So when you are building a new restaurant you talk to your equipment supplier, and they help you design the kitchen. They charge you of course, but then you buy away the charge as you buy equipment from the supplier.
You can understand why restaurants go for this, it appears to reduce your cash outlay. And you can see why suppliers offer this service, this way they can lock in purchases before all of that price comparing goes on (the kitchen has not yet been specified and designed, so what are you going to compare at this stage?)
I interviewed TriMark, they may be the largest equipment supplier in North America. I also talked to Eastern (pictured above). They are a smaller local supplier and have helped me with the truck. Believe me, I have my complaints about Eastern. They’re a bit disorganized, and only recently have they started to treat me decently, before that it was very gruff. And I’ve seen them treat other customers in ways that cannot be excused.
That said, they have been helping me to date, and they are local. Very local. We decided to use them for the design phase. Didn’t hurt that they are faster and less expensive than TriMark for this stage, but whatever the reason the choice makes me feel good.