Rick Camac, CEO of Fatty Crew
Hospitality Group
To Market, to Market
Bringing your restaurant product to the masses
By Gloria Dawson
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E
veryone who dines at your res-
taurant loves your barbeque
sauce and asks for a bottle to
bring home. So why don’t you
start bottling it? It could be a great way
to advertise your restaurant. It also could
be quite complicated and expensive.
Rick Camac, CEO of Fatty Crew
Hospitality Group, recently spoke about
bringing culinary products to market at
Brooklyn Eats (brooklyneats.com), a food
and beverage trade show. Fatty Crew sells
BBQ sauce at Williams-Sonoma and has
plans to expand into other goods.
“Making money is probably the worst
reason [to bring your product to market]”,
said Camac. “For me it’s about brand
awareness.” Bottling Fatty Crew’s famous
BBQ sauce wasn’t as easy as pouring it in
bottles and waiting for the customers to
line up. “What makes sense for a restau-
rant isn’t necessarily what works [in the
market],” said Camac. For example Fatty
Cue’s brisket smokes for 14 hours–not
the sort of context that a customer is
likely to re-create. So the BBQ sauce was
reevaluated accordingly.
While many restaurant products are
freshly made on a daily or weekly basis,
noted Camac, you will probably have to
make it shelf-stable to bring it to market.
You’ll also need to rethink volume. You
might make 500 specialty cakes a year at
your bakery, but could you up that num-
ber to 5,000?
When creating a product for market
you also need to think about the demo-
graphic you’re hoping to sell to and what
the perfect price point is. Will a $20 price
tag work for the market you’re hoping to
reach? Ask yourself where your product
would sell well–remember Sam’s Club
and Williams-Sonoma reach very differ-
ent audiences–and how much customers
will pay for your product, said Camac.
An important part of bringing your
product to market is working with a co-
packer, said Camac. A good co-packer,
said Camac, can help with marketing and
distribution, help create labels (includ-
ing nutritional labels), and even help
with initial product development. Camac
suggested finding a co-packer on the Spe-
cialty Food Association’s website (special-
tyfoodresource.com).
Gloria Dawson is a NYS Restaurant Association Corre-
spondent. To learn more about the New York State Restau-
rant Association, visit:
.
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