What we have been doing and where we are now
2020 – A year most will want to forget and 2021 has not had the most memorable of starts. So, what has Freshview been doing during the lockdown trilogy? Well, we have been busy, exceptionally busy!
Not busy in the usual sense of course, as most of our customers have had to endure the most difficult trading period in living memory. As much as they wanted to be ordering food from us to feed their own customers it has not been possible.
We have been ‘different busy’.
With the closure of schools during the initial lockdown, 100’s of local families that usually rely and depend on free school meals lost that option to feed their children as they had to stay at home. Working with a number of local charities and education trusts Freshview began delivering food parcels directly to the homes of the families, as one of the pioneers offering such a service, Freshview made over 10,000 deliveries during the summer, ensuring 100’s of local children received food whilst unable to attend school.
When lockdown 1 was announced, our refrigerated warehouse was full of food and more due to arrive and no customers. Within 48 hours our home grocery delivery concept was kick started, where supermarkets were unable to offer home delivery slots due to the unprecedented demand, Freshview came to the rescue. We had a range of 9 grocery boxes and the option to add additional products – our home delivery grocery service proved to be an instant success, especially given delivery was free of charge and no long waiting times. At the time of writing, our home delivery service is still going strong and having made over 4,000 deliveries to date we have no plans to stop providing this service.
Busy forward thinking.
When the grip of the pandemic began to take hold, many food service suppliers began cutting costs and slashing the numbers of their account managers by making them redundant. We have always seen the role of an account manager as pivotal, almost an essential anchor in caring for customers, a direct and essential contact to support customers. Knowing that the pandemic would end at some stage and the hospitality industry would one day wake from hibernation, Freshview went against the tide and recruited, doubling the size of our account management team. For us it was too good an opportunity to miss, some fantastic, highly experienced food professionals lost their jobs last year and we took advantage of the situation. Today our account management team has never been stronger, had more experience and had more strength in depth to spread what we call the ‘Freshview love’ to customers old and new. We were good at what we do before lockdown. Post lockdown, we will be great!
Busy expanding and investing.
Whilst operationally we have been quieter during the pandemic, we have used this opportunity to have a substantial extension built, increasing our capacity, improving our efficiency, and improving the workspace for our amazing people. This expansion is the single largest investment Freshview has made in many a year, but with a focus on futureproofing our business and enabling to do what we do for our customers better – we see this as an investment that will pay dividends in multiple ways in the coming months and years.
Busy protecting our people.
Like most businesses effected by the pandemic Freshview have drawn on the government furlough scheme to help support our business and our staff. We have chosen to operate with a flexible approach, sharing hours and giving many of our staff the opportunity to remain involved as opposed to have them stay away. August and the government ‘Help out to eat out scheme’ ensured we had an incredibly busy month which took us and many of our customers by surprise. What it also did was pump a much-welcomed amount of revenue into the business, and as winter began to loom, we decided to do something novel, fitting and appropriate. As November and December are traditionally months that carry many additional costs for families and households, Freshview took the unprecedented step to pay all our people 100% of their salaries, topping up the 80% government furlough scheme. We felt this the proper thing to do, we care about our people and the culture within our business, and whilst we were in the position to help them have some type of normal festive period, we took away any financial concerns that they may have been harbouring.
We don’t know when normal will return for our customers. What we do know for sure and can state with 100% conviction is that Freshview are more than ready. We are stronger, leaner, more able than ever before.
Freshview Foods. Your chosen supplier partner.