Relationship Marketing: Interview with Chef and Owner, Nick Brune

In this video interview, Reb Risty, Head REBL at REBL Marketing speaks with Nick Brune, chef and owner of Eco Caters, about their mission and how they use relationship marketing to grow their business.

Do you find it hard, when you are talking with clients, do they understand what your zero waste initiative? Does that really resonate with them?

You know, I would say especially here in California, we’re kind of at the epicenter of this whole culture as far as the organic scene kind of starts out here. Obviously, we’ve got sunshine 70 degrees for most the year, so it’s a little bit easier, right? So yeah, the culture out here, especially, as driven there. But it’s funny, I’m getting contacted by cities left and right. We’re going to be expanding next year. And I mean, Atlanta, Orlando, Boston, Baltimore. These are cities that, that word is out.

Again, like everyone understands this is not a new issue. It’s not just about global warming. It’s, it’s not this Democratic or Republican thing anymore. It’s like, yeah, this is happening. We’ve got a lot of plastic in our oceans. There’s some things we can do to solve these issues, and we’re just trying to take those steps to actually make those things happen. And I think a lot of people are starting to recognize that, so they’re starting to do the same thing.

Well, that’s good. Good. I like to hear that because I think top of mind, you want to be sustainable, you want to be doing the right things, but I think because we’re such fast-paced all the time-

Absolutely.. people are going and going. Easy button.

Yeah, truly. So, my show, I’m obviously marketing, you’ve got a lot of things going on. What strategies are you using to get the word out to your customers?

In the last 12 years, I’ve been through the gauntlet, you could say. So, we’ve done everything on the digital level, from SEO to pay per click. We are just getting into the LinkedIn world, which is working okay. The email campaigns have pretty much been the best and we’re actually moving those in-house through our Salesforce in-house. And I think the email campaigns digitally have been really a really fantastic connection. Pay per click is obviously, it collects the best data for us, right, to where we can actually know where and what and why to spend.

And Eco Caters SEO, again, we’ve been writing a blog for 12 years about organic food online. So, we do really well just organically on those levels. And even more so, again, with what we’re trying to sell now, these longterm contracts for corporations and things like that, like partner with venues, we’re kind of realizing that relationship marketing is more pretty much our best bet. I’d almost rather spend money on an individual to go make sure that they’re having their two meetings a day, rather than hope for five or six leads a day digitally, I can just see my ROI on it a little bit easier.

Wow, I like that. So relationship marketing. Is that part of your sales effort? What does that mean? For anybody who’s not familiar.

Well, this day, right off the bat, it’s pretty much on me to get out and network and be a part, develop our brand here as Eco Caters and get to know the corporate world and have them get to know me. And then from there, it kind of starts to trickle down into all of our salespeople individually, and through peer groups or whatever it may be. Just getting out there and having conversations. We have that set two, run two mentality here.

So, we are trying to set two meetings every day and run two meetings every day, right. And then, I love that book and that saying, “Never eat alone.” So, if you’re going to go have lunch, you should be having a meeting with somebody. And it works out really well. You get to know people around town, you build your own personal network, and most of the time, it’s obviously going to build your pipeline.

You can reach Nick at

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