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WouldYouLikeFriesWithThat

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Reply with quote  #1 
Can anyone give me some info about what the average pay is for a new sales rep just getting in the food business? What should I expect?

Is it a % of total sales? or % of profit?

Typically how long does it take to get "settled in"?

How many accounts do I need to make decent money?

Will I be given accounts to work on, or am I expected to find my own?

I assume salary until a certain point and then pushed on to commission only?

 I've managed a restaurant for 5 years and want to move on. Tired of sitting in the same place all day. I've done some sales in the past albeit not in food sales. 

Any feedback on pay structure would be great. 

Im in the Nor Cal market. 

Perhaps Sysco, US Foods or a large Produce Company. I've worked with all 3 in the past. 

Looking forward getting some honest feedback
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doingthisfortoolong

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Reply with quote  #2 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WouldYouLikeFriesWithThat
Can anyone give me some info about what the average pay is for a new sales rep just getting in the food business? What should I expect?

Is it a % of total sales? or % of profit?

Typically how long does it take to get "settled in"?

How many accounts do I need to make decent money?

Will I be given accounts to work on, or am I expected to find my own?

I assume salary until a certain point and then pushed on to commission only?

 I've managed a restaurant for 5 years and want to move on. Tired of sitting in the same place all day. I've done some sales in the past albeit not in food sales. 

Any feedback on pay structure would be great. 

Im in the Nor Cal market. 

Perhaps Sysco, US Foods or a large Produce Company. I've worked with all 3 in the past. 

Looking forward getting some honest feedback
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Sidney

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Reply with quote  #3 
In the Atlanta market starting salary is around $45k with zero experience. your restaurant experience should be worth an additional $5k. That pay is for training and starting out in your territory and the next pay increase you see will be based on sales results. You will be in training for 3 months then assigned a territory, depending on availability. Once your in a territory your salary remains as you grow your business. Your assigned a few accounts to start with generally about $20,000 per week or about 15 accounts. In todays world a successful territory should be $4m in sales or about 60 accounts on average.

It is up to you to open new accounts and grow your business and your expected to be at a point of limited commission within your first year in territory. Limited commission means your salary is reduced by some percent ranging from 20% up with commissions making up the balance.

In my opinion US Foods has the very best training, marketing and support people to help you grow your business, they also have the technology  to help manage your business, which is what the old timers hate so much but this is the 21st century.





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Sidney
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broadliner

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Reply with quote  #4 
US Foods just changed from commission to what is essentially salary plus bonuses. I'm sure someone smarter than me can explain it to you.

Be prepared for management to be on you 24/7 about what you're doing. You will be tasked to use USF's CRM software to show who you're working on, and what your plans are for customers and prospects.

US Foods is looking for accounts that generate a minimum of $3,000/wk in volume. A lot of these accounts will already be US Foods accounts depending where you are in Norcal. You may be seeded a few accounts to build your week. 

My advice would be to look for a strong independent broadliner with a good commission plan. Pricing will be better (lower pads). There should be less micromanagement. 
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bestdsr

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Reply with quote  #5 
Sidney is right.
However you will be on salary and micromanaged.
You will also be limited as to what accounts you can call on. You need to ask yourself....the following
Your confidence
Your motivation
Your discipline ......you need to move out every day
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Texashair1

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Reply with quote  #6 
Have you looked into a Manufacture or Brokerage sales rep. openings? I managed restaurants & then went to work for a Foodservice Brokerage & then became a Regional for a Manufacture. You have greater growth in those two areas of the Foodservice Sales. Pay is $60,000 - $90,000 yearly + bonus + health care + car allowance.

Best of Luck 

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Winenot

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Reply with quote  #7 
My personal opinion is, I would try to go to work for an independent food service distributor or possibly the brokerage side of things.. I currently work for an independent and I couldn't be happier.. I spent 12 years working for the big corporate machines, and in the end - it was nothing but a whole lot of stress, micro management, a reduction in pay and so on...Life is too short for that kind of misery.. The company I currently work for is like a big family - they truly care about you as a person, unlike the Sysco's & US Foods of the world, who view you as a unit of productivity, and its never enough.. I was brought in at a great salary with good benefits. There are so many accounts available for me to call on now, its incredible.. We may not have the product line and the sku's that the bigger guys have - but thats ok with me.. I'm also not dealing with micromanagement, salesforce.com, scoop, ridiculous meetings, constant stress and pressure etc.. I actually get to enjoy a business I love, get out and actually sell, and really have time to dig in and help restaurants succeed..
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FSVET

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Reply with quote  #8 
Winenot is 100% correct. I started my career at an independent family-owned broadliner. We were bought buy one of our larger competitors, but it was still a family atmosphere. The big change came when we were acquired by US Foods. 

I would stay away from US Foods and Sysco. The main focus is shareholder dividends. Everything is keyed to that. PFG might be a good bet. They still seem to be a sales organization.

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2 companies down

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Reply with quote  #9 
Depends on the PFG opco. Some good some not good at all. Most of the west coast is still Roma. If you are mostly pizza and Italian it's a great fit. Anything other than that is going to be very challenging
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ISellLettuce

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Reply with quote  #10 
I'm coming at this reasonably biased, but also with some good perspective. Performance is a very good company to work for. As my fellow comrade said above, the OpCo is going to play a significant role in that. That's true with any company though, as it's the people you work with on a daily basis that set the culture.  

I've had the opportunity to work with many OpCos across Performance Foodservice and there's a lot great OpCos and people out there. That's not to say we don't have headaches and obstacles. We all do, that's just the nature of the beast. I would say that if you want to work for a bigger broadliner though, I would give us a ringing endorsement. That said, I'd still prefer to be retired on a beach somewhere with a drink in my hand...few more years maybe.
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cabbage peddler

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Reply with quote  #11 
I have read many of the responses, and they are Spot On ... I have worked for both a small family distributor (very small), as a matter of fact they were too small and have since been gobbled up- the problem there was there was too many family members working there, the father always took his family's side, regardless of how wrong they were or how much documentation you had that showed they were wrong ...

I've also worked for one of the Big Boys for a long time- it was great for the first 10 years, then years 11-14 it started to change a little and the last several years it has changed 100%, and like it was mentioned above by FSVET, all the two big boys are doing is trying to take care of the share holders, and move the stock, reduce expenses, and trying to match out out-do the other at anything and everythinge and everything is being controlled through a CRM tool, which Corp things is GREAT and yet most of the people in the field either hate using, do the minimum in it or really don't know how to use it. ... Like I said, I worked for one of the Big Boys, and I have friends who have worked for both Sysco (AKA - Psyco or PepSysco) and USF (aka Useless Foods) -- both companies have and are taking the human element out, it's not about the people- the customer or the workers; you are going to get micro-managed to death, and have duplicated work to do; 
I heard that Sysco is now or has been having WEEKLY District Meetings, the DSMs are so bogged down doing micro-manage work that many arent getting into the field to see, meet or get to know customers; Both USF and Sysco have continually changed their commission structure that you now pretty much have to do almost 2x the sales to make the same amount of money you did 10 yrs ago, meanwhile they are flooding the markets with sales reps in areas, and then cutting current sales reps territories (income) up to give to new reps. Both are in major Cost Reduction Modes, which means cutting back on expenses such as customer outings, award ceremonies for staff, changing the commission structure to make it harder to earn a living, and cutting of labor. A friend of mine use to work for Sysco for 15-20 yrs, sent me an article where the Sysco president discussed cutting labor by 25% by 2020! Holy Crap that's 1/4 of of the staff, and by the way my friend got downsized several months ago despite being up 30-50% in growth the last 3-4 yrs.  Another guy I know was a business development rep for USF, who had been there about 20 yrs and doing well, he got let go about 5-6 months ago
I would suggest IF you really want to get into the Food Service Business, look at the smaller companies such as PFG, Reinhart, maybe Gordon, and Cheney Brothers - these companies are really making some big pushes in specific areas and looking for great sales folks depending on where you live - of course you will be competing against many of the sales reps who are leaving the Big Boys and going to the smaller companies where they will be more appreciated; 
Other than that, go back to College and get a degree in a specific field like being a doctor or nurse, or go to a community college to get a specific trade like in HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical, you will probably make more money---
    GOOD LUCK 

Additionally, I am hearing now that a lot of sales reps for both Sysco and USF are having to get 2nd jobs and moonlighting in order to make ends meet, some are waiting tables, some bar tending, some are doing side jobs, you name it ... pay keeps getting cut, while the Big Boys up in the Ivory Tower keep getting bigger annual pay increases, and huge bonuses... 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/sysco-gains-18-u-foodservice-143002488.html


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FSVET

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Reply with quote  #12 
Cabbage, you are right on. Sysco and USF are both pushing to remove the sales rep from the equation. They are forgetting that this is a relationship business. Customers will usually follow their reps. While Sysco and USF are pushing Scoop, VAS and e-commerce, the independents are in our accounts seeing the chefs and walking through the kitchens with them.

Look for a big exodus from USF when the new pay plan goes into full effect. TMs will be charged for their customers' credit card service charges and rebates. A lot of smaller distributors already added lines when the Sysco/USF merger was brewing. They are in a position to take cases from both companies.

I'm so glad I retired when I did.

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