Restaurant Supply Stores Comparison: Katom.com vs. The WEBstaurant Store

When purchasing items from online restaurant supply stores, make sure that they have a wide range of options available in terms of product selection, pricing and services. Features of the online shopping platform is also important to help find the right p

Finding high quality supplies for a restaurant is one of the first and most important things to be considered when opening up a restaurant (or maintaining an existing one). Nowadays, the task is much easier since you can purchase these equipments online, from the comfort of your own home. There are numerous online suppliers of restaurant supplies where you can get from the most basic to the most advanced equipments for your food service business. 

Nevertheless, it is essential to make a wise purchase - which does not merely mean buying the right equipments, but also choosing the right store to buy from. When purchasing items from online restaurant supply stores, make sure that they have a wide range of options available in terms of product selection, pricing and services. Features of the online shopping platform are also important to help find the right products easily.

This report compares two online restaurant and kitchen supplies stores: KaTom vs. The WEBstaurant Store.

KaTom

KaTom has over 22 years of experience in the restaurant supplies industry. The store carries over 100,000 products at wholesale prices and features top brands such as Focus Foodservice, G.E.T, Nemco, Pitco, True Refrigeration and many more. The following are product categories that you can expect to find at KaTom:

  • Restaurant Equipment
  • Kitchen Suplies
  • Tabletop
  • Countertop
  • Bar Supplies
  • Furniture
  • Catering & Buffet
  • Go Green
  • KaTom Kids

Among the notable features of KaTom include:

  • Huge selection - Compared to The WEBstaurant Store, KaTom offers more product selection in terms of the number of manufacturer products that they carry. You can see for example, that in the Roll In Refrigerators section, Katom has 50 products from 5 manufacturers while The WEBstaurant Store only has 3 choices from one manufacturer.
  • Easy navigation - I find that the online shopping platform of KaTom.com is neat, uncluttered and easy to navigate. They also have a comprehensive results filter feature that makes it easy to narrow down your search to find exactly what you want. For example, if you are looking for a refrigerator, you can narrow down your search by height, cubic feet, door type, function, type, brand and so on.
  • Kids Section - Katom.com has a Kids section on the website for customers who want to purchase products such as child-safe dinnerware, high chair, booster seat, and even things such as kid’s chef jacket and pop maker.
  • Go Green section - It is always good to see a company that does not only do their business well, but also realize the importance of being environmentally conscious. From sustainable dinnerware to water & energy conservation products, Katom.com offers a full range of energy saving and eco-friendly products that you can view in the Go Green section. One interesting fact is that since they have been a newspaper recycling drop off since 1990, they pack most restaurant supplies with this recycled newspaper as part of their strong commitment to take care of the environment.
  • Request A Quote - If you need a quote for your food service equipment and supplies project, Katom.com can take care of the work for you. You can either contact them at the number provided on their website and talk to their professional specialist or submit the online form on the website. 

The only drawback of this store is the short return period (15 days), as opposed to the 30-day return period of The WEBstaurant Store.

Prices offered for some of their products are as follows:

  • Cleveland 21CET8 Countertop Electric Steamer 3 Pan: Email the for a special price.
  • Carlisle Mosaic Durus 4 1/2 oz. rimmed melamine fruit bowl: $142.22 (4 dozen)
  • Jackson Avenger HT Under counter Dishwasher- High Temperature Sanitizing: $3,705.75
  • Rubbermaid FG401088 Pelouze Digital Receiving Scale: $133.99
  • San Jamar C2902 Dimension Beverage Center Cabinet, Double with Chrome Trim Ring: $264.33

The WEBstaurant Store

Founded in 2004, The WEBstaurant Store is a leading retailer of restaurant supplies and currently offers over 30,000 in-stock food service equipment and supplies at low prices. Headquartered in Pennsylvania, their team comprises of experts that have many years of experience within the food service industry. Product categories that are available at this store include:

  • Restaurant Equipment
  • Small wares
  • Storage/Transport
  • Tabletop
  • Disposables
  • Furniture
  • Ware Washing/Laundry
  • Restaurant Dinnerware
  • Consumables
  • Janitorial Supplies

Some of the notable features of The WEBstaurant Store are as follows:

  • Search by Business Type - One of the helpful features of this store is that they allow you to browse through their products by business type. An ice cream shop owner may not be interested in products related to a deli supplies store, so this feature enables you to browse through supplies and equipments that are only related to your type of business.
  • Customizable Supplies - Another interesting feature is The WEBstaurant Store lets you customize items like napkins, foam cups & bowls, coasters, tumblers, market bags and more by putting your business logo or any slogan on these items.
  • 7 days a week customer service - Unlike many retailers that only accept phone calls 5 days a week, The WEBstaurant Store opens their line 7 days a week (8 a.m. - 8 p.m. EST Mon-Fri and 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST Sat & Sun). They also provide an Equipment Installation Checklist to ensure the installation process goes smoothly. 
  • Friendly Return Policy - The WEBstaurant Store accept returns made within 30 days of purchase (as opposed to Katom.com that only allows a 15-day return period).
  • Various payment options - Other than major business cards, The WEBstaurant store offers other payment options such as PayPal and Amazon Payments. 

One weak point about this online store is that they do not carry products from a wide list of manufacturers therefore you have less choices compared what you can find at Katom.com. 

The following are prices offered for some of their products:

  • Cleveland 21CET8 Countertop Electric Steamer 3 Pan, 208/3V: Email for your special price.
  • Carlisle Mosaic Durus 4 1/2 oz. rimmed melamine fruit bowl: Starts at $124.42 per case. They have many designs for various prices.
  • Jackson Avenger HT Under counter Dishwasher- High Temperature Sanitizing: $3,819
  • Rubbermaid FG401088 Pelouze Digital Receiving Scale: $133.99
  • San Jamar C2902 Dimension Beverage Center Cabinet, Double with Chrome Trim Ring: $264.99

The Bottom Line

Although there are differences in pricing for the same products that are sold at both stores, it is not a critical factor that differentiates KaTom and The WEBstaurant Store. As you can see in the pricing information for both stores, some products are sold cheaper at KaTom, but there also other products that are sold more expensive compared to The WEBstaurant Store.

One of the key factors that makes KaTom rank higher in this report is the fact that they have a wider range of selection for a lot of product categories. The online shopping experience also is more convenient at KaTom especially in terms of product categorization and search feature. 

Nevertheless, The WEBstaurant Store does have an advantage in terms of their payment options and return policy.

Both restaurant supply online stores do have a good search engine that will help you find exactly what you are looking for. One annoying aspect of both online stores is that for expensive products, you have to log in and supply your email address to get their special price. This can take more time than some people want to take plus having to wait for an email just to get a price can be annoying.

Both websites have their categories easily listed at the top of their home page that makes finding products easy. KaTom also shows categories for clearance items, a learning center, latest deals and large project quotes.

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marcel bluvstein
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Posted on Nov 11, 2015