Frequently asked questions about Food Shop
Below, the team at Brakes has put together a range of questions and answers to explain how Food Shop works.
1. What is Brakes?
Brakes has been operating for more than 60 years and is the country’s largest food distributor to pubs, restaurants, care home, hospitals, schools and many more. It is owned by Sysco, the world's largest catering supplier and was awarded Foodservice Operator of the Year 2019 at the Quality Food and Drink Awards.
Brakes is actively involved in supporting the Government’s efforts to ensure food supplies are available for everyone and helping deliver food and essential item care packages to clinically shielded and vulnerable people. It serves charities like Fareshare by providing bulk drops of food which are distributed to those in need, and it provides food parcels in a box to NHS groups and charities so health workers can pick up supplies directly from the work place.
2. Is there a minimum order value?
There is a minimum order value of £75, including delivery costs.
3. Is there any maximum amount I can order?
To maintain supplies, please be aware that there’s a restriction of no more than five of the same item.
4. What items are in an essentials box?
The essentials box contains a great selection of everyday items, to help keep your cupboards stocked with the basics. It contains tea, coffee, cereal, pasta, milk, tuna, jam, orange juice, soap, toilet roll and more.
As a guide, brands included are: Maxwell House, PG Tips, Hills, Ready Brek, Veetee, Viva, Fray Bentos, Piazza, Brakes, Fontinella, Hartley, The Juice, Dove, Lynx and Whisper. Although these might vary from time to time.
5. How can I find out the package sizes of the items I want to buy to know how best to store them at home?
Pack sizes and the number of items in a pack are listed next to the price on the curated product list Brakes has put together to help you get started. These products have been selected because they’re the pack sizes Brakes think will be most helpful for you. But you will also see the pack size available next to the price, when you shop online. If you have any questions about pack sizes, Brakes Customer Care will be happy to help you. There is also a sample list of items (PDF) for guidance.
6. If I place an order does it commit me to needing to place future orders with Brakes?
No. you are under no obligation to place a future order with Brakes.
7. Can I get all the products I might need from you without having to shop elsewhere?
Brakes has put together the list of products (PDF) with the aim of making sure you can find all the essentials you need. But you can also shop the full range of more than 6,000 products online should you wish to. The range includes many favourite brands. It’s worth noting that some of the brands and pack sizes might be a bit different. But the advantage of bigger pack sizes is they go further and will last you longer, so you don’t have to shop or go out as much if that’s a concern.
8. Are the products good quality?
Yes. Brakes provides food to hospitals, care homes, schools, restaurants, pubs who expect the highest standards, so you can expect the same great quality.
9. Where I can find details of the product range to choose from?
You can refer to the suggested list of products (PDF) Brakes has put together for you, or shop from the full range on its website.
10. Are there products for different dietary requirements?
Yes. The range includes vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and diary free alternatives to choose from.
11. Is Brakes’ food hygiene standards high enough?
Yes. As food providers to public services such as hospitals, schools, care homes, pubs and restaurants, Brakes operates to the highest food safety, quality and sustainability standards.
12. How does Brakes’ prices compare with the supermarkets?
Brakes aims to keep its prices fair and competitive. For the suggested list of products, it has put together to help get you started, it has helpfully chosen the pack sizes that are most comparable with the supermarkets. Some pack sizes are bigger than their supermarket equivalent, but it means they will go further and last longer.
13. Are there different sizes of packs to choose from in case I can’t store big packs of things?
In some cases, items come in different sizes. You will be able to see the pack sizes available next to the price on its website.
14. Can I speak to someone on the phone if I need to?
Absolutely. If you need any assistance, please call to speak to a friendly member of the Brakes team who will be happy to help you on 0344 873 8558. Lines are open between 9am and 4pm from Monday to Friday.
15. How flexible and private is the service?
Brakes has, following a successful trial, expanded its service nationwide. It can reach 90% of the UK population in effect. Brakes will do all it can to protect your privacy both from how it handles your data, through to taking your payment and providing your order to you.
16. When do I pay for my order?
Brakes will ask you to pay when you place your order. When you call, the Brakes team will take your order. The call then be put through to its payment line to pay, confirm your order number and choose your delivery day, subject to availability. They will guide you through the process.
17. Will my money be safe throughout the process of ordering and paying for my order?
Yes. Absolutely. Brakes' phone and online payment network is secure. You will only ever speak to a member of the Brakes team about your payment details.
18. Can I change my order once I have placed it?
You can make changes to your order up to 48 hours before Brakes is due to deliver to you.
19. Can I cancel my order?
Yes, you can. You should be aware that if you cancel your order within 48 hours of the day of home delivery, you will face a cancelation charge. Please note that we will be unable to leave the products at a safe place given the perishable nature of them. There may be a cancellation charge of £20 in these circumstances to cover the cost of the failed delivery. If you wish to resubmit or replace your order, you can do this simply by visiting the website.
20. How much does home delivery cost?
There is no charge for home delivery, but please be aware that there’s a minimum order value of £75.
21. Does Brakes offer timed home delivery slots?
Sadly no. Brakes will guide you through when it will deliver your order. Delivery can happen any time between 8am and 7pm.
22. What is the delivery procedure? Will there be social distancing measures in place?
If your front door is on the ground floor, Brakes’ driver will knock on your door to check your in and step back when you answer it. They will introduce themselves and talk you through where they are leaving your order in line with social distancing measures in place at the moment. They will help ensure you are able to safely and easily retrieve it and take it inside.
Please note: Brakes will only be able to deliver to a ground floor drop off point and will therefore won’t be able to take goods upstairs or to any point above ground floor level. So, if your property is not on the ground floor, the driver will call you to arrange a convenient drop off point with you. Please be aware that our driver won’t be able to wait with the goods unfortunately, so you will need to move them to a safe place.
At the point of your order, it will be helpful if you can let Brakes know of any delivery restrictions, for example, access roads to the property that may be unsuitable for a commercial vehicle, including vehicle height, weight or width restrictions that make it difficult for Brakes to deliver to you.
23. What happens if I am not home to accept my delivery?
If you are out when our driver arrives, they will return the order to the depot and we will cancel and refund the value of your order. We will leave a “Sorry we Missed You” card to let you know that we tried to deliver your order. The card will contain a phone number and invoice number to quote if you wish to contact us.
Please note that Brakes will be unable to leave your products at a safe place given the perishable nature of them. There may be a cancellation charge of £20 in these circumstances to cover the cost of the failed delivery.
If you wish to resubmit or replace your order, you can do this simply by visiting the Brakes' web site.
24. What happens if I want to change my delivery day?
Please call the Brakes Customer Care team on 0344 873 8558 and they will do their best to help you.
25. Will Brakes take away the empty packaging from my order?
Sadly, no Brakes won’t be able to dispose of your empty packaging.
26. What happens if any of the products I’ve received are damaged or missing?
Brakes endeavours to ensure its products are high quality. If you feel any products are missing or damaged, please call the Customer Care team on 0344 873 8558 who will be happy to assist you.
27. What happens if you got the price wrong of any of the items I have ordered?
It’s sometimes possible that despite best efforts, products might be priced incorrectly from time to time. If this happens and it was an obvious mistake on Brakes’ part, and has been recognised by you as mispricing, Brakes will cancel your order and refund you the amount you have paid.