Foodservice Equipment Reports

DEALERS AS COMMUNITY LEADERS

You know, a recent item in the news got me to thinking again about dealers as community leaders, and how what goes around comes around.

In our last edition of FER Dealer Report, we reported that George Tobia at Birmingham Restaurant Supply had recently donated a bunch of stainless tables and smallwares to Community Kitchens of Birmingham, Ala. The contribution was part of a bigger effort through the “Today” show’s “Lend A Hand” campaign. Baxter, Hobart and Scotsman also kicked in equipment and installation through that campaign.

And Bresco isn’t the only one that pitches in when help is needed. A newsletter from Nationwide Children’s Hospital early this year, quoted on The Wasserstrom Co. website, recognized the Wasserstrom family for ongoing support over several decades.

Back when the industry had its biennial fundraising motorcycle rides to The NAFEM Show to raise money for America’s Second Harvest, several dealers were regular—and very generous—contributors. R.W. Smith, headquartered in San Diego, comes to mind first, contributing huge amounts of money over the years as well as picking up the tab for t-shirts and various odds and ends. Tacoma, Wash.-based Bargreen Ellingson Foodservice Supply & Design pitched in big dough for more than one of those rides. Many of the manufacturers also were big supporters.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many dealers, among others, pitched in, and generally speaking, dealers have been good corporate neighbors in all kinds of local weather disasters over the years.

Which not only is being a good neighbor, but with any luck, it’s good business too. There’s a hard-to-measure but undeniable good-will factor in helping out. The important thing is to help. But usually, that good will is reciprocated, too. People would rather deal with people who care than with people who don’t. Do something good, and it’s a positive impression that lives on.

It’s a fact. For years marketers have tried to measure consumer loyalty to sponsors in various industries, including sports industries. And in some sports in particular, it’s been easy to see that audiences go out of their way to support sponsors who support the sport. Is it really because consumers think the sponsor’s products are superior? No doubt there’s some of that. But it’s also true that people have an urge to reciprocate. If you support what they care about, in turn they care about you.

There’s an old saying that puts it much more simply: What goes around comes around. So when you get the chance, do the right thing.



Chief Editor
bward@fermag.com



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