About MAFSI

Who We Are

altMAFSI is everywhere food is. And everywhere you are.

275 rep agencies, 260 manufacturers and 2,400 members strong.  Spanning North America, feeding 300 million people and changing an industry.

From mom and pop restaurants, to colleges, hospitals, major chains – we’re there.  With the people, and the products - moving an entire industry further than ever before. And as members, we get to reinvent it.  We get to make it better, and we make it different.

We get to make reps and manufacturers proud of how they go to market.

We get to reinvent foodservice every day. We get to make a difference. In a job..in a profession built around great products and great people.

For over 68 years, MAFSI has proudly served the needs of 2,400 sales and marketing professionals who share an unbridled enthusiasm and commitment to the commercial foodservice industry and to the rep-manufacturer method of marketing...and we're growing every day.

Our members are a major force in the 13 billion dollar equipment, supply, tabletop and furniture segment of the foodservice industry.

MAFSI is home to 71% of all manufacturers’ representative firms in the US and Canada with 270 Rep Agency Members employing 1,600+ sales and marketing professionals. Our members are independent professional providers of field-level sales and marketing services   They typically handle a portfolio of related but noncompetitive product lines, working under a contractual arrangement within a defined geographic region, and on an exclusive basis within their assigned field of responsibility. MAFSI REPS typically work on a straight commission basis which means they're highly motivated. They don't earn a penny unless they sell their manufacturers’ products. Click on this link for more detailed information on manufacturers’ representatives.

There are approximately 1,000 foodservice equipment, supplies, tabletop and furniture manufacturers selling into the North American market, representing over 1,500 brands and average 5 to 100+ million dollars in gross sales. MAFSI is home to 260 of these manufacturer companies, comprised of 700+ individual factory members, who recognize the value of the rep-manufacturer method of going to market and support this decision by becoming a member of MAFSI. Fundamental to manufacturers, of course, is to deliver their product to market in the most efficient, cost effective and thorough method.  Eighty percent of the 1,000 commercial foodservice manufacturers choose to market their products through independent reps, while 20% use a direct sales force model. Our industry's manufacturers have found that hiring MAFSI independent, commission based, sales professionals provide better, faster and more stable and predictable results for their companies and outstanding support to their customers.

There is no limit to what can be accomplished when so many join together. Simply put, there is power in numbers.

MAFSI is the catalyst and only advocate for rep-manufacturer method of marketing in the commercial foodservice industry. We are the industry's definitive sales and marketing resource for all equipment, supply, tabletop and furniture reps and manufacturers and the one voice for both in North America.

We consistently work with our members to provide the customer and the industry with a steady stream of skilled sales and marketing talent and innovative products. We know that tomorrow's foodservice industry is whatever we want it to be.

Our primary member is the factory sales’ representative agency or MAFSI REPS whose role is to professionally market foodservice equipment, supplies, tabletop and furniture for their manufacturers, on a wholesale basis, and serve as the local factory branch office for the dealer and operator communities (see foodservice industry map). 

Because of the interdependent relationship between manufacturers and representatives, MAFSI is as also committed to the 800 manufacturers that serve our industry - 260+ of which are associate members of the association.

Fundamental to manufacturers, of course, is to deliver their product to market in the most efficient and thorough method. More than 80% of the brand names the foodservice industry buys are marketed through MAFSI REPS. We strongly believe that the independent representative is more closely in touch with market trends affecting dealers, consultants, service agents and end users than any other segment in our industry’s various distribution channels. They truly are the window to the marketplace.

What Our Members Do

MAFSI REPS spend their day calling on all facets of the industry with the purpose of lending their specific product knowledge and experience to the foodservice community.  

MAFSI REPS work directly with the local foodservice dealers, consultants, and end user operators as the product specialist and consultative sales agent. Think of MAFSI REPS as specialists that the dealer and consultant rely upon as they execute their work. We support both – we replace neither. Representatives also advocate customer issues with their manufacturers and dealers to ensure that the operator is receiving exactly what they are demanding.

On behalf of their manufacturers, MAFSI REPS exclusively represent approximately 12-18 product manufacturers in their defined marketing territory. There are typically 10-20 MAFSI REP local factory sales offices in each marketing territory (please see MAFSI Region map at left).

altMAFSI REPS typically employ 3 to 4 field representatives, 3 to 4 inside customer service people and over 70% of our firms have showrooms and test kitchens to assist customers in project planning. It is not uncommon for MAFSI REPS to also have on staff chefs to assist the customers´ culinary team with menu planning and preparation and cooking procedures unique to specialized equipment such as blast chillers and combi ovens.

Our members’ broad range of services are available to customers at no expense. Our members’ field reps, their customer service staff, their facilities and their years of specialized experience are available to customers at no charge because they are paid by the manufacturers. Over 80% of foodservice manufacturers utilize the professional sales and marketing services of independent manufacturers’ representatives. Manufacturers have found that hiring independent, commission based, sales professionals provide better results for themselves and their customers.

MAFSI Member Product Categories and Customer Market Segments

Below you will find the product, product sub-categories and market segments that MAFSI REPS serve.

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

  • Heavy Equipment
  • Light Equipment
  • Supplies
  • Tabletop
  • Furniture
  • Technology

 Breakdown MAFSI's 275 Rep Members (many reps sell more than one category):

  • 220 or 80% of our agencies represent Equipment
  • 233 or 84% of our agencies represent Light Equipment
  • 171 or 62% of our agencies represent Supplies/Smallwares
  • 124 or 45% of our agencies represent Tabletop
  • 96 or 35% of our agencies represent Furniture

 PRODUCT SUB-CATEGORIES

  • Bakery Equipment/Bakeware
  • Beverage/Bar Equipment
  • Custom Fabrication
  • Dispensing Equipment
  • Food Preparation Equipment
  • Furnishings & Decor
  • Ice Machines
  • Janitorial & Safety Equipment
  • Primary Cooking Equipment
  • Refrigeration & Ice Machines
  • Serving & Holding Equipment
  • Signs & Displays
  • Smallwares, Cooking & Kitchen Tools Storage & Handling Equipment
  • Tabletop & Servingware
  • Ventilation
  • Warewashing
  • Waste Handling and Reduction

CUSTOMER MARKET SEGMENTS

  • Airlines
  • Bakeries
  • Broadliners
  • Business & Industry
  • Casinos/Gaming
  • Chain Accounts
  • Colleges/Universities
  • Commissaries/Food Processing
  • Consultants
  • Convenience Stores
  • Convention Centers
  • Corrections
  • Country Clubs
  • Cruise Ships
  • Dealers
  • Fine Dining
  • Healthcare
  • Hotel/Motel
  • Ice Cream
  • Independent Operators
  • International/Export
  • Military
  • Sport Venues
  • Schools (K-12)
  • Supermarkets
  • Theme Parks

Value Added Resource for the Customer

MAFSI REPS can be a tremendously cost-effective resource. Below are just a few examples of how MAFSI REPS can bring value for their customers:

  • Assistance with conception, selection and acquisition phases of purchasing
  • End User Specifications
  • Quotations
  • Annual Budgeting
  • Equipment Demonstration & Start Up
  • Menu planning and assistance with preparation and cooking procedures
  • Operator Advocate - to the manufacturer
  • Literature Updates
  • New Product Introduction and Education
  • Service Coordination
  • Tracking & Follow Up
  • Freight Claims
  • Order Entry & Tracking
  • Installation Supervision
  • Returns

Customers can call upon MAFSI REPS to provide accurate and specific information germane to the product lines they represent—once again at no charge.  The representative’s knowledge ranges from technical aspects of a piece of equipment to application, installation, maintenance and service.  MAFSI REPS are typically second and third generation foodservice veterans, who have grown up in the industry, and who have spent a lifetime mastering all aspects of the products they represent.

What Makes a MAFSI Rep Different?

Experience: MAFSI REPS have decades of experience and extensive knowledge of the foodservice industry. They are the local market experts and being rooted geographically results in customer relationships built on stability and trust. MAFSI REPS are typically second and third generation foodservice veterans, who have grown up in the industry, and who have spent a lifetime mastering all aspects of the products they represent. Moreover, since MAFSI REPS call on almost all facets of commercial foodservice, there is no one better equipped to report the market dynamics that affect our industry.

Foodservice Focused: MAFSI REPS work directly with the local foodservice dealers/distributors, design consultants (kitchen architects), service agencies, and end user operators (restaurants, schools, healthcare, etc.), that comprise the for the $13 billion commercial foodservice equipment, supply, tabletop, and furniture industry, as the product specialist and consultative sales agent. The value that MAFSI REPS bring—both to those they sell to, and those they sell for—emerges in large part from the synergy created through the representation of multiple manufacturers. Their product portfolios allow MAFSI REPS to present broad-based solutions to customer problems, rather than the price-and-delivery model typical of single-product selling.

Stable Customer Relationships: Local and long-lived, MAFSI REPS take an aggressive pride in their territories. Because well-established rep firms have business and social roots in their territories, and have worked them for years, they have credibility with customers They're here today and here tomorrow. They build their customer base with meticulous care. They group their product mix with their customer mix. Reps are the mainstay of the markets they serve. The better they are, the longer they stay. Factory sales people come and go. The better they are, the quicker they change territory.

Educated:  By their affiliation with MAFSI, our reps are highly educated on industry and customer trends. MAFSI provides our reps with hundreds of hours of training, over 80 guidelines and resources, MAFSI only market research including our quarterly foodservice business barometer and annual market forecast statistics. In addition, they benchmark their agencies annually, providing consistent measure of what they are doing right and where they can grow. Two of our newest offerings include SpecPath, our online 11 400 00 specification/project management tracking software and Foodservice 101, which offers the fundamentals of foodservice, to new sales people in the industry, ensuring our rep agencies can hire new talent with confidence and get their new hires up to speed quickly.

Cost and Time Savings: MAFSI REPS offer the most cost-effective and efficient means of reaching national, regional, and local markets. Because MAFSI REPS are the exclusive factory branch sales office in their territory and represent two or more manufacturers they offer greater product exposure while providing expert service to the time-challenged buyer. Additionally, MAFSI REPS, provide you with availability of capital. Since you don't bear the expense of building, maintaining, or expanding a direct sales force, capital is freed up for other business activities. And, since they are paid only for results, your sales costs are predictable. Overhead expenses are the rep's concern, not yours.

Superior Sales Support: MAFSI REPS provide manufacturers and customers with a multi-faceted, multi-skilled, more experienced sales team which average nearly 1 to 1 support internally for each sales person in the field. MAFSI REPS have excellent industry connections and know the trends affecting their marketplace. MAFSI REP firms come in all shapes and sizes, but on average generate 10 - 18 million dollars in gross sales, and typically employ three to four field representatives, with an additional three to four inside customer service personnel. Seventy percent of MAFSI REP firms have showrooms and test kitchens to assist customers in project planning.

Customer Committed: As the local factory sales office for more than 800 foodservice manufacturers, MAFSI REPS, with their exceptional product knowledge and valuable insight, help successfully guide the customer through the conception, selection and acquisition phases of purchasing. Three-quarters of our MAFSI REPS have test/demo/mobile kitchens and showrooms where customers can sample products first hand. Their consultative approach not only opens the door for the other manufacturers they represent, but also adds value and fosters a partnership with the buyer, as the purchase progresses through an entire project. Representatives also advocate customer issues with their manufacturers and dealers to ensure that the end user operator is receiving exactly what they are demanding.

Real Results: MAFSI REPS offer immediate coverage and penetration into a given territory through established contacts with their customers. Manufacturers and customers can choose to work with a MAFSI REP with confidence as they demonstrate the highest level of professionalism, business acumen, technical competence and territorial continuity. MAFSI REPS are committed to delivering constant value to both the customer and the manufacturer.

What MAFSI Membership Means for You

MAFSI provides a number of services to support our members including training and education, business management, sales and marketing and technology, industry policy development including ethical standards development, liaison with other industry groups, annual conferences, personal networking opportunities, industry data such as our Business Barometer Survey, Demographic Survey and communication through our monthly email newsletter, MAFSI Matters and our newest offering, SpecPath software. Our purpose is to elevate the business and ethical practices of our members. In doing so, they will better serve their manufacturers, dealers, operators and the industry. 

As an association, MAFSI’s core focus is to champion the distinctive value of the independent manufacturers’ sales agent and strengthen the relationships between reps and manufacturers. As a result, we have optimized the MAFSI REPS and manufacturers role in the foodservice industry by:

  • Establishing the independent sales agent as an indispensable component.
  • Promoting the effectiveness and expertise of MAFSI REPS to manufacturers, distributors and operators.
  • Supplying members with an environment to meet, exchange ideas, strategize and join forces to resolve key industry challenges.
  • Uniting members through regional chapters across North America to work on the most important industry initiatives.
  • Defining and publishing best practices guidelines.
  • Providing innovative educational programming and professional development opportunities.
  • Offering exclusive resources and benefits to our members.

If you are interested becoming a member, click on Agent/Rep Membership information or Manufacturer Membership information.

We would love to talk to you more about MAFSI and our members. Please contact us today at (404) 214-9474 or info@mafsi.org

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