Director of Business Development, Foodservice

Decaf coffee is growing significantly more than regular coffee — more than twice as fast, with 66% of coffee drinkers saying “it’s important to manage my caffeine intake”. This growth is driven by younger consumers, age 18–24 who are the largest consumers of decaffeinated coffee.   The biggest segment for growth: restaurants.

As the new generation of coffee drinkers gets to know decaf, they care that it 1) tastes as great as regular, and 2) is sustainable. Currently, the majority of decaf in the market has been processed using harsh added chemicals, which is a significant part of why decaffeinated coffee has historically had a bad-tasting reputation.

Because of the movement in this segment, and the younger consumer base, there’s a big opportunity to grow decaffeinated coffee right where consumers are going — with QSR and fast-casual restaurant chains focused on high quality, sustainable, great-tasting coffee and beverage programs.


Role Overview

Swiss Water® is well positioned to tell its “ingredient brand” story to a wider audience. This role reports directly to the CEO and will serve as a key member of the company leadership team.

Director of Business Development — Foodservice is a new role for our company, and a pivotal one; we are ready to embark on our next phase of dynamic growth, and we need a leader who will strategize, develop, and ignite new segment growth and brand presence of the Swiss Water® Process in the North American Foodservice national accounts/restaurant segment.

Because Swiss Water® Process is an “ingredient” brand; we must lead, engage & collaborate with our larger roaster partners to enable their sales teams to sell effectively, as well.

This leader will be an experienced business driver and a keen strategist, but also a scrappy, entrepreneurial mindset, a love of collaboration, and a major passion for coffee (both with caffeine and without), who is equipped with a comprehensive understanding of foodservice chain account sales in the coffee category, as well as experience in specialty coffee industry itself.

This leader will work in partnership with our Marketing and Trading leaders and teams, as well as with Swiss Water direct customers to strategize, plan, and execute growth in our business in chain restaurants. This will be done by rallying large roaster partners to increase sales team engagement & training, and by using existing knowledge of restaurant chain accounts & contacts to develop a compelling sales proposition that helps category margins and creates direct selling relationships in the industry.


Our Objective:

Grow share of Swiss Water® Process in Foodservice — secure key chain account business, and also grow awareness/interest in high-quality, chemical-free decaffeinated coffee, and the Swiss Water brand.

  • Create top-to-top relationships and feet-on-the-street programs for roaster sales and marketing teams to be more actively engaged with and educated about Swiss Water to actively sell into accounts
  • Quickly establish opportunities & growth with key chain accounts to convert them to Swiss Water® Process decaf, and also convince them to actively promote sustainable, chemical-free, great-tasting coffee without caffeine


Our Challenge:

Because we don’t sell directly to Foodservice, but through roaster partners, the Director of Business Development — Foodservice will find ways to:

  • Educate and generate interest among primary foodservice accounts through direct contact, and by maintaining the current supply chain through major roaster partners
  • Influence and engage sales people among our roaster partners who supply foodservice — e.g. incentive programs, sales education, etc.


Foodservice Strategic Plan:


  • Leverage & refine current strategic plans & market sizing to create a streamlined & focused plan for growth of this new channel
  • Create an actionable list of target accounts, including current suppliers (e.g. roasters), and estimated volumes
  • “How to Win” — define a clear approach to close key account business and develop team based selling approach to and account teams to manage within budgets

Sales & Marketing Plan

    • Key Accounts:
      • Target sales list, including buyer, current supplier, and estimated volumes
      • A comprehensive and convincing presentation/toolkit that will generate interest with chain account buyers
    • Roasters:
      • An engagement & education plan to more effectively educate roasters suppliers about Swiss Water Process & get them excited about selling us
    • Marketing & Brand:
      • A prioritized list of promotional activities that will generate access to accounts and drive sales & brand opportunities

Execution of Plan

      • Engage key large roaster partners (Farmer Brothers, Mother Parker’s, S&D, etc) across functions (Sales, Brand) to build out a collaborative selling plan, as well as to pitch & present to their teams to engage & build sales
      • Meetings & sales presentations to key chain account prospects to pitch Swiss Water® Process as their decaffeinated coffee program
      • Deploy promotional activities
      • Define, plan, and meet sales targets, guided by our strategic plan and market data

Internal Interactions:

      • Active participation on cross functional teams
      • Work closely with internal customer service team across both Specialty and National Accounts

External Interactions:

      • Actively engaged in managing agencies and outside suppliers
      • Establish relationships within and across the Specialty Coffee Industry
      • Attend Specialty Coffee seminars, conferences, conventions and trade shows

Key Attributes:

      • Passionate about the coffee Industry
      • Innovative and creative
      • Inclusive and proactive leader
      • Inspiring and open to new ideas
      • Proactive communicator
      • Data-driven with a bias toward action
      • Self-directed with the ability to achieve results in a remote organization structure
      • Excellent in planning and delivery of work consistent with corporate and department objectives
      • Ability to manage change in a dynamic industry
      • Excellent communication skills — written, oral, listening, comprehension for purposes of positively influencing



      • Minimum 5-10 years’ coffee industry experience
      • 10-15 years’ Sales and/or Marketing experience in foodservice chain accounts
      • Proven experience in national chain restaurant/QSR segment, with strong relationships & contacts within those accounts
      • Demonstrated ability to develop and sell successful premium coffee/beverage products to national accounts, with a proven track record of successful launches
      • Specialty coffee experience in a sales/marketing role, or in other roles, such as store operator, barista, roaster, or other capacity
      • Experience in developing a cohesive ground-up sales plan with team based selling approaches, including target lists, sales decks, and promotional plans
      • Experience in creating & tracking sales forecasts, P&L management, and market analysis
      • Experience building, managing, and motivating teams, both direct and indirect
      • Excellence in planning and delivery of work consistent with corporate and department objectives
      • Entrepreneurial mindset with a focus on segment growth
      • Active in supporting and building consensus in a team environment
      • Works well with others, communicates effectively, builds influence
      • Excellent communication skills — written, oral, listening, comprehension for purposes of positively influencing
      • College degree and/or relevant work experience; Master’s degree in business, marketing, or other related field preferred

LOCATION: Vancouver, BC or Seattle, WA. Travel to industry trade events and customers/prospects (est. 30%).

Share This