Finding the Right Distributor

Investing in new equipment can be a daunting task for any restaurant operator. Weighing all the factors — such as price, quality, and overall value — can be tricky. And not only that but deciding where to purchase equipment brings a new set of considerations, such as delivery, installation/start-up, training support, and ongoing service. The impact a distributor can have on the overall purchasing process makes picking the right one equally as important as selecting the right equipment.

But how do you know you’re partnering with the right distributor to help you and your business? There are several signs that your equipment provider is a good one — here are five traits we see with successful distributors in our network.

Has an excellent reputation and is often recommended

The best and perhaps the easiest way to find a top-notch distributor is by following the advice of your peers. A distributor that receives consistent praise from buyers has earned its excellent reputation. Assessing the distributor’s partnerships may tell you a little about them and how they manage their business. Longstanding partnerships with manufacturers are a sign of a business that places a high priority on professionalism, dependability, and performance.

Consistently exceeds your expectations

No business has time to wait around for under-performing partners. They can slow your operations down and interfere with your business’s growth. A worthy distributor should follow through on their commitments and act as a member of your team. They should be more than a Do they check-in to ensure your satisfaction? Do they communicate information you might find interesting? Do they alert you to new opportunities with products or supplies? A distributor that views themselves as a partner will.

Is an industry expert and ongoing resource

It’s worth a buyer’s time to research whether their distributor is the real deal. Partnering with a true industry expert means that you’ll receive guidance and relevant insights from a knowledgeable source. A good distributor can act as a back-of-house consultant. They have seen it all and know what will help you achieve your goals and identify potential challenges. In addition to hands-on experience, a great distributor will participate in dealer shows and industry-related events expanding their knowledge for your benefit.

Has the equipment and service level you need

A truly dedicated distributor will have the desire and the resources to address any customer service issues. Operators should be cautious of resellers whose commitment to their customers ends following the sale. Do they invest in training their service team? Do they carry parts? How do they respond to crises? The value of a distributor is their commitment to their clients months and years after the purchase of your equipment.

Puts the needs and wants of the customer first

Find a distributor that makes the purchasing experience custom to you. No sale should have a one-size-fits-all A distributor with good communication skills and fair practices will be able to adapt to your needs and provide you with solutions that help drive your business.