The major reason for the success of Gates Bar-B-Q has been the
barbecue sauce, manufactured and used by the barbecue restaurants. From the inception
of the business, in 1946, there was a constant demand for the sauce and as the business
grew and expanded that demand became greater. Attempts to meet the barbecue sauce
demands initially were met by the manufacturing of the barbecue sauce, but it eventually
became apparent that it was impossible to keep pace with the demand by primitive
methods. Therefore, automation of the barbecue sauce manufacturing began appearing
in the warehouse in the l970's and barbecue sauce manufacturing was completely automated
by the mid '70 s.
As the demand for the sauce continued to grow and the ability to
respond to that demand through automation, was assured a decision was made in 1975
to introduce Gates Bar-B-Q sauce to the retail grocery stores. Sales calls were
made to convince the buyers for the chain stores and the wholesalers who supply
the independently owned stores to carry the barbecue sauce in their warehouses.
Some favorably responded immediately, however, others displayed some reluctance
to take a new item which they felt might yield questionable investment returns.
Persistence and strong consumer appeal prevailed and all major supermarkets in the
Kansas City metro area soon stocked Gates Bar-B-Q sauce on their shelves to their
credit because the barbecue sauce each year has been a strong competitor and enjoys
a significant share of the market among the top competition in barbecue sauce.
Gates Bar-B-Q is receiving national recognition due in large part
to the strategic location of Kansas City. Being the hub of the nation, Kansas City
attracts various groups of people from throughout the country for a variety of reasons
including national political conventions, public officials conventions, business,
industry, fraternal and professional conventions, as well as the American Royal,
to name a few. Additionally, it is host to a number of college and professional
sporting events. All these activities have brought many of these people into Gates'
Bar-B-Q restaurants, thereby enhancing the Gates national image, but more importantly
a continually rising demand for Gates Bar-B-Q Sauce on a national basis. People's
views being that if they cannot have Gates Bar-B-Q in their own metropolitan areas,
they will tout for the sauce being made available to them in their market areas.
This national barbecue sauce demand has culminated in a decision
being made in 1982 by Ollie Gates to commence a methodical and intense national
distribution effort in 1983. Plans are currently underway to concentrate on a few
major markets in reasonably close proximity to the Kansas City market for two primary
reasons: First, the closer those markets are to Kansas City the greater the familiarity
with Gates products, and secondly, having limited knowledge of national marketing
it seems imperative to be in close enough proximity to those experimental markets
to react quickly as circumstances dictate during Gates' initial exposure in those
This national demand for the barbecue sauce has brought forth a
number of individuals and retailers with a few stores, who have sought out Gates
to arrange for distribution on a very limited basis in their markets which include
a few of the major markets across the country. Adversely affecting their ability
to compete in the market place is the fact that they put in very small quantities,
thereby considerably increasing an already exacerbating transportation cost. Moreover,
economic feasibility impinges against much marketing assistance from the manufacturer,
whose assistance dollars are limited unless or until distribution efforts can be
concentrated in a given market area. Eventually, assistance to them will be forthcoming
as the marketing efforts and resources of Gates Bar-B-Q sauce begins fanning out
from Kansas City in a concentrated manner market by market with the ultimate goal
of reaching every major and many lesser markets across the country within the next
Gates will continue in the Family Tradition and pride ourselves
in producing the best possible products.