Metro New York’s Advantage Marketing Redefines Independent Food Brokerage

Advantage Marketing
Advantage Marketing principals Ron Fast, John Williams, Brigitte Rounds and Mitchell Levine, with a combined 150+ years of foodservice experience, have created a new standard for independent brokerage firms.

With more than four decades of experience, Advantage Marketing is one of the oldest and most seasoned food service brokerage firms in Metro New York/New Jersey marketing area and the nation. Navigating the food brokerage landscape in a world in which most independent brokers have been acquired by large national firms is truly a unique accomplishment.

Advantage MarketingAdvantage Marketing opened its doors in 1974 as the first independent foodservice brokerage firm in the Metro area. Up until then, the foodservice brokerage industry was generally a small division and afterthought of grocery and supermarket retail brokers. They were asked by manufacturers to knock on the doors of the local restaurant trade as companies focused on the much larger supermarket retail customers.

Many of those brokerages, including Advantage Marketing, did in fact find calling on restaurants and the Business and Institution trade (B&I) including hospitals, K-12 schools, universities and corporate dining, a lucrative new business. During the 1980’s “the Golden Age” of independent foodservice representation came to the forefront. The Metro New York/New Jersey market even had its very own independent foodservice brokerage show with names including Reichenbach, Kirstein, and Prestige, that are all since long gone due to consolidation of local foodservice firms into huge national retail/foodservice brokerage firms.

More recently, as struggles grew for market share and margins in the grocery/supermarket trade, large retail food brokerages saw adding foodservice brokerage divisions as the solution to their challenged bottom lines. With the acquisition of formerly independent brokerage firms in Metro New York, came a change in the parameters of foodservice manufacturer representation. What was once a very hands-on approach to product demonstrations of new menu ideations and solutions for end-user operators and the distributors that serve them, the market changed dramatically. The larger, newly combined national retail/foodservice brokers thought they could bring the very same retail sale mentality of volume driving rebates based on “tonnage” to accomplish their sales goals.

The unforeseen problem with counting on volume foodservice sales was the palettes of restaurant and foodservice dining patrons grew more sophisticated, in many cases a result of the Food Network and diverse social media. Restaurants and foodservice operators needed “best in class” sales representatives to assist in meeting the increasing demands of their discerning customers, especially true in the mecca of the nations’ dining scene: New York City and its surrounding Tri-State area.

  • Day & Nite
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • McKee Foodservice Sunbelt Bakery
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • RATIONAL USA
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Atosa USA
  • Epiq Global Payment Card Settlement
  • Inline Plastics
  • Imperial Dade
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • Easy Ice
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • RAK Porcelain

Advantage Marketing’s perseverance to maintain independence and commit to provide “best in class” sales and service, resulted in their emergence today as the nation’s leading independent foodservice brokerage firm.

Advantage Marketing
Advantage Marketing’s approach to creating menu solutions for its end–user operator and distributor partners include state of the art demo kitchens in both their Hauppauge, NY and Saddle Brook, NJ locations.

“For the national manufacturer, Advantage Marketing’s 45-year history gives the company direct access to very strong relationships with operators, management companies and distributors,” noted Advantage Marketing’s president, Mitchell Levine.  “We operate on what we refer to as the Four Points of Excellence,” Levine explained. “It’s a business model that allows each managing partner, as a principal of the company, to focus their respective marketing efforts within a specific area of foodservice sales.”

That foundation is built in part by Brigitte Rounds, who manages the institutional and K-12 school foodservice business and is a knowledgeable source when it comes to institutional municipal services and sales.  John Williams oversees the entire broadline foodservice distribution business, as well as key national accounts.  Ron Fast’s expertise is with local independent distributors and brings a unique background as a trained chef in a number of high-end commercial kitchens. Fast also manages key large leverage operators and chain accounts with the support of the Advantage Marketing sales team assuring they find exciting, on trend, menu solutions.  Mitchell Levine, as the company’s president, is actively involved in all aspects of the company sales and marketing efforts. “Today, you have to understand the operator’s needs exactly and precisely to meet their menu requirements in order to fulfill their customers’ expectations,” Levine explained.

To acclimate to the ever-evolving industry and its constant changes, Advantage Marketing’s Hauppauge, NY and Saddle Brook, NJ offices are fully equipped with freezers, coolers, test kitchens and state-of-the-art technology. Advantage Marketing has a dedicated and trained team of sales professionals including a number of trained culinary chefs and a registered dietitian on staff to respond to various customer requests. These skilled personnel provide specific technical knowledge to their manufacturers and key operators.  “In addition to being an expert to address the operator needs, you must understand the chain of command in order to sell and market product effectively,” added Williams.

With Advantage Marketing, the legacy of the independent foodservice brokerage company is alive and well in the Metro New York New Jersey foodservice marketing area.  With their 45 year history of professional foodservice sales and marketing, Advantage Marketing continues to create an unmatched recipe for success on behalf of their manufacturers and customers.


To learn more about Advantage Marketing, visit their website.

  • Inline Plastics
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Imperial Dade
  • Day & Nite
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Atosa USA
  • Easy Ice
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • McKee Foodservice Sunbelt Bakery
  • AHF National Conference 2024
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Epiq Global Payment Card Settlement
  • RATIONAL USA
  • DAVO by Avalara