So I am for Sysco. Through one of my amazing friends, Greg Head, I was introduced to Dave Barclay, a VP at Sysco Arizona. It turns out Sysco does services for business and was looking to add social media to their portfolio.
I met with Dave. Not sure how this was going to work. We don’t do social media. Sysco wanted to provide something for their customers though. And they do it for free. They do it in the hope that if they are a good enough partner with businesses that they will continue to keep buying from them. They do business reviews where they go over X, Y, Z.
As far as the social media stuff, I’m helping them because I enjoy it. I’m helping with articles, helping write their social media module and I helped do a presentation on Social Media Marketing for Restaurants at their Innovate!2010 food show. Did it all for free. Part of the reason was that it feels good. And it gives me an opportunity to get exposure to more local restaurants. If someone likes what I did there or what I’m writing over at the site and wants to collaborate, killer.
But I LOVE food. And I LOVE restaurants. And I LOVE social media.
I was pretty conflicted about this. I mean a lot of the friends I know drop anti-Sysco comments all the time. And the food that really moves me is typically made from scratch. I love home made pasta. I dig Seacat Garden’s tomatoes. I love McClendon’s Select. I like Maya’s Farm.
Sysco’s not that, right? We they do supply all kinds of stuff. And they are working with independent restaurants, not chains. The chains have their own distribution channels.
Walking the food show – so not what I love.
I even went back & talked to some folks I respect at Caffe Boa (Matt & Shantal). They weren’t
Came to a place with it. We did the presentation & there were 50+ folks from local restaurants. We went way long & most actually stayed the duration. Many were interested. It was cool to engage with them and respond to their questions. It was even cooler to talk with some of them after the session.
The thing is, I’m a fan of these local businesses & what they’re doing. The fact that they’re using Sysco is cool. If they’re not using Sysco, they’re still using Shamrock or US FoodService. Not everybody can be a Binkley’s or a Quiessence. So I think what I was putting on myself wasn’t giving people a fair shake. There were folks here with a little neighborhood pizzeria, folks from an Irish bar, folks from The Monestery, folks from The Douglass Hotel. I love these types of places!!!
And by working with Sysco, I get a chance to help.