The letter, sent by members of the Federation of Wholesale Distributors and Scottish Wholesale Association, is asking hospitality customers to use some of the allocated Government funding to settle invoices for stock ordered before the lockdown. It also reassures businesses that when the time comes to re-open, “we will be there, along with our supplier partners, to work alongside you and help reignite our economy”.
“Many of you will be receiving grants for your business and cash will flow into our industry. Wholesalers have received none of the grants put aside for hospitality and leisure business. Many wholesalers are extending debt to pay suppliers, so they will be still be there to supply the stock you need when the time comes to open your doors again,” it says in the letter.
“We are coming together with one message: please ensure that the financial aid coming from Government moves up the supply chain. We’re asking you to allocate some of that assistance you receive to paying your bills for the stock we’ve already delivered to you.”
The letter also stressed the critical role played by wholesalers in supporting on-trade and hospitality businesses.
“The majority of our businesses are regional and independent, and whatever size they are, all have relationships with you which go far beyond delivery. If wholesalers can’t purchase new stock, you will lose more than that relationship – you will lose the flexibility, the knowledge of your businesses, and the diversity in your supply options that wholesalers offer.”
“Paying outstanding invoices for goods you have already received will allow us to pay our suppliers and keep the wheels of this industry turning.”
Restaurant businesses are continuing to offer takeaway and delivery services, with many citing a desire to look after their suppliers as one reason for continuing to trade.
Burger group Patty & Bun recently launched a DIY box service where customers receive all the components to make its burgers at home, a move which founder Joe Grossman says has “exceeded expectations”.
“It has given us the opportunity to keep ordering from our suppliers and to continue to feed the restaurant ecosystem, which is one of the most important things. Without the supply chain, the restaurant industry is nothing.”
“From landlords to suppliers, everyone is feeling the pain. This is a time when people need to be sensible.”