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DSR of the Month, August 2015: Terry Petrani, Account Executive, Premium Supply Company, Deer Park, N.Y.

When Terry Petrani’s husband Guido started a restaurant supply business with a friend back in 1987, she jumped at the chance to leave her waitressing job and join the dealership.

TerryPetraniTerry Petrani“We were a small operation, so I did a little bit of everything, including customer service, loading trucks and accounts receivable,” says Petrani.

After selling the business in 1992, the Petranis remained with the dealership for four years before joining another restaurant supply company. A decade later, the Petranis both joined Premium Supply Co. The couple has now been working side by side for 43 years.

At Premium Supply, Terry Petrani has built a vast client base that includes small independent restaurants, high-end steakhouses, multi-concept operators, country clubs and college and university foodservice providers. Her honest work ethic, resourcefulness and dedication to the industry has garnered Petrani recognition as DSR of the month.

FE&S: What goes into developing a good tabletop installation?

TP: Every restaurant is different, so it depends on the type of operation. I always ask to see the menu so I can better visualize items on a plate. We then move up to flatware and glassware.

FE&S: When the pressure builds on a project or a new opening, how do you handle it?

TP: I have a wonderful relationship with the manufacturers and reps, because we work together to get the best results for my customers. I also make sure to let my customers know immediately if something is on backorder and then put a plan in place to make it happen. Being in the restaurant business for so long, I understand the urgency. In this competitive industry, the main things that differentiate us are service and honesty.

FE&S: What steps do you take to make sure everyone keeps on the same page and everything opens on time?

TP: When the orders are placed, I’ll ask manufacturers if they’ll hold the items until I tell them to ship them, and then do the staging at our facility. When I’m involved in an opening, I’m there during delivery to meet the trucks, check everything in and ensure accuracy.

FE&S: In the event something on a job/project does not go as planned, what’s the best way to handle it?

TP: I am very resourceful. If something comes in wrong, I see how fast I can rectify it and find the right item. If a product is on backorder, I’ll go to my reps and see if they have what I need in their test kitchen or showroom. I will do whatever I have to do to make it work.

FE&S: You’re known for having a strong base of product knowledge. How do you keep your knowledge base current?

TP: I have a good reputation with the reps. They know when something new comes out, and I want to know about it. I read trade magazines and catalogs like they’re cookbooks. I like to visit showrooms. If I see a product that looks interesting, I’ll ask for a sample to show customers, because if I’m excited about an item, I know my customers will be, too. When I am working on equipment, I can rely on our engineering department. I also utilize test kitchens. The chefs there have so much knowledge on the new equipment.

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