Hire Cheap, Pay Twice? Why Cheap Catering Equipment Hire is Best Avoided
Published : 5th June 2019
It’s long been our aim to give the best possible service we can. Although many clients are on board with using the best or even the second or third best, in this internet-driven world it’s often a struggle for businesses to compete when it appears to all come down to price.
On the face of it, what we hire is a commodity; something you could get elsewhere and probably for less. But that’s not what we set out to achieve…
On the first day of 1999 we fell into this world of hire and although it started from very humble beginnings, our aim was never to offer something at the cheapest price or to try and beat our competition on something as simple as cost.
That’s not because we’re greedy. It’s because we wanted to change things….
We’re not expensive; mistakes and bad planning are
There’s often a reason that something is less expensive, and that often means cutting corners. We don’t do that, and comparing one service with another can often miss out that one service has many hidden benefits over another.
We’ll check and clean all the equipment every time it goes out so you don’t have failures and so you don’t have to clean it when it arrives. This not only saves time, it means you get clean equipment that works straight away.
We also hand polish and hand finish all our glassware and cutlery so that it can be placed straight onto the tables when it arrives, saving time and labour costs.
We go for quality and finish over saving time…
The fact is, no matter what industry you look at, it takes a lot of time, energy, and money to go above and beyond. It’s a real investment to aim to be the best and if you’ve ever tried to do the same then we commend you for it. We know how much effort and focus that takes.
In 2019 we were one of three companies nationally shortlisted the SafeHire Event Equipment Hire Company Of The Year and were recognised for the highest standards and best practices in the hire industry by the Hire Association Europe / Event Hire Association! That’s a demonstration of our ongoing efforts.
Why you shouldn’t choose hiring equipment on price
Given the choice, why should you choose quality in the hire game over the best price?
We find that ‘cheaper’ is the companion of ‘corners cut’ and ‘empty promises’. There are so many examples in your life of a cheaper alternative that let you down, aren’t there?
We saw a post on social media recently of a house fire caused by a tested and apparently ‘safe’ smartphone replica USB plug. Scary.
Others are cheaper, not better.
Cheaper often means quality, care, and attention to detail are all missed off the list. These key components to any hire business will be missing if you’re getting the bottom dollar deal.
Quotes are not always transparent and like-for-like. Cheaper quotes often forget to explain the deal you’re reading about isn’t quite the one you’re looking for and rarely the one you want.
Check the quote and ask yourself:
- Have they included wash up charge?
- Is delivery and collection included?
- Will they be adding VAT?
- Are quantities the same as other quotes?
- Are they easily contactable?
- Is everything clean and tested?
- What’s the breakage policy?
- Do they have testimonials?
The bottom line rarely tells the full story.
If we’re honest, when we hear “cheaper” we hear, “we left something out”. It’s why we’ve been keen never to be that type of company. Since that exceptional lunch and discovery in 1999 we made a promise that we’ve stuck to; a promise to create a company that never lets people down.
Are your bargain hirers up-to-date with paperwork?
Here’s what some of our competitors might be thinking:
“When you’re running a business with less profit due to lower prices, you have to save on the odd thing here and there.”
“Who needs health and safety documents anyway?! Bunch of nonsense.”
“There’s no need to be part of SafeHire when all they’re going to do is audit you every year and cost you money and time you don’t have. What a hassle.”
“It’s OK to be ‘creative’ with the quotes and invoices too. The customer will just pay extras.”
“There’s no problem running a few knackered old vans to deliver it all in either. They won’t break down during an important delivery, will they? It’ll be fine.”
“Home appliances are never checked so we don’t need PAT tested ovens, boilers, or other electricals. That’s going to cost money and time we don’t have as we only charge a small fee.”
“We’re not online. So what if we’re not on Google and don’t have Facebook? We don’t want people leaving negative reviews. And who cares that we’re not going to give you exactly what you want? We’re saving you some cash!”
Pay a little more, get a load more
We never set out to be ‘cheap’ and we don’t intend to be. Being the best we can be, and working with SafeHire to help the hire industry push the standards further forward, costs us time and money. It takes effort and honesty to open ourselves up to scrutiny and inspection on a regular basis.
PAT testing every time the equipment comes back to us is costly.
Buying the best equipment and then storing, cleaning, and caring for it so it gives you the best performance will cost more.
But that’s what we believe the right customers will go for, as they believe (just like we do) that when something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly.
There are stories abound throughout the hire industry - stories that keep people awake at night:
- The event organisers running out of glasses.
- The first dance ruined by the overloaded house electrics giving way.
- Events where dinner was late because the ovens failed.
- We hear the effect of poor quality kit has at events, the nightmares the caterer has, and the fire fighting (literally!) they do to ensure success.
… we just don’t ever plan to part of those stories. Do you?
We’re very confident that the quality, condition, and availability of our products together with our excellent customer service is unrivalled in the industry.
Next time you’re looking to hire in some catering equipment for your business, try doing this:
- When you’re comparing quotes check they’re like-for-like in terms of washing up, delivery and collection, and VAT.
- Take the price out of the decision and ask yourself: What is it you like about the company, the product, and the service, and what is it that attracted you to the website to get a quote in the first place?
And then, and only then, check the price.
It’s rare that the price is a good reason to choose a company. You’re buying the result; not a commodity. You’re buying the hiring experience, not a 24-48 hour period with some kit to do a job.
We have an award-winning track record, not only winning Event Equipment Company of the Year in 2017, but also being highly commended in 2016 and achieving the finals shortlist again this year.
Being just 1 of 3 companies nationally shortlisted and the only Midlands based catering equipment hire company since 2013, we have a lot to shout about and be proud of! We love our great customer reviews and our high scoring Gold Status health and safety certification from the EHA Business Guard.
None of that is a mistake, and it’s not cheap.
But we’re OK with that. Are you?