Over half of chefs and caterers still make dealers their first port of call when buying commercial catering equipment, but an overwhelming majority admit they wouldn’t be averse to approaching manufacturers directly.
Those are two of the trends to emerge from a white paper report into industry buying behaviour released today by Electrolux Professional.
The study reveals that 56% of chefs and caterers would go straight to a dealer before making an equipment purchase, with 68% willing to go straight to a manufacturer and 24% happy to do either.
According to the report, the majority of transactions taking place within the market today are for refrigeration equipment, mixers and combi ovens.
Electrolux said the inclusion of refrigeration and mixers on the list reflected the strength of the replacement market for those products. It said a combi oven was less likely to be a replacement purchase, pointing to the 33% of participants who said they had purchased one in the last 12 months as an indication of increasing investment in menu development.
Customers said their top three considerations when purchasing new equipment were the seller’s expert knowledge, training support and existing relationships with suppliers.
The top three reasons for choosing specific equipment were consistency with previous purchases, delivery of profit and new innovations.
Stuart Flint, training and business development manager at Electrolux Professional, said: “Stripping the results of this research right back, buyers in the foodservice equipment market essentially want two things — equipment that will increase profitability and the support to help them maximise the potential of their kitchen.”
The survey for the report was responded to by a number of chefs across the hospitality sector, the majority of which had been working in the sector for over 10 years. Most respondents were from independent restaurants, pubs, hotels and catering outlets.
Flint added: “When we commissioned the research we expected relationships to play a significant factor too and what we found out confirmed this. Relationships were clearly earmarked as important in the buying process and it’s obvious that manufacturers and dealers need to offer training and support to chefs.”