Case Study

Diversified Foodservice Supply Disrupts Restaurant Supply Industry

Diversified Foodservice Supply needed a solution that could power account-specific ordering experiences for their key B2B accounts - like Chipotle and Honey Baked Ham.

Diversified Foodservice Supply (DFS) is a market leading distributor. They sell maintenance repair and operation parts, supplies and equipment to the foodservice industry. 

DFS came to Four51 looking for a better online ordering experience for some of their biggest customers. They have ten unique brands that sell over 100,000 SKUs to over 53,000 unique customers, including Chipotle and Honey Baked Ham. Offering a general product catalog to all customers wasn’t an option any longer.

The eCommerce technology they had been using wasn’t flexible enough to allow them to respond to each customers’ unique requirements. Many customers had unique pricing, catalog access and workflows that needed to happen before an order was approved and submitted. Their current technology couldn’t support this. They knew they would continue to rack up costs on unnecessary manual processes if they didn’t make a change. Plus, they knew they had a short window to set themselves up for success and leadership in their industry.

They came to Four51 looking for an eCommerce platform that could power account-specific ordering experiences for their key B2B accounts. The same platform needed to work across each of their ten brands, including Tundra Restaurant Supply, Franklin Machine Products and Allpoints.

Custom online storefronts for each enterprise customer.

With an aggressive launch plan in mind, Diversified Foodservice Supply got to work with Four51. They created a base application and framework that would allow them to continuously develop and release custom user interfaces for each account. They’d have control over the brand, catalog visibility, pricing tiers, approval rules, payment methods and more for each custom experience. And administration would take place from one, single administrative interface. 

Each of their enterprise-level customers has very unique requirements. One might be highly focused on creating complex approval workflows and routings. Another might prioritize a single site with varying experiences based on internal groups (like role, department, geography, etc.).

With the flexibility of Four51 OrderCloud, the team at DFS can now help the customer imagine a very specific experience for their restaurant locations and staff that efficient and effective.

While each solution is customized to the restaurant’s specifications, it is easily configured from one customer to the next. This keeps the cost per implementation low, and the return high.

One of the DFS brands, Tundra, has even been able to win new deals with this new strategy. Their sales team approaches prospective customers with a custom online ordering experience as a key component of their pitch. Being able to do this has added to the DFS value proposition for new customers.

“We won several deals, in part due to the technology we now have available to our customers. It was a key aspect of several chains re-signing. It has become a key part of our business development toolkit now.”

Michael Bailey
Chief Technology Officer | Diversified Foodservice Supply

A look inside Chipotle’s Custom Ordering Experience

Chipotle, a premium customer of Diversified Foodservice Supply, worked with DFS to implement unique features that chain locations needed to complete orders. On their application, the product visibility is dependent on the users’ status within the system; or in other words, different users see different products when they log into the application. In addition to product visibility, they’ve also limited users’ purchase capabilities based on their role. Store employees only have the ability to purchase specific products with terms or a purchase order. These orders then need to be shipped to one of the designated address. Facility managers, on the other hand, can order on behalf of multiple stores and use alternative payment methods.

A look inside Honey Baked Ham’s Custom Ordering Experience

Honey Baked Ham, another enterprise customer of Diversified Foodservice Supply, has a different customized, account-specific application. Within this application, Honey Baked Ham store location to login, view products, purchase orders at the contract-set pricing, and pay with Terms. They use approval rules and workflows to manage which orders require approval from managers before they are submitted. Regional managers can log-in, review orders that have been submitted for approval, and either approve or deny them.

game-changing results: Zero to $18million run rate in the first three months of launch

Diversified Foodservice Supply has rolled out multiple customized online ordering applications for customers in the foodservice industry so far. They have gone from a zero to $18 million run rate in the first three months after launch. This number only continues to grow.

“Each customer that has seen what’s possible has been over the moon. It has been a home run for DFS and our brands. We feel we have the best B2B offering in our industry, and a lot of that comes down to Four51.”

Michael Bailey
Chief Technology Officer | Diversified Foodservice Supply