Salesman shaking hands with doctor

Hey, Pharma Sales Reps: Should You Rethink Your Food-Drop Strategy?

If food is part of your pitch, Dinova can help you send the right messages.

 The local bagel place (in five different cities) knows you by name. You’ve memorized the sandwich preferences of every doctor in town. On the road, you spend more time phoning in catering orders and making reservations than you do chatting with your significant other back home. 

If this sounds like you, you may be a pharmaceutical sales rep. But while food drops are widely seen as a useful way to forge friendly relationships with physicians and their staff, it’s also highly unlikely that your job description (or compensation package, for that matter) includes anything about researching restaurant menus, ordering catering or arranging private dining. The benefit of these activities, in terms of meeting your aggressive sales goals, is open for debate.


So yes, food is a nice touch, but it should never divert focus away from your goals. Contrary to popular belief, food drops are most effective when delivered not (only) as an attempt to woo medical staff, but rather also to acknowledge 1) that their time is limited, 2) that they do a lot of multitasking, and 3) that you’re able to convey value that lasts far longer than their snack break. 


Good news: these three messages are challenges that Dinova’s total business dining solution can definitely help medical and pharmaceutical sales reps win. Here’s how and when Dinova works for you.

The Hospital Breakfast Drop

You’re trying to catch a prominent physician right after his 6 a.m. surgery, and hoping that whoever’s staffing the front desk is in a good mood (unlike last time). Plan your drop-in accordingly and show them you know how busy their day already is and aren’t trying to slow them down: bring coffee with you, as well as some bagels, smoothies, acai bowls or breakfast sandwiches for the office.

Dinova’s restaurant network features popular breakfast options in all major U.S. markets – and even some more far-flung surroundings. Use the Dinova desktop search tool or mobile app to find business-grade options (read: they won’t let you down) by location, or search for restaurants by name, including:

Authentic New York-style bagels
Authentic New York-style bagels. Breakfast, lunch, catering. Hot, fresh bagels, sandwiches, soups, salads.
Classic breakfast dishes with creative twists and Sandwiches
Classic breakfast dishes with creative twists.
Acai bowls, poke bowls, salads, wraps, smoothies, oatmeal, and coffee.
Acai bowls, poke bowls, salads, wraps, smoothies, oatmeal, and coffee.
Fresh-baked bagels, specialty sandwiches
Fresh-baked bagels, specialty sandwiches, coffee and more.

The Catered Office Breakfast

You’ve scored a few minutes to make your sales pitch at a local doctor’s office, and the big appointment is at 9:30 a.m. A well planned catering spread should enhance your presence there and be seen as a thoughtful bonus that keeps them nourished and productive, instead of disrupting the office workflow. 


Getting the catering order right is a big deal – and there’s a world of difference between restaurants that truly understand catering and ones that simply enable you to order takeout or delivery. Check out the pro offerings at some of these Dinova in-network all-stars:

Fresh Baked Sandwiches with Meat, Cheese and Vegetables
Fresh-baked bagels, specialty sandwiches, coffee and more.
Raspberries,blackberries,blueberry, strawberry,croissants
Simple, elegant boulangerie fare made with organic ingredients whenever possible for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Potbelly Sandwiches
Made-to-order toasted sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.
Pancakes, Bacon,Fruits, Scrambled Eggs
Serving farm-fresh breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner all day, every day.

The Power Lunch Pitch

The reality is, the odds of most of your medical clients accepting an invitation to a sit-down lunch outside the office are slim-to-none. This doesn’t mean that doctors and nurses don’t welcome a change from the same old cafeteria fare: so step up and offer a lunch and learn. Arrange for the food and then focus your efforts on polishing a succinct, timely 15- or 20-minute update on the latest research, patient education resources, or other information that they’ll really thank you for.


Pharma reps who use Dinova restaurants to arrange catering can expect to find crowd-pleasing lunch options like this:

Sandwiches with meat,tomato and salad
Fresh-made salads, pizzas & sandwiches.
Chocolate Cookie, Salad and sandwiches
Burgers, bowls, salads, smoothies, and shakes.
Italian Sandwiches and Chocolate Cookie
Made-from-scratch classic Italian dishes.
American comfort fare
American comfort fare.

Bonus: The Over-Dinner Deal

When pharma business calls for wining and dining, the last thing you want to worry about is exceeding spending limits that violate government gifting regulations. That’s where resources like Dinova Dine Assist can be very useful for sales reps.


Dinova’s business dining specialists can help you find and book private dining venues that’ll impress your clients, set the scene for enjoyable (and productive) business dinners, and help ensure you’re compliant in your state. Many fine dining restaurants in Dinova’s network even offer special pharma prix fixe menus, making the process even easier.


A few of our favorite fine dining options for pharma meetings:

Aged prime beef and classics such as lobster tails and pork chops.
Aged prime beef and classics such as lobster tails and pork chops.
Grilled Salmon
Classic steak and seafood menu.
Hawaiian-influenced cuisine including the finest seafood, steaks and sushi.
Hawaiian-influenced cuisine including the finest seafood, steaks and sushi.
prime-aged beef
USDA prime-aged beef, jumbo Nova Scotia lobster, heritage Italian entrees and premium seafood.

Choosing restaurants in Dinova’s network for food drops, catering, and business dining can not only save you time spent searching and making arrangements—there’s also the potential for you to earn bottom line-boosting rebates for your company and a few personal rewards for yourself, too. Check us out at

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