Around 1,300 people have used a new click and collect service launched by North Lakes-based Caterite Food & Wineservice to help keep domestic supplies going for everyone during the coronavirus crisis.
The catering supplier normally delivers to hotels, pubs and restaurants but its switch to a household service has prompted 8,500 on-line requests to create an account since launching on 20th March, with hundreds of customers driving to the company’s Embleton headquarters to have their car boots filled with pre-ordered goods.
As well as those self-isolating, the service is proving helpful for the vulnerable and the elderly along with parents at home with children, while also not compromising social distancing rules as customers remain in their cars while Caterite staff load them up with provisions.
“It’s gone fantastically well for us,” said group managing director Lorcan Byrne.
“It has really helped to give the staff some focus during what has been an incredibly difficult time.
“It has helped keep the operation going and maintain our supply routes. Most importantly it’s helping serve the local community. The feedback we have had has been incredibly positive and it has been quite overwhelming and quite emotional.”
People can order from Caterite’s range of 3,500 products, which also includes non-food items such as toilet roll and wipes. Click and collect has been such a success that the business plans to continue the service when the crisis ends. “It’s absolutely something we will continue to do,” Lorcan added.
Since the hospitality trade went into coronavirus-enforced shutdown, the company had lost around 70 per cent of its normal trade. Care homes and grocery stores were among its customers still operating, forcing some of its 170 staff to be put on furlough.