The Distributor of the Year – Marketing & Strategy category, sponsored by Welbilt, honours dealers who have actioned innovative marketing campaigns or devised well thought-out strategies, especially important this year when the industry has had to think on its feet.
We are delighted to announce that the 2020 shortlist includes the following distributors:
As a totally customer-focused company, Blackpool’s Caterware sprang into action to devise a clear strategy to ensure the business survived throughout the lockdown period. The distributor analysed a ‘worst case scenario’ of incoming trade completely ceasing, predicted where the firm might end up financially by the close of the year and calculated what funds would be required, in order to request a loan from the bank. Impressed with Caterware’s detailed estimations, the bank granted the dealer access to the necessary finance. While many projects were postponed throughout the course of the year, the distributor worked hard to ensure its teams safely made it back to as many sites as possible.
Catering Design Group
Daventry’s Catering Design Group (CDG) has been very clear-eyed about how it can assist its operator clients to get back on their feet after this year’s shutdown periods. The firm created ‘Designing Safe Spaces for Catering Environments’, an insight document highlighting the steps operators can take to help reopen their catering facilities or to get them fully operational again with minimum risk to staff and customers. The commercial kitchen and restaurant design company considered all aspects of a catering operation, from design and operational requirements to the use of technology to help reduce risk of contamination. Additionally, CDG quickly angled its services towards project consultancy, working with designers and architects, which brought in much trade.
FSW Catering Equipment & Gas Services is now back to full operation, after having to furlough almost all of its staff during lockdown. This swift turnaround is largely thanks to a precise roadmap the firm engaged, focusing on the installation projects and the large orderbook in the pipeline from its big, direct customers. FSW maintained constant contact with its customers so it could react immediately when they reopened. Even when the company was working on a skeleton staff, it still managed to carry out emergency installations and repairs for the frontline healthcare sector, as well as sourcing and supplying personal protective equipment.
Restaurant Design Associates
Over the last 12 months, RDA has made a proactive effort to diversify its range of projects and the market sectors within which it operates. Historically, core market sectors have included healthcare, education and business and industry, all accessed via well-known contract catering companies. Nowadays, RDA is equally as active in sports and leisure and in heritage sites, both in partnership with contract catering companies but more and more frequently direct with the end user. RDA has diversified its product offering too. Recent projects in workplace settings have seen a growing involvement in the development of smaller hospitality kitchens and self-serve kitchenette spaces. The distributor has also capitalised on marketing itself on social media, particularly on LinkedIn.
Shine Catering Systems
During the final quarter of 2019 Shine prepared a 5-year vision on how the company was to be structured and specific growth achieved. The first quarter of 2020 resulted in a restructure of the company’s labour resource to meet the new requirements and a number of training programs were arranged to ensure individuals could meet the relevant skill sets required. Following the Covid outbreak, the distributor reviewed its strategy and accordingly put into place initiatives including developing an online costing tool, available through the Shine website, which gives its customers the opportunity to build up their own budget costs for projects planned; and developing interactive project presentation for major contracts, adapting these for Microsoft Teams and Zoom communications.
Eligible senior industry professionals will be invited to vote for their winner in an online vote over the next two weeks.
The winners of each category will be announced throughout Kitchen & Equipment Awards Week, which commences Monday 30 November.