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Keeping Rural Businesses Going With LPG

DInning table decorated with candles, food and drinks
Events, weddings and public gatherings may not be happening at the moment, but that hasn’t stopped one of our customers, Rebecca Green, from adapting her business to the new norm and moving it forward at the same time. We’ve been with her every step of the way, supporting her outside event catering operations with a reliable supply of LPG.
Rebecca is no stranger to big changes in her life; when she moved from London where she had worked as a PA to a film producer, to rural Dorset 17 years ago, she decided to set up her own outside event catering business. Back then, the demand for this type of service was much more limited, but over the years, consumer appetite for private chefs and companies like hers has grown to cater for a range of events. Her business has evolved with these changes, and now has the capacity to provide top-notch outside event catering featuring the best local produce such as game and Dorset crab, for events with anywhere between 100-200 guests, as well as fine-dining for private dinner parties.

Things have of course been very different this year. Back in the summer when government guidelines allowed, Rebecca provided outside event catering services for a small number of weddings with up to 30 guests. Unfortunately, the majority of her bookings have now been postponed to next year. But far from shutting shop, she produced leaflets to promote the company’s Food @ Home service and delivered the flyers door-to-door in the community. A large percentage of people in rural areas like Rebecca’s are not online, especially the elderly who don’t always have access to computers – yet they are often her biggest customers. The business generated from the leaflets has brought new customers, and the orders have kept her team busy ever since.

Shifting her focus to the Food @ Home side of the business – where she and her team prepare the meals at their kitchen HQ, package and label them with cooking instructions before delivering to the customer’s front door ready for the oven – has been really successful. Although they already offered this service before COVID hit, Rebecca spotted the opportunity to ramp it up in light of the current situation. 

The success of the Food @ Home service has helped her outside event catering business to survive, and formed the basis of a new gift offering she’ll be launching this winter. She’s extremely excited about this, because customers will be able to buy the Food @ Home experience as a present for loved ones, for example for their mum and dad’s wedding anniversary, to treat them to fine-dining the very next day without needing a professional chef or going to a restaurant. She’s put a lot of work into updating the company’s website in time for the launch, and look forward to giving her customers a way to celebrate with their nearest and dearest even though they can’t be together. 

Despite doing things differently to cater for their customers and investing more time in delivering fine-dining to people’s homes, Rebecca and her outside event catering team are still determined to bring the spirit of social events to their customers, especially in the run-up to Christmas. For example, they normally provide Christmas lunch for the Piddle Valley lunch club for the over 70s, whose members meet in the village hall every six weeks. As they will not be able meet up this year, Rebecca and her team will be delivering their gourmet Christmas lunches to their doors, so that they can still enjoy an exclusive meal and celebrate the festivities. 

Trading conditions have been tough to say the least for businesses, but seeing how a company such as Rebecca’s has adapted is truly inspirational. We hope that other rural enterprises can also power through this period too, and if you also want to take advantage of market opportunities opened up by the new norm, talk to us to see how we can support you and work with a gas safe engineer to provide you with dependable energy. Discover how Calor can help your business today by visiting our business energy hub.