JJ Foodservice has reported sales of £225M for the calendar year ending December 2020, an increase of 1.3% compared with the same period, the previous year.
Despite the devastating impact of COVID, the wholesaler said that quick thinking and a successful business-to-consumer service have helped to recoup sales.
“Restaurants, cafes and pubs account for the majority of our sales,” said Chief Product Officer, Sezer Ozkul. “We lost that, overnight.”
Within eight hours of the Government announcing the first lockdown in March 2020, JJ had set up a fully operational direct-to-consumer offer.
JJ Home promoted ‘chef quality ingredients at home’ and ‘bulk savings when you buy big.’
“We dropped the minimum order from £125 to £79, kept our prices stable to promote fairness, and sustained product availability,” said Sezer.
More than 30,000 people registered for the service, boosting the weekly number of orders from 24,000 to 34,000.
“We were fulfilling 100% of orders and in record time,” said Sezer.
In the weeks that followed, a dozen smaller vehicles were introduced to help drivers navigate narrow residential streets and cul-de-sacs.
While rolling out home service, JJ continued to support restaurants and pubs offering a takeaway or delivery service. “It was all hands on deck,” said Sezer.
“While the rest of the industry was in serious decline, we kept going. It’s a tremendous achievement for our team.”