How a Leighton Buzzard food business adapted after demand from customer base collapsed due to pandemic
A Leighton Buzzard food distributor that saw demand from its main customer base collapse almost overnight due to coronavirus has explained how it has adapted during the crisis.
Waterdene Foodservice has supplied catering establishments including restaurants, pubs, schools and cafes for over 30 years with chilled, frozen, ambient and fresh foods as well as cleaning materials and food packaging.
But the impact of coronavirus meant the Chartmoor Road company decided to focus on the general public who were struggling to get supplies from the supermarkets - making smaller packed products available as well as its usual bulk quantities.
Surplus fresh fruit or vegetables are also being donating to the Leighton-Linslade Helpers Covid Task Force Group to distribute with their food packages.
Lisa Saunders, management team assistant said: "With the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown we saw, almost overnight, our main customer base forced to temporarily close their businesses or dramatically reduce their services.
"This of course impacted on our amount of orders coming in and our business. With the supermarkets being inundated with queuing shoppers and struggling to keep up with allocating home delivery slots, we decided we needed to quickly adapt and add the general public to our customer base, delivering to individual households.
"It became apparent that this service was in demand and we now have many new customers who are ordering online and having goods delivered to their homes. This service helps those in isolation and those unable to get to the shops plus with the stay at home advice it allows people to do just that and stay safe."
She added: "As a food service distributor a lot of our products are packed in larger quantities and initially the general public were reluctant to register as they were concerned the cases would be too large.
"To help with this we have created a list of smaller packed products which we have pre-loaded into our online store in an easy to access list and we are adding more retail sized products every week. Orders are paid for over the phone before delivery and goods are placed on doorsteps to allow a contact free service."