Wholesaler boosted by takeaways reopening

Takeaways reopening during the coronavirus pandemic has triggered a “promising” upturn in business for one foodservice wholesaler.

Fairway Foodservice member A to Z Catering has reported a significant increase in orders after initial confusion surrounding the government’s Covid-19 advice to takeaways was clarified.

With many takeaway owners deciding to close their doors instead of risking possible recriminations when restrictions first came into force, foodservice wholesalers lost business overnight – with A to Z Catering reporting a 75% dip as a result of lockdown.

Although with outlets now reopening and consumers placing orders, A to Z Managing Director Hifsi Ayrancioglu is feeling more optimistic.

“When the lockdown came into force, there was a lot of confusion in the industry, particularly around takeaway services. Many closed to play it safe and avoid penalties such as fines,” said Ayrancioglu,

“As the guidance became clearer, we’ve noticed a snowball effect in the number of takeaways placing orders with us, as they deal with consumer demand.

“People are unable to go out and eat and are turning to takeaways during COVID-19 as an alternative. It’s very promising for us as a business.”

While turnover was plunging for many foodservice wholesalers in the outset of the crisis, many adapted to offer products to the public and secured agreements with local councils to supply essentials direct to vulnerable residents.

London-based A to Z Catering followed suit and Ayrancioglu says the business has successfully tapped into a new customer base as a result.

“Households are facing hurdles when it comes to their general shopping, with some avoiding supermarkets but unable to get a slot for home delivery due to demand,” he added.

“We’ve introduced an ordering facility with next-day delivery for the general public, which has proven to be very popular going from a handful of orders to more than 200 in the space of a few days.

“We’re also having a lot of conversations with councils about how they can support residents with food and drink essentials by creating tailored packages with items, such as pasta, bread, milk, and cheese.”

A to Z Catering coronavirus covid-19 Fairway Foodservice Foodservice Hifsi Ayrancioglu wholesaler