Purchasing restaurant furniture online or over the phone is an excellent way to get exactly the right pieces needed at the best price. However, many restaurant owners and interior decorators still have a lot of questions about the freight shipping process. Here is a guide to freight shipping for restaurant owners to help them better understand how the delivery occurs and what costs to expect.
Freight Delivery Times
Many times customers will wonder why freight companies can’t provide them with an exact delivery time. Freight companies struggle to coordinate between different employees, shipments and routes, which is why most companies can only provide a date or a date range for delivery, and usually can’t schedule a specific time. Try to narrow down a date as much as possible, and prepare to receive the goods during normal business hours unless otherwise noted.
What Extra Freight Charges to Expect
Given the size, dimensions and weight of most hospitality furniture, any furniture items ordered for a restaurant will likely be classified as freight that can only be handled by a freight provider. There are a number of charges you might expect based on the level of service provided and the type of item being ordered.
The freight class of restaurant tables and hospitality chairs will greatly determine a carrier’s shipping charge. There are currently 18 freight classes, ranging from 50 (the cheapest) to 500 (the priciest). Depending on the restaurant furniture ordered, the item will be assigned a National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) number that will determine the freight class and charge.
However, other fees known as accessorials may also be charged for services rendered outside of normal shipping process. For example, Residential Fees can apply to businesses that are located outside business zones. Business zones are designed as areas that open and close for the public during specific times each day. If a restaurant is located in a residential zone near homes or apartments, an extra residential service fee may apply.
Restaurant owners may incur an Inside Delivery fee if the driver needs to enter their establishment to deliver restaurant furniture. If a restaurant doesn’t have a dock or manual unloading platform, then a driver may have to use the motorized lift gate on the back of his or her truck to raise or lower your shipment to the ground, which may result in a Lift Fee.
Finally, it’s important to be present when restaurant furniture is delivered. If there is a failed delivery attempt, there may be a duplicated pick-up fee charged the next time the driver comes.
Have Staff or Laborers Ready for Delivery
Often restaurant owners wonder if they need workers ready when deliveries arrive. The answer is yes in most circumstances. Most freight lines only unload at the dock or on the street, and will not enter the establishment. Even freight companies that do will likely charge a high fee for this extra service, so it’s smart to have staff or workers to carry in these goods without the driver’s help.