The Bang Shack Dips In and Out of the Tank Without a Deal
A feature of Shark Tank that all viewers like to see in an episode is an in-depth background story. On Episode 21 of Season 10, we all became introduced to Jason Hadley and learned about his heartfelt upbringing. From being raised by a single mother on food stamps to having his son at 15-years-old, Jason has illustrated how his hardships have inspired him to work extremely hard in order to provide for his family. This mindset has led Jason to have a successful career in sales and pivot to starting a Shark Tank-worthy business
Jason entered the Tank asking for $80,000 in exchange for 20% of his company, The Bang Shack, a specialty dip company based out of Miami, Florida.
The Bang Shack’s founder, Jason, showcased his exuberant personality as he began describing his company’s flagship product line. Beginning with his self-described ‘world famous’ chicken bang dip, Jason starts to reel the Sharks in by illustrating the chicken, spinach, cheese and sauce that has each customer coming back for more. Not only does The Bang Shack have a well-respected chicken dip, but also provides a vegetarian and vegan dip so that everyone can enjoy ‘the bang.’
As the Sharks begin feasting on his dip, Jason begins filling the Sharks in on how he has been selling his product thus far. Currently, The Bang Shack is operating solely in farmer’s markets in Florida. Jason shares that his initial strategy has been to use farmer’s markets in order to help build up his brand recognition. The Bang Shack started out with a small booth and 2 crock pots at their local farmer’s market and have grown to a larger booth and 12 crock pots. Jason shares that from inception in January 2017 to this year, The Bang Shack has made $53,000 and are projected to finish 2019 with $88,000 in sales.
Though The Bang Shack has done decently well in farmer’s markets, they have yet to open their website to welcome online shoppers. Since farmer’s markets only operate 2 days a week, Lori asks Jason what he does on the off days. After sharing that he works on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and marketing during the rest of the week, the Sharks begin to wonder how Jason has yet to explore e-commerce. Jason shares that it would be very difficult for him to ship the product since it is made in crock pots. The Sharks are confused by this and ask to see if the dip has been put into packaging yet. While Jason shares that he has the packaging done, he did not bring any to show the Sharks.
Jason shared that he is going to use the Shark’s investment to open a commercial kitchen and make the dip in bulk along with getting onto the shelves of stores nationwide.
Kevin begins the conversation by explaining how competitive the refrigeration department is and how Jason does not have the infrastructure needed to grow in stores. He continues by sharing that he does not want to have to go and do the work of meeting with buyers and get the copacker going. While Jason shares that he is motivated and willing to do all of that work, the Sharks start to ask why he has yet to do it.
Mark continues by stating that you would think that since Jason is so good at sales and the product is so good that he would have figured out how to get into stores and have the packaging in place. Jason deflects by explaining that he does have the packaging done but Mark interrupts and says that he didn't bring it with him today and goes out.
Daymond includes that even if The Bang Shack does get into stores that it will be a challenge to sell them. He proceeds by sharing that there would have to be countless trunk shows in order to educate more customers across the country and since Jason cant be everywhere at once, he goes out.
Lori loves the product and believes in Jason’s ability to sell anything but thinks that he is too early in looking for an investment and goes out. Kevin returns to the conversation in reiterating that he does not want a job, he wants to use his leverage to make money with Jason. Mr. Wonderful does not see The Bang Shack as investable yet and goes out.
Robert is the last shark available for Jason to score a deal. He starts off by stating that there is a transition in going from salesperson to business person and refers back to Jason’s lack of packaged product in the Tank. He goes on to say that if Jason had brought examples of a finished product along with having done tests in stores that he probably would've gotten an offer. Since Jason did not do any of those things, Robert goes out and The Bang Shack fails to get a deal in the Tank.
Jason from The Bang Shack is a reminder to all entrepreneurs that it does not matter how enthusiastic you are in the Tank or how good your product is. Even if you have a unique and inspiring backstory, if you enter the Tank and are not fully prepared, you will not get a deal.
The exposure that The Bang Shack will have from Shark Tank needs to be kept in mind as Jason may face an insurmountable amount of requests and inquiries about how consumers around the country can get their hands on some dip. In order for Jason to survive this spike in demand, he needs to be strategic about the fundamental decisions he is going to have to make for his business including: the type and weight of packaging that he is going to have to ship, creating a supply chain to streamline the manufacturing process, then just getting active on social media and being completely honest and upfront with his potential customers.
This is a company that people will likely become loyal to due to both the product and Jason’s likability. Consumers will buy-into this business as people are more likely to support small, honest businesses. In the eyes of the everyday person, there is nothing better than a high-quality product that is made from a local, down-to-earth leader. With this in mind, can The Bang Shack survive from operating solely out of Farmer’s Markets? Absolutely. While this may not be the most favorable deal for the Sharks in that it won’t result in a hundred-million-dollar exit, The Bang Shack serves as an example of a viable product that can progressively grow, gain a loyal following and support a family through an honest business.