In 2013, Danish Crown Beef moved into England with hopes of breaking into the wholesale meat market.
“It didn’t go so well at first, we just couldn’t break in to wholesale” says Danish Crown Director Allan Munch Hansen. “So I tried something different.”
Allan decided to attempt to sell Danish Crown beef products directly to restaurants, and he started by targeting rodizio restaurants. The move would prove to be a big step in getting closer to consumers and helping supply restaurants with more customized meats. It was the beginning of Danish Crown’s Food Service business in England, a business that started with a single customer and today sells directly to over 200 restaurants and runs its own catering butchery.
“I started by simply googling rodizio restaurants in England,” Allan explains. After identifying 40, he wrote a letter to every one of them offering a free sample of Danish Crown’s special cut of rodizio beef.
One of those letters landed in the hands of Restaurateur Robert Melman, who had just opened his second rodizio restaurant in Leeds.
“I didn’t know anything about Danish Crown, and I was very skeptical at first,” says Robert.
But Allan persisted and, eventually, sent a box of the beef to Robert’s Fazenda restaurant. Since then, the relationship between Danish Crown and Fazenda restaurants has blossomed. Last year, Robert bought 170 tons of meat from Danish Crown. Along the way, Danish Crown got to know Fazenda’s business, helped develop new cuts of meat, and adjusted delivery methods to help Fazenda grow from two to five restaurants – with three more planned for 2018.
Fazenda helped Danish Crown, too. The relationship spurred Danish Crown to start a Food Service division in England that today supplies 37 rodizio restaurants alone.
“Our food service strategy in England to get closer to our customers and to the consumer has become a part of the overall Danish Crown strategy. We’ve learned to supply just the right kind of high-quality meat for restaurants in a way that makes good business sense and gives restaurant guests a fantastic meal.”