Top-quality food is one thing. But the daily tools of the trade, such as electrical appliances, crockery and cutlery, must also be practical, suitable and particularly hard-wearing for the catering trade. ‘In gastronomy, the highest standards are necessary, which METRO can also guarantee at lower prices,’ says Efthymios Papageorgiou, head of the Düsseldorf restaurant Der Grieche zum Staufenplatz. ‘With cutlery or crockery, it's all about wear and tear. If the colour comes off or the corners break quickly, the product is not suitable.’
Among other things, Papageorgiou puts the METRO Professional brand through its paces in his company. METRO puts its own-brand products through their paces in a sophisticated development process. In addition to internal company experts, customers are therefore involved in the process right from the start. They act as an important source of inspiration. How will the new tableware series stand up in the factory? How does the cutlery look after several rounds in the dishwasher? ‘Who can know better than the person who uses the things every day?’ says Efthymios Papageorgiou, who many simply call Mike.
Advantages of METRO own brands
1. Reliable quality: METRO Professional products have only half as many returns as local comparison products.
2. Good price-performance ratio: the products are inexpensive without sacrificing quality.
3. Work efficiency: METRO supports its customers in their everyday work, for example with individual portion packs.
From METRO customer to product tester
Why does he test products for METRO? ‘It's a bit like a family: supporting each other is important,’ says Papageorgiou. ‘This way I also know from the start that I can rely on the good quality.’ The testers have thousands of products at their disposal - from new crockery and cutlery ranges to pans and electrical appliances. Some are already on the market and are being tested for quality assurance. Others to test their readiness for the market. ‘When selecting the test products, METRO paid special attention to our wishes; for example, we can make good use of meat grinders,’ says the restaurateur.
At the beginning, the test farms often receive several products at the same time. However, the timing of the tests is basically individual. Depending on the product, they remain in use for a longer period of time in order to be able to understand the wear process; in the case of porcelain, we test for several months. ‘If there is no time in the hectic of everyday life, tests can also be paused; in our case it was recently two months. Before that, we tested a lot of products in parallel for three months. Since we have a total of four restaurants, we can also test many different products in parallel,’ says Papageorgiou.
This is how the feedback reaches METRO
METRO first uses standardised questionnaires to gather customers' opinions. In personal conversations, problems with the products and possible solutions are brought to the table. ‘The conversations are always very open. If a product is still unsuitable, METRO picks it up very quickly and revises it or finds an alternative. It's a fluid process,’ says Papageorgiou.
Based on the customer feedback, the METRO experts improve the product and it goes back to the product testers. Then the quality is 100% right - for permanent use by professionals.
Here's what happens after the customer tests
Before own brand products are even launched on the market, they have to meet a wide variety of requirements. In addition to customer feedback, these include a series of laboratory tests. These tests are used for internal quality assurance and ensure that the products also meet the legal requirements. For example, food safety is tested in laboratories. Only after the OK from testing institutes such as the TÜV do the products go on sale.
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