Covid-19 has almost brought UK foodservices to a grinding halt.
However, like phoenixes rising from the ashes, foodservice operators forced to grapple with an ever changing situation, have adapted, evolved, and innovated.
I recently read the line “entrepreneurship is not a destination it’s a journey.” And with journeys, there are always setbacks, but these are followed by achievement. During the times of achievement, you feel you could accomplish anything with strength and motivation to DRIVE AHEAD.
During hard times, negative emotions can easily take over but, as part of becoming a successful entrepreneur you appreciate hard times, adapt, and drive ahead. With this said, we this has been more challenging for some than others.
Over the last three months, the team at TAF has been watching, listening and hoping.
Covid-19 Foodservice combat milestones – inspiring
We have been inspired by British contract caterers demonstrating a fantastic positive mental attitude which has led to, in our minds to: (a) playing a significant role in helping to start to rebuild UK foodservices and (b) epitomising our monarch’s recent speech to “NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER DESPAIR.”
- In the 12 months between June 2019, when Alex Mingoni joined the TAF team, to May 2020, TAF had been engaging with more than 35 UK caterers, meeting regularly, going on site visits, engaging in tenders, collating market intelligence, and receiving updates.
- These caterers, to TAF, represented small, medium, and large businesses. They epitomised the boutique and the global, the bold and the beautiful. There were London-centric and worldwide foodservice providers. B&I specific and contract caterers, event caterers and non-event caterers. For TAF, this caterer pool made a good representation of our world of foodservices (although we’re always aware there are more on the horizon to get to know better).
- After COVID-19 broke, it was easy for TAF to follow the pandemic journeys of those with whom we were already in contact. We wanted to understand WHAT they did, WHY they did it, HOW they did it and WHO they did it for. They turned their hands from feeding the few to adapting, evolving, and innovating to feed thousands… which now included those who were vulnerable, key workers, hospitals, care homes, retailers, primary schools, and industry.
The below timeline represents 21 inspirational initiatives that stood out as being the most impactful in sharing ‘best practice’
Covid-19 Foodservice combat milestones – initiatives
- Grab & Go / Take-away
- Community projects
- Cooking at home
- Cookalongs & vlogs
- COVID business pledge
- Food apps
- Food donations/parcels
- Food hampers
- Food waste
- Global learnings
- Government liaisons
- Health and nutrition
- Safety & policies
- Social media
- Supply chain
- Staff bonuses
- Workforce deployment
Under our spotlight today are 21 British Contract Caterers including: Aramark, Bartlett Mitchell, Baxter Storey, Bennett Hay, Blue Apple, Blue Strawberry, CH&CO, Compass, Elior UK, Eurest, Fooditude, Four Gables, Good Eating Company, Radish, Searcys, RA Group, Lexington, Sodexo, Thomas Franks, Vacherin & Wilson Vale.
Whilst we cannot possibly list every single caterer’s achievements, and apologise if we have missed anyone off, we know tomorrow’s path is a long, winding one for us all.
Tomorrow will bring many more initiatives to celebrate but one thing is for sure, we must all band together, share best practice and collaborate our way through these challenging and unprecedented times. Why? We are in an uncharted, unprecedented history-making era and this, we believe, is where operators have the ability to rise like the proverbial phoenix from the ashes whilst adapting, evolving, innovating, and inspiring for indeed entrepreneurship is not a destination; it’s a journey.
Be inspired to shape your journey!
Tracey Ann Fairclough, Managing Director, TAF Catering Consultancy