BLOG POST BY OUR MEMBER PAELLA FELLA
Paella Fella has been successfully catering events for ten years. From private parties to corporate events to large-scale weddings, and everything in between. Consider then the impact on a business like ours when suddenly events can no longer take place? Gulp. Yep that was exactly our reaction when the government implemented measures to promote social distancing in response to Covid-19.
The impact of Covid-19 measures could not have been more immediate on our business. Social distancing. Working from home. No mass gatherings. No weddings. No parties. No business. Paella Fella Ltd went from being a thriving business, with a pipeline of events in the diary, to suddenly have our diary wiped clean. In a matter of hours, we went from busily organising events to receiving a tsunami of calls from worried customers looking to postpone, reschedule or cancel their engagements.
No more events. At least for the foreseeable future. This is our current pipeline.
The irony is not lost on us having started the year with our strongest performance in 3 years. Last year, 2019, was a pivotal year for Paella Fella. We proudly celebrated a decade in event catering with a dedicated year of marketing and promotional activities. We took time to evaluate our business model, recruit new expertise, and implement changes to our operations and communications. All of this with a view to laying the foundation for the next successful decade.
So where does Covid-19 leave a catering business with no-one to cater?
Essentially in a sink or swim scenario. So, we took an executive decision to fast-track a Home Delivery model we had been working on behind the scenes. It was incomplete, and we now had to consider the necessary protocols to sustain a contactless procedure as part of Covid-19, but it was our best bet for staying in business. In less than 10 days we were able to take a plan to market, with a robust contactless procedure to safeguard our customers and team and communicated with a soft launch on social media platforms targeting local communities. The response has been phenomenal with loyal customers jumping at the chance to support our business whilst enjoying freshly cooked paella and tapas delivered direct to their doors. So far so good.
Flexibility and versatility are our new buzz words. It is not business as usual but ‘crisis as usual’, and somehow, we have found our new normal amid a global pandemic. It is early days and we are a long way from being a Covid-19 success story however, this crisis has challenged us to diversify and grow the business in new tactical ways, and to either embrace change or go bust.
Nick Blythe | Nick.Blythe@paellafella.co.uk