Food and beverage · Sales

How do i find the best outside sales rep to visit bars and restaurants for my app?

Joshua Rabi Founder at serve.us

Last updated on September 5th, 2017

I'm looking to put together a sales team for my mobile app: serve.us and I was trying to find the best people. Is there a site specifically for salespeople? Also id like to find people that have sold restaurants as well. Thanks so much in advance.

Jonathan Experienced sales and client engagement professional who's resourceful, persuasive and ready.

September 6th, 2017

Having done exactly that role for another startup, I will say that most of the sales people found out about the opportunity via Craigslist.


Byron Druss VP Business Development at InVizion LLC | Tech Startup Advisor | Evesham Environmental Commissioner

September 5th, 2017

serve.us looks like its very early stage, seed or angel.

Relevance is most important to early success and shaping the right sales approach is expensive. Start smart is my advice.

1. Look for an out of work restaurant manager full time (preferably if you can afford it) or one that wants to work on the side a dedicated number of hours, whichever you need. People that have empathy for your prospects are going to have the conviction that when you need staff, its ready, and "you might get set now with serve.us if you've ever been stuck before. Don't wait until it's too late, in fact, sign up to try one or two times so you have your backup staffing plan"...that sort of conviction. It has to be sincere, real, relevant.

2. Pay piecemeal so it doesn't matter who puts in how many hours...hire several and split geographically by who knows which restaurants. People that work as servers and managers are used to working several jobs, shifts, etc.


Finally, figure out a way to capture your sales effort with little overhead with some sort of CRM or SFA package. It benefits your sales team so they know who is already working a restaurant, IF, you have clear lines of play. For Example, load all the restaurants from a list into your system to avoid having to enter them. Have them enter the Owner, Manager and/or Partner to claim it as theirs, with the agreement that if they don't sign up in a period of time, it goes back in the pool for someone else to try. No poaching on other reps restaurants they are working to close.


Good luck. I don't know your competition or alternatives to serve.us, but this seems needed.


Byron


Paul Garcia President at TABLE

September 6th, 2017

Yes, you can look at SalesHeads or SalesGravy, but you're not likely to find the type of salesperson you're looking for there, running an early stage startup, at least not unless you're willing to pay a good salary up front.


Your app is geographically limited to NYC, so competition for field salespeople is fierce considering other opportunities available in NYC. This is a market I know well, and I am working with another CFL member on an app for bars in NYC. not an easy road. Plus the function of your app is already covered by a national company doing virtually the same thing, who already has tens of thousands of participants, and has name recognition. I anticipate it will be a significant challenge to sell against them.


In NYC you also have a lot of geographically unique issues, such as the server's union, intense enforcement of labor laws, and a dense enough population that jobs can often be filled in minutes. While you have a ton of establishments (my database includes contact info for every licensed establishment in all five boroughs), on-demand staffing is not an issue about which we hear a cry for help. The problem that needs solving is quality, not quantity. As a business owner I'm going to need to know more about your "good people" guarantee.


And it's not just warm bodies that solves a short-staffing situation. If they don't know my menu or my protocols, it's going to take me days of training to get them up to speed to make use of the new help. Getting someone in an hour is only important if I'm running an event like a wedding where I'm suddenly short a penguin and everyone gets the identical meals/drinks. It won't work for Ruby Foo's and it won't work for TGIFriday's.


I don't want to poop on your app. I really don't. I'm hoping I can get you to focus on a part of what you're doing that actually addresses a real problem and to let the other stuff fall away. The problem that needs solving is processing the volume of interest in working server jobs, doing skill tests, personality checks, checking references, and assessing motivation. The typical restaurant/bar owner doesn't enjoy the process of interviewing new servers, and frequently is not any good at it. If you're able to certify candidates, be a good screener, then you have a likely easy sell. You can be a mobile web site instead of an app (so much easier to get usage).


You're right that hospitality people rarely sit at desktop computers, they're always going to use their smartphones first, but they're resistant to apps. Mobile web is so much better.


I don't know how fast you need to grow, but if you can offer reliable employee screening as a service, your salesperson could visit ANY restaurant/bar with a job listing and make a sale on the spot. It costs an average of $1500 to hire and train a new person, so anything you can do to prevent a mistake is valuable. As far as temps, I know three temp agencies in the city for servers I can call and get a warm body in an hour. I don't need an app to do it.