There are many reward programs that offer rebates, products, trips, or other opportunities. However, a few aspects that always seem to be similar are that the reward selection at the lower point levels is small and in most cases lame and insulting.
Foodservice Rewards, by contrast, continuously lives up to its reputation of being the best rewards program available to the foodservice industry and as far as I am concerned is better than any credit card or airline program I have ever seen.
Even the operator of a small coffee shop or bagel store has the ability to earn points like the mega resorts and hotels. If you participated in all of the surveys and other free bonus opportunities during the year, you could earn 8,000 points easily without ever entering in a single reward code. 8,000 points is enough for your choice of hundreds of great items including MP3 players, DVD players, and even a large selection of titles for your favorite video game systems.
Furhtermore, as the value of items such as Plasma, LED, or LCD TV’s, Computers, or other Audio/Video equipment comes down due to newer more powerful or larger items on the market, the amount of points required to earn these older products come down accordingly. The 50” plasma TV that I had been saving my points for which once was over 300,000 point was suddenly only 162,000. The biggest surprise was that it said (back in October) that delivery would be by Christmas. I was notified only a week later that the TV had shipped and was being delivered a couple of days later. In my life I have never spent more that $350 for a TV, so to receive one that costs $1100 at any electronics warehouse store for free is just awesome!
In 2009 Foodservice Rewards started a new program to reward their members who enter a certain amount of points each year. The Elite Level Status has two other sections for rewards redemption. The first one is good for tickets to almost every event across the US. Sports, theater, concerts, and many other special events. There are Super Bowl tickets available for 350,000 points. You can go see the 2010 Olympic Winter Games opening ceremony for 178,000 points. Gallery tickets for this years Masters Tournament are as low as 65,000 points. Many concert and regular season sport event tickets are as low as 10,000 points!
The second section for Elite redemption is for travel. Airline tickets start at around 42,000 points for travel within the United States and 132,000 points to travel internationally! You can also redeem points for hotel stays, car rentals, and even cruises and vacation packages. Another section available to all Foodservice Rewards members is called Qbid Auction. With Qbid, members have the opportunity to bid on items from the rewards catalog starting at a value much lower than the actual amount. Wii gaming systems, HD TV’s, I-pods, and many other great items are offered regularly.
I have belonged to the Foodservice Rewards program for five years now and the benefits and the rewards I have received have been countless! Purchasing the products that contain Rewards stickers is relatively simple as there are thousands to choose from and while some of these products may be slightly premium in price over the packer brands of your distributor, many of them are with companies that have quarterly, semi, or annual rebate programs that offer substantial dollar savings per case. Nestle/Minors, Unilever, French’s/Franks/Cattleman’s, Proctor and Gamble, and General Mills are just a few examples of these companies. These are on top of any other deals that you may have already put into place with your distributors or brokers.
I recently entered a contest on the Foodservice Rewards website was sponsored by Bunge Oils, which simply asked me to write a short essay on your favorite street food experience and enter codes from 20 of their Zero Trans-fat products. I was called a couple months later letting me know I was the chosen winner. I received (with my wife) and all expense paid trip to the 2009 Worlds of Flavor Conference held at the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley area of California. I spent the weekend learning from and interacting with many celebrity chefs and authors like Rick Bayless, Masaharu Morimoto, Cat Cora, Norman Van Aken, Paul Bartolotta, and Ruth Reichl. Truly an amazing experience that one could not even put a monetary value on.
Foodservice Rewards is an amazing program, I recommend anyone in our industry who is not already a member to sign up and participate so you can start reaping the rewards just as I have.
Keith R. Esbin
Corporate Executive Chef
Bar Harbor Seafood Corp
Boston Lobster Feast Restaurants