Traditional dealers will have to continue to work hard to earn their place - and their markups - by making sure they are bringing real value to the restaurateurs they serve. Operators who have trouble understanding what value their "regular" distributor is adding to the distribution chain will seek alternative suppliers like TigerChef (and others) that offer relatively minimal service, but likewise will likely have smaller product markups.
In the meantime, manufacturers will be under pressure from traditional supply chain distributors to not sell internet-only vendors. This short-term defense strategy will work...but only for a while. The answer seems to be for the traditional brick & mortar distributor/dealers to continue to work to minimize overheads, logistical costs, and markups....all the while improving the perceived value they bring to their customers.
None of which is easy to do. Especially for those entrenched in their ways for years, and in some cases generations. (change IS hard)
You can check out the TigerChef site by going to: www.tigerchef.com