Buy now, pay later with Fridge Freezer Direct


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Buy now, pay later with Fridge Freezer Direct

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Taken from the original piece by Foodservice Equipment Journal.

Fridge Freezer Direct, a one stop shop for foodservice operators, has recently merged three previously separate websites into one ‘supersite’ with a shared basket, incorporating commercial refrigeration, catering equipment and grease management solutions. Managing director Cory Greenhough tells FEJ how the company is helping businesses through the current adverse economic climate, including its adoption of a new buy now, pay later tool to support customers.

Our customers are in the hospitality industry, and suffered massively with the pandemic and now with the energy crisis.

Most business owners in this industry aren’t concerned about being the next millionaire, or driving around in a Ferrari; they do what they do because it’s their passion (as well as their livelihood). They genuinely care about delivering top quality food at reasonable prices. It’s their utopian vision. So it’s really sad to think of your local gastropub for example, admirably struggling through the pandemic and then not surviving this energy crisis.

A retail customer spoke to me the other day about how his energy bills have gone through the roof. We sold him an open-fronted fridge (where consumers can grab-and-go drinks and sandwiches etc.). They’re not particularly big pieces of equipment – his was about 1.5 metres. It’s currently costing him £10 a day to run, per unit. He has two. So that’s about £600 a month just to run two small chillers. That’s before anything else – switching his lights on, paying his staff, his rent, his business rates – all of the rest of it. In the past people have just thought about the cost of the piece of equipment, not the electricity they’ll need to run it.

We’re now focused more than ever on helping our customers find energy-efficient products that will benefit their business in the long run.

An open fronted chiller, for example, will cost considerably more to operate on a daily basis when compared with a doored cabinet of similar size. The same cabinet with doors could be up to 45% more efficient. That’s a massive saving for any business especially with energy costs soaring. Although the initial capital outlay is higher, the potential energy savings soon outweigh the deficit and will continue to provide savings in the future.

Catering and refrigeration equipment isn’t a straightforward impulse purchase; it’s mission critical and as such will be a big investment for any business. This’ll be equipment that quite often has 1,000s of pounds worth of stock in it and – if you’re not careful in what you buy – could cost you 1,000s of pounds a year to run. This means that making the right decision is crucial in terms of budget, suitability and performance. So customers want support every step of the way from their suppliers, from help finding the ideal appliance solution, through to the purchasing process and then ongoing after sales service for as long as they need it.

Our aim is to be on hand to offer customers free, impartial and honest advice whenever they need it, whether they are buying from us or not. This helps them to make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing new equipment, equipment that will operate in their business for years to come.

For all the reasons we’ve talked about so far, cash flow is always difficult for our customers. And it’s set to become almost exponentially more difficult over the next year or two. I’m talking to customers at the minute – publicans who are struggling to make ends meet, because of the energy bills now. So that’s why we now offer a solution to help ease the strain of making outright purchases in the form of buy now, pay later with iwocaPay. This concept allows our customers to spread the total cost of equipment over three months with three equal payments at 0% interest.

Buy now, pay later for businesses is new to our sector. When I first looked into it a few years ago, I got really excited thinking about the ability to implement a solution that would help my customers spread the cost on the pieces of equipment I was offering them (helping their cash flow) whilst I’d get paid straight away (helping mine!). I worked with a payment provider to try and set this up. But, I got to the last hurdle, and they said they could ‘only do buy now, pay later for B2C’! In our industry, it’s businesses that buy from us. Consumers can too, but they have to buy from us in a commercial capacity. So, B2B BNPL is what we needed.

Until now the only somewhat similar solution has been lease. But I’ve always said to customers – don’t do this unless you have no other choice, because ultimately you end up paying a lot of money for the product. A very small number of brand offer their own interest free solution. But the problem with this is that they have to manage the risk themselves, on their own book.

So that’s why we started using B2B buy now, pay later solution iwocaPay, where you don’t have to take on the risk (because they do). We as the supplier can offer our customers the flexibility to choose how and when they pay (they can pay-in-three for their purchases, spread across 90 days), but we get the funds in full as soon as they complete check out. It’s a win-win service for us (the suppliers) and our customers.


Article updated on:
October 20, 2022

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