Scott Brothers Butchers is a family-owned, local business that faced a massive challenge with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not only did they have to cope with the sudden loss of key parts of their business, they also had to ensure they could continue to maintain essential food supplies and deliveries to help keep their customers fed and look after their staff in such worrying times.
Alongside its well-known local shops and growing national online service, wholesale and events were a large part of Scott Brothers’ operation. And with the lockdown, that part of the business has disappeared for now as sadly many wholesale customers shut down.
So, in what typically would take months or years, they have instead had days to pivot and adapt to the pandemic, focusing all their efforts on their retail side, in particular using their Scott Brothers Butchers online ordering capability to expand customer access.
As Scott Jarron, who runs the business with his brother George, explains: “We couldn’t have done it without our staff.
“George and I want to thank our team massively.
“We employ 75 people across three locations, and we’ve asked many to change what they do. We have been overwhelmed by their response and commitment.
“We are delivering hundreds of orders every day, Monday to Saturday, with no rest over the Bank Holiday. Office staff are working long hours and in-store staff are being asked to work in the factory to prepare deliveries.
“As part of this, we took the decision early to temporarily close the city centre shop and redeploy staff in the factory.”
Technology solutions have certainly played their part. For instance, they’ve introduced new route planning software for their delivery drivers to make routes as efficient as they can, in order to help deal with the huge increase in local deliveries.
And, as Scott says: “Thankfully, we already had invested in our online service. So, it was a matter of adding new lines such as our popular ready meals to the website and adding some ‘horsepower’ to our IT infrastructure to manage the volume of traffic and be able to respond easily to bulk-buying orders as people stock up their freezers.”
In addition, their established online communications and dedicated coronavirus website page have helped them keep customers updated on their response.
Looking after customer and staff safety has been paramount.
“We are encouraging people to use our free Click & Collect service to free up delivery slots for those that need it the most,” says Scott.
“We have adapted the retail shops with queue management systems and Click & Collect orders are packed and ready to go for the customer.
“Plus, with payment taken online, contact is minimal.”
But, as Scott is quick to point out, their business is fortunate in having great local suppliers, strong short supply chains and to be able to continue to serve their loyal and new customers, when so many businesses in other industries are facing seemingly impossible challenges.
While they don’t know what the future will hold, Scott Brothers Butchers is starting to plan for post-lockdown, to continue to make the most of ways to increase customer access to their locally sourced produce.
Scott adds: “We hope to encourage our new customers to stay with us!”
Find out more about ordering online with Scott Brothers Butchers here.