Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Shari Mason
Restaurants are the leading market for different types of mushrooms, whether oyster, shiitake, button, or dried mushrooms—you name it.
So, if you’re growing mushrooms and planning to profit from them but don’t know how, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we will discuss some advice and tips on how to sell mushrooms to restaurants successfully and learn whether they’re profitable.
5 Steps To Sell Mushrooms to Restaurants
1. Get To Know Your Audience
Before you start selling mushrooms, you must be familiar with the local food scene at your target restaurants first.
Did these local restaurants deal with food distributors for their produce? Do they get from their own mushroom farm or source from a local farmers’ market?
Once you’ve ruled these questions out and learned that there are one or two restaurants that don’t have a stable supply or have an expensive supplier, only then do you plan out.
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2. List Down Prospective Clients
Most restaurants find mushrooms in local grocery stores and farmers’ food markets, or if not locally, get their produce from some out-of-state farm distributors.
So, after familiarizing yourself with your target restaurants, list your potential customers and reach out to them before new competitors do.
3. Prepare Samples & Business Cards
When you provide samples, ensure to present mushrooms harvested on the same day and within a few hours of meeting the restaurant owner or the head chef.
Just note that you should be careful not to pick and present poisonous mushrooms as samples—you do not want to earn a bad name.
In any case, prepare a business card so potential customers can quickly contact you.
4. Meet Potential Clients
After the initial interaction, schedule a meeting with the decision maker or one of the head chefs at the restaurant’s quietest and most convenient time.
“A meal without mushrooms is like a day without rain.”— John Cage, American Composer, Music Theorist
Provide great mushrooms freshly harvested as samples and introduce how they differ from others in terms of cultivation.
Furthermore, discuss your asking price and payment options if they’re to make you their fresh mushroom supplier.
5. Start Small & Don’t Forget the Little Guys
While it is true that restaurants pay more money, starting small with small-scale businesses like farmers’ markets or grocery stores truly is a good idea.
They still provide your mushroom-growing business with extra income, but more importantly, building relationships with them will earn you a strong reputation.
Who knows, either of these two customers will refer a big-time restaurant or other buyers to you.
6. Negotiate Terms
When you’ve dealt directly with restaurant owners and reached negotiating terms, you must offer them a real value that’s still beneficial to close the deal smoothly.
Otherwise, you will be like the many grocery stores or distributors these restaurants previously partnered with that provide a high added value for their mushrooms.
Remember, agree with the terms you can comfortably meet regarding pricing, deliveries, and payment options.
7. Keep It Professional & Establish A Relationship
You must always be professional to provide fresher mushrooms and maintain excellent records.
At this rate, you can build relationships with chefs or restaurant owners, which equates to continuous partnership, leading to a stable income for you.
In any case, be diligent in providing a consistent and on-time invoice for every delivery. Inform the restaurant beforehand if you’ll be late or short on their orders.
Tips & Tricks When Selling Mushrooms to Restaurants
- When you sell mushrooms locally to restaurants or other potential customers, you must always bring fresh, cultivated produce that’s within two days of the harvest date.
- Sell mushrooms at a reasonable price to get these potential customers interested in making your mushroom business their leading supplier.
- Build a good relationship with the restaurant owners, managers, or chefs while keeping it professional by having a consistent product of high-quality mushrooms.
Is it profitable to sell mushrooms to restaurants?
Yes, the white button is the most common and cheapest mushroom, which generally costs around 3 to 5$ per pound.
Ideally, if you can sell 10 pounds to a single restaurant per week, you can potentially earn 30 to 50$ in profit. You can earn more if you can also sell other types of mushrooms.
Do you need certificates when selling mushrooms?
What is the best way to sell mushrooms?
The best way to sell mushrooms is through the farmers’ market since it allows you to interact face-to-face with your buyers and promote your products more effectively.
What is the most profitable mushroom to sell?
Let’s Sum It Up
Selling mushrooms to restaurants is a great way to make a profit, and you can earn even more when selling them at the right places with the right buyers.
Remember to consistently deliver fresh mushrooms harvested in no longer than two days, sell at a fair price, and forge relationships with potential customers.
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