Food for Thought: Why you should make barbecues part of your marketing strategy

There’s no shortage of places where you could spend your marketing dollars, but as all marketers know, the real question is where to put them to produce the most bang for your buck.

8 years ago, A&J Specialty Services, Inc. President, Kent Rawhouser, said the answer was simple, put the money into food.

Kent was introduced to the idea while taking some training classes from a friend and fellow businessman in Indiana. The man said he ditched the yellow pages and started hosting barbecues instead. He said it provided a great networking opportunity and he could easily focus on his target clientele.

That’s all the convincing it took for Kent to give it a try. His wife and A&J Vice President, Lynn, was a little bit harder to persuade, but she agreed to at least explore the idea. So Kent took a class, quickly learned how to master the smoker and days later put on his first barbecue for IFMA, the International Facility Management Association.

It was a huge success.

8 years later, the smoker is still running. Kent said it’s helped create and develop name recognition for A&J. He focuses on serving barbecues for associations and organizations that are related to the restoration business, which also allows him to network with potential clients.

While leads and name recognition are important to the bottom line, Kent said barbecues also allow him to carry out the core mission of A&J.

He said, “We’re a service company so we serve people. When you do this type of barbecue, you talk to each person and you serve that person and take care of that person.”

A&J Specialty Services, Inc. is a full-service 24/7 emergency restoration company serving south-central Wisconsin. A&J specializes in water restoration, mold remediation and fire and sewage restoration.