COVID Never Put Pal’s Portion Control Condiments at Peril
When other condiment manufacturers put the squeeze on local and regional chains during the height of the COVID pandemic, Red Gold honored its supply chain commitments. Despite the surge of portion control demand, Red Gold has unwavered commitment to the service to its distributors and operators and has scaled production to help with the continual growth.
For top fast food regional chain powerhouse Pal’s Sudden Service, the appreciation is there.
“While some manufacturers put us in a bind by not shipping products, because their producing plants and supply chain were impacted by COVID quarantines, Red Gold has been, and continues to be, an excellent supplier,” says Deane Gionta, Senior Vice-President, Supply Chain Management for the 30-unit chain.
Pal’s limited menu includes Frenchie Fries, Big Pal Burgers, milk shakes, Big Tea, and hot dogs. Red Gold provides Pal’s with branded ketchup packets.
Keeping the cases of 9-gram ketchup packets, that are branded with the Pal’s logo, coming to the restaurants was no small feat. The Baldridge National Quality Award-winning chain moves as many as 200 vehicles from the order to the pick-up windows around its 1,100-square foot drive-thru only units each day. With a limited menu of burgers, hot dogs, and signature items such as breakfast Cheddar Rounds and Frenchie Fries, COVID increased traffic to the iconic chain.
“We answer to our customers, not stockholders, because we know what is most important, being a family-owned and operated tomato company.”
Vice-President of Foodservice
Red Gold, LLC
“Our mission is to delight our customers with exceptional food, fast and friendly service in a safe and stress-free environment,” explains Pal’s CEO Thom Crosby. The experience puts the Pal’s brand forward, from the fun architecture of a burger and hot dog welcoming customers from the street to the Pal’s ketchup packets placed in the bag with most Pal’s orders.
“Pal’s is a great example of a customer who cares about quality in everything that they do,” says David Halt, Vice-President of Foodservice for Red Gold. “We have kept our ketchup packet production lines humming ever since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, and they are still humming.” Red Gold was able to honor its existing commitments for restaurant-branded ketchup packets and pick up new chain customers who had been abandoned by other national brand manufacturers who opted in favor of only their largest national chains.
Restaurant-branded ketchup has been a commitment for more than a decade at Red Gold. “We answer to our customers, not stockholders, because we know what is most important being a family-owned and operated tomato company,” says Halt. “We give our customers the freedom to build their own brand by leveraging our customized packets and table-top bottle program. We’re happy to support Pal’s and other great chain restaurant operators as they try to survive and prosper during these tough times in the foodservice industry.”
Pal’s saw an emerging pandemic coming and acted quickly to protect employees and its customers from infection. It was the first within its markets to ask employees to wear a mask and established new policies to monitor the health of employees and delivery staff from distributors. It was the first to offer customers presenting a credit card for payment to wipe down their card with a sanitizer. It offered “hero pay” to employees as it assured customers of a safe and welcoming environment as they ordered. “We look at the lifetime value of a brand loyal customer at nearly $30,000,” says Crosby. “Safety always comes first in our operations and I believe that our customers appreciate the precautions that we have taken. We want them to keep coming back over a long and healthy lifetime.”
“We believe that the hard work of our employees on behalf of our customers, big and small, will create loyalty for years to come at Red Gold,” says Halt. “In good times and in bad, a strong commitment to your customers always counts.”