Jun 29th 2020

City Pantry in a changing working landscape

In a time where businesses are trying to navigate the new normal, we have decided to check in on a few to hear how life is treating them. From working remotely to maintaining company culture, we are all treading new waters and information sharing has never been more vital. 

This week, we are doing a quick fire with Tom Squire, Financial Director at City Pantry. As a company whose main focus is to deliver delicious food to offices, City Pantry has had to adapt quickly to the new working world. 

Hey Tom, hope you are doing well. How has Covid-19 affected City Pantry as a business?

Naturally, as a business operating within the office catering space the announcement of national remote working rules did offer a bit of a challenge for us! We had to pivot our product offering and quickly developed ‘Pantry Packages’ – a solution for staff working from home. We realised that working from home could potentially be a lonely and anxious time for a lot of people, so we wanted to come up with something that could play a part in lifting spirits.

Sounds exciting! And how did the team adapt to this sudden change in your offering?

Everyone took it well, and I’m really proud of the team for the work they’ve done in such a short space of time. The agile nature of our business has been a huge positive for us in this time. We have proven our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate, and also allowed ourselves to shift part of our efforts to delivering to less fortunate communities.

How has the current situation shifted your approach to sales?

We’ve tried to continue staying as close to active customers as we can. We are sussing out the landscape for businesses returning back to work, and positioning ourselves as an option for office food that allows companies to still enforce social distancing. It’s been a real positive for me to see the sales team shift from a previously more scrappy, startup sales approach to a more strategic view of how we’re working with our customers long term. By staying closer to them, we’re really trying to understand the problems they’re facing from a logistical and cultural point of view – and helping them solve those.

It sounds like you’re building some really valuable relationships these days! What do you think will happen after lockdown is lifted?

With lockdown restrictions easing, I believe the demand for City Pantry will return as our customers adapt to the challenges of the ‘new normal’. Our delivered-in, individually-labelled solution via contact-free delivery will help to solve some challenges, complemented by the shift to being able to feed your teams wherever they are.

One last question, before we let you get back to work. What is your view on the market over the next 6-12 months?

I think the next year will be challenging for us as a country whilst we work out our social distancing approach and establish a new normal. The size of the market won’t decrease but I’m confident that tech will still remain the solution for many. One thing I’ve gathered from companies that I’ve spoken to is that we’re all in this together. We’ll see businesses adapt and evolve, partnering with their previous competitors to ensure we all thrive, which can only be a positive.

Thanks to Tom and the City Pantry team! We’re sure that most people miss having lunch with their colleagues these days (we know we do) so well done to City Pantry for keeping employees’ spirits high before we return to our offices.

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