Ok… I have a dilemma and I need your opinion. To give you just a little history----we have been EXTREMLY LOYAL to Stanislaus Tomato Products. We use them exclusively for our locations… 3 different varieties of their products. Our recipe calls for 2 cans of one Stanislaus product. 1/2 can of another Stanislaus product and 1/2 can of another Stanislaus product. I added up our invoices for the year and we purchased 1,248 cases of product from them in the past 12 months. This equates to approximately 24,960 cases of product we have purchased from them since 1989. About ONCE every TWO years I will call them or speak to their representative and them them that I need, for example, 2 CANS of 7/11 and 1 CAN of Full Red paste to make our inventory even. They send me out the cans (never more than 5) and I am good for a couple of years until somebody screws up the recipe.
I made a phone call last week to Stanislaus…the first one in over 2 years requesting a few can “samples”. Three different people told me they could not do that… I even told them to bill me if they need to. They said they do not sell direct!!! I am bewildered by this.
Now heres the question… Am I being unreasonable to ask for a few cans every couple of years? Am I being unreasonable to want to switch to Escalon for the MERE FACT of this incident. Your comments are truly appreciated
If I understand the situation correctly, you are upset because someone has done you a favor in the past and now they are not willing to do it again. Think of this from the other side of the fence. Stanislaus is in the business of packing tomatoes and supplying them to distributors. Would you think to ask the pork producer to send you free samples of ham? I would say you are asking the wrong link in the chain. I would say the distributor you buy the product through would be a more likely place to make you “top up” request to. After all, they supply you with much more than just your tomato products.
Do you think you would get a different response if you were to in a couple of years ask Escalon to do what you are asking of Stanislaus? My thoughts are they would react in much the same manner.
Several of my suppliers have stopped doing the little give-aways in recent years. First it was fuel prices were eating there profit, then it was the economy. Call them again, see if you can get a different answer. If not switch and see if it makes any difference. If Stanislaus is as good as they say- they’ll notice and call to find out why a long time customer switched.
THANKS so much for your replies… excellent. I called the company and they do not have a broker, only a sales rep. I called the CAN (not a case) I needed a “sample” because if you call them and tell them you are thinking of using their product, they are quick to send out whatever you need.
Rob, I have a question for you since you included the MORAL aspect in your question. Is it moral to expect a supplier to cover you for YOUR mistake? You indicated the reason for needing the extra can was because a recipe was not made correctly. I understand that you have bought their product for a long time and have spent a great deal of money on it.
How would you deal with a customer that called and said my kids dropped 1/2 the pizza on the floor after the delivery driver left can you send me a free sample so we are not short?
Again just my 2 cents (since it is Canadian I guess it is 1.9 cents)
Daddio…based on all of your posts around hear your cents are priceless! I really respect you…anyhow, your question is simple. In fact, a few months back I had an actual customer who was walking out the door with a hot and piping pizza----their 3 year old distracted her and she dropped the pizza and it flew everywhere! I bought her a glass of wine, gave the kids a few quarters to play while they waited (again!) the crane and made her another pizza free of charge. I would venture to guess that 99 out of 100 people would agree that this was a smart business move. To be honest, I don’t think I have ever seen her at my establishment before. Stanislaus recognizes me as a BRAND LOYAL customer who HAS purchased 25,000 cases. I am asking for a maximum 5 cans for free every 2 years.
I ask you, if someone bought a one trip salad bar from your restaurant and a crouton fell off their plate on their way back to the table would you let them go back even though it was not an all you can eat salad bar? I think this puts it in perspective.
I believe making lemonade out of lemons will go a long way.
I truly appreciate your point of view. In fact, your reasoning has calmed me down. Thank you.
If you want to have the situation handled the way you hoped it would have been initially, contact Steve Rouse at Stanislaus. I would be willing to bet that he will make it happen. I don’t have a contact number for him but an email address he left on another site is : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are already beyond that, I think you would be totally in the right to switch. Unlike other manufacturers, Stanislaus offers no deviated pricing on their branded products no matter what your volume. Buying power gets you zilch with Stanislaus. Tyson, Purdue, Saputo, Laprino, Escalon, ect ect will make price deviations for companies with some buying power but Stanislaus feels that they are above that. I guess it works for them. If they aren’t willing to concede some price to their top customers, you would think they would give a little extra in the service.
If you do decide to go to another company I would recommend checking out San Benito as well as Escalon. I have used products from all three companies over the years and feel that San Benito gives just as high quality of product at a better value.
I am glad you think my posts are priceless but at times I know they are worthless. I have many times thought of doing something rash due to the heat of the moment and had other think tankers calm me down. If I have contributed a calming effect on your situation the day is not lost.
I have had a couple of long conversations with Steve Rouse and am sure he will do what he can to help you out. I know Stanislaus has a customer care center that try their best to satisfy any issues with their products and service.
Daddio:I ask you, if someone bought a one trip salad bar from your restaurant and a crouton fell off their plate on their way back to the table would you let them go back even though it was not an all you can eat salad bar? I think this puts it in perspective.
The issue here is not so much what I would do but what you feel comfortable doing. I am not judging either way. When I am at fault for something going wrong I take the cost of the mistake in stride. I would also go out of my way to make a customer feel they are important to my business.
Bottom line is I see both sides of the coin. Is something like your experience enough to risk a flavor change in my recipe? Not for me. I would check with my food service rep and ask if they have any open cases that they would sell at a discount.
I would take whatever extra cans of product I needed to get rid of to get my ratio back in line and donate them to my local St. Francis house soup kitchen. No aggravation and you can feel good about your “mistake”.