything that you see in a restaurant,
we have here today. All the packaging, all of the non-food, all the paper supplies, all the way up to the tongs and the spatulas that somebody would need are
here today for people to come try, be able to take a look at, and see
what’s new. You know, you can go around to the other side of the show, which is the
equipment side, and there’s some really great new ovens out there, and it’s like
being a kid in a candy store. This show’s got something for everybody when you come here, and you’re right, from your containers to packaging, they can
even go buy some new equipment at the back because there’s an area where they
can shop for kitchen utensils and appliances. Really what the show is about,
to me, in terms of products, is helping your business become a little bit more
efficient. That’s what these shows are all about. So that we can show people different
ways to use our products And it helps them to be more profitable as well
because now they’re showing something different to their customers. And by the end of it, they’ve got some great ideas and hopefully a bag full of Flanagan’s
product codes so that they can order it quicker! I come here mainly for the people. I like to keep in touch with everybody, you know,
some of them I haven’t seen in some time, maybe it’s been a year or two, or it’s been past shows, so I like to keep in touch
with them, see what’s new. All of us suppliers and networking partners out here are bringing new and wonderful things to the public, and that’s really why they come here today. Suppliers appreciate the fact that we
continue to do a show, and that we try and change things up, and that we try and bring something different to the table. It’s good as a customer to basically be
able to see all the different vendors and that that they have. They want recipes, they want ideas,
and they want to see what we’re doing that’s new in the industry. We would become stagnant. You don’t find out what’s new, you don’t find out different different products and things like that as well. They’re really looking for serious new ideas and innovations to help them make
their businesses better and make them grow faster and stronger. It gets them a little excited when they see something new that they can bring to their menus. A customer can buy anything from a knife and fork, to fresh produce, and from
Flanagan’s we can offer them a whole line of fresh cut products, raw products. We do a lot of catering, so, it’s nice to come down, talk, see different suppliers, and what’s available for different catering options. You see lots of great new
innovative ideas and products, whether it’s something as simple as a foam container
that can withstand heat a little bit better, and it’s compostable, and maybe a little bit cheaper, and maybe something made locally. This is incremental business for us. I don’t know how many leads we got today. 40, 50 leads. And we’re willing and ready to go
and speak to these customers individually. We also got some presentations that we’re doing today, a little bit on trends, a little bit about how local helps your bottom line, and we got a chef panel with
chefs from all over Ontario. Again that’s talking a little bit about sustainability, talking about how they’re dealing
with the minimum wage, talking about what they’re doing in their restaurants
to take customers and get them out of their
house and get them out to the restaurants. We just think this is a perfect space to
try something new. We’re rebranding ourselves,
and we think it’s a great opportunity to move from our former location to here. Our vendors love it, I know our staff loves it,
and we’re hoping today that our customers love it as well.
It’s very cool here. This became the perfect venue for us. It’s also kind of unique. You know it’s a sort of an older, industrial building, it’s kind of trendy. Again, it gives us sort of a unique feel to this place. I think the customers are loving it as they’re coming in, Thinking that, “Wow, huge high
ceilings here, very open, lots of lights.” Spread out a little bit more than what we’ve done before, the traffic flow is a little bit different. It’s open, it’s airy, it seems new,
it’s a little bit hip, a little bit trendy. It doesn’t feel like you’re
stuck in a basement so much, it’s a little bit brighter, a little bit happier. You know we got the windows up top,
we got the big exposed beams, it’s a good vibe. It also kind of marks a bit of a change
in our marketing focus. They obviously walked in, saw the vision, were looking for something unique and
different to sort of “wow” their vendors and how it can kind of add to the dynamic of a food show. Our tagline is “The difference you deserve,” so we just want to try and be a little bit different so this venue gave us to be something
a little different. you

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