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Will Work for Food

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Skookum, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Well, You can tell the economy is getting tighter each day. A client I have had now for 8 years wants to barter for services. They want to trade all services for meals at their store.

    The client is a national upscale dinner house that is only open evenings. They are one of my full service accounts. The chain filed bankruptcy about 3 years ago and last year they cut services down to just mowing. I can no longer keep the property looking good with such a drastic cut in services. It's now just a mow and go.

    The way it figures out if they paid me in the green stuff, I could feed myself and my two boys for about a month with grogeries or eat at McDonalds about 14 times a month. On their plan we could eat there 1.75 times a month and still have to buy drinks.

    I think this is no brainer for me, it's either the greenie stuff or no mowie. Anyone starting to get more of this?
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    Not presonally, but I did know a fellow LCO who was paid in food for mowing at a Chinese Restaurant.
  3. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    You have one client whose finances are in the tank and you conclude that the economy is getting tighter each day?

    This is called an error of induction.
  4. Mowerman05

    Mowerman05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    I really have no clue what I'm talking about since I haven't even started my biz yet lol - but just a thought or two that comes to my mind is...

    Maybe offer to go back to doing a full service deal with them. You doing whatever it takes to get their property back up to par looking real nice. In exchange they let you and your kids come in and eat every day free of charge - drinks, appetizers, deserts, and all the trimmings included. Only except maybe pay them gratuities.

    No money comes out of their pocket and their business will start to look successful again - maybe draw in more business for them to get back afloat? You get hundreds of dollars worth of free dining that (lets face it) HAS to be better than any number of mcdonalds meals.

    I work with a guy that did some work for a restaraunt (not sure what kind of work, but I don't think it was lawncare - maybe installed a deck or something) and this guy told me the rest. owner let him come in at any time and eat off their buffet free of charge on top of being paid for the job. It's not a top-notch restaraunt, but still it has some good food.
  5. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,397

    Hey, if you are a solo operator, then this sort of thing might be profitable. I have done this a little and it got me a laser printer, patio set, house cleaning, and some other stuff. I don't do it any more though now that I have employees.

    The deal does need to be a little sweeter though. Maybe two take out meals a week or something. Just think of how popular you would be with your wife if she didn't have to cook twice a week.
  6. Mowerman05

    Mowerman05 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    And what do you mean by no drinks? You mean they won't even give you a damn pepsi? If that's the case then they are just being stingy IMO. Softdrinks are so marked up in restaraunts it's not even funny. They could offer you a free meal or two a week like PTP suggested and toss in drinks for free along with maybe some other discounts.
  7. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    We have one client in particular, a Chinese lady, who owns a walk up service in our mall. Best Chinese food in town, too. She lives in a nice neighboorhood(700K-1.5M), we do her shrubs and topiaries each spring. She pays her invoice with no questions asked, but the upside is she gives me and my wife extra food and sometimes free food throughout the entire year. I keep trying to talk her into opening a sit down restaurant, but they have been doing fine in the mall for 9 years now :D
  8. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    that may or may not be true statement about the economy.

    but either way, I'd say your customers problems have more to do with their food quality and/or management styles.

    barter supper for property maintenance without drinks? see what I mean?

  9. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    How much is the price of fuel where you are over last year, How many jobs in your market area have gone abroad in the last year, How many people do you see whipping out the credit card instead of paying cash, How many cars do you see for sale by owner, How many big 3 car commercials do you see daily offering 0%, How many fast food chain coupons for BOGO have you gotten in the mail lately, Have you bought a sheet of plywood in the last year ? ? ? ?

    How many signs do you need :dizzy:
  10. grasswhacker

    grasswhacker LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,873

    I would tell them that you take meals as a tip, but not as compensation for your services. This is a no brainer IMO

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