You may be wondering why we are writing about how to shop in a restaurant store. It seems simple enough to do, right? You want to purchase something for your restaurant. So you go to the store to look for what you want to buy and get it. However, purchasing items as a new or infrequent customer may not be as seamless as one might think. When you are going to buy from a restaurant store there is some preparation involved.
Know what you are looking for…
You would be surprised how many people, when they go shopping, forget what they came to buy. Just as with going grocery shopping, you need to write down the things you want to buy. Or have an idea of which piece of equipment you want to buy, how many do you need, and the accessories that may need to accompany it.
Know how much you are willing to pay
What is your bottom line? How much do you want to spend. Do research first. Check online, look-up brand name companies and see who is near your location. Check out amazon.com or EBay.com. Check out our website even to see what are the price ranges of the item you want. Get an idea, first, of how much it should cost.
Give yourself time to get what you are looking to purchase
Unlike consumer products, commercial items may often be customized. Or the company may hold a monopoly in a specific product area, which can make some items much more expensive. Often, many items are not currently in stock and may have to be ordered. The delivery time can be anything from three days to three weeks.
Be nice to the help
Oftentimes store employees are aware of deals that may be going on with manufacturers and can pass that information on to you. They also are the guardians of the secret sales present within the store. Being nasty, crass or impatient often will not help you get the best deal.
Take accurate measurements of your space and the items you want to place in your space
This is self-explanatory. This industry lives and dies by measurements. If an item is too big or too small, it’s a bust. You don’t need it and we often are stuck holding it until we can find another buyer. While most stores are knowledgeable about their wares, we don’t know what size you really need unless you tell us or we measure it ourselves.
Know when you should need the pieces and when it is too late to get it
Give a cushion date. Don’t waste our time and we won’t waste yours. We are here to help you succeed, ultimately. Allow enough time for mishaps. Natural disasters happen, out-of-stock happens, and discontinued items happen all the time. Plan for it. Be realistic. Which brings us to the next point…
Have a back-up plan
Make an alternate plan. We know you like what you picked out but things happen all the time. Many items run out of stock or become discontinued often.
Last but not least
Have an appropriate method of payment that works at the time of purchase, like cash or credit. Many orders are large purchase amounts, they sometimes add up into the tens of thousands of dollars. Check with your bank before you make the purchase and let them know that you intend to make a sizable purchase from the restaurant supply store so your order does not get held up in an approval war.