Brakes to publish prices for greater transparency

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Brakes: greater pricing transparency after negative customer feedback
Brakes: greater pricing transparency after negative customer feedback

Related tags Price

Foodservice supplier Brakes has announced it will publish its list prices for the first time since 2011 in an effort to increase transparency following previous negative customer reviews.

Announcing the move, which will see Brakes’ online and physical catalogues display ingredient and portion prices as of this November, the company’s pricing director Charlie Burton said Brakes planned to "put customers back at the heart" of its strategy. 

The wholesaler's list prices will then be updated twice a year, in March and September.

Bad feedback

Burton said: “Back in 2013 we were getting some bad feedback. It was very clear that we weren’t being transparent with the way that we priced. We made it very difficult for our customers because we didn’t tell them the price of products.”

The new structure will see customers receiving a trade discount on orders depending on their yearly spend with the company.

Customers would be awarded a trade discount, a flat percentage based on how much they spend and volumes ordered, said Burton, adding that approximately 40 “known value items” such as chips, tuna and Coca-Cola would be sold at a low price but not be eligible for discount.

Brakes stopped publishing its prices in 2011 due to fluctuations in price that may have seemed illogical to some customers.

Burton said: “Actually our published prices got too high and two things happened. Strong inflation from 2007 and 2008 pushed the prices that we were going to publish really, really high but, in some ways worse than that, they lost their logic in relation to each other.

Radically different

“So as a customer, even if you accepted that the price was high to begin with, you might get a discount from that which might be OK but not if the still water and the sparkling water are radically different prices.

“All of a sudden it makes no sense and we did receive negative feedback around the fact that our pricing looked profoundly illogical and very expensive."

Providing an improved experience for customers far outweighed the risk of competitors now being able to see Brakes’ prices, he added.

Brakes recently announced it was working with well-known chef Mark Sargeant​, owner of the Duke William, Kent, to develop a range of products that would allow less-skilled chefs to create and deliver higher quality menus.

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