Cast your mind back to the week before Christmas 2021, a busy time of year for a lot of people, and an even busier one for one of our produce experts, Sean Wainwright.
A little before the end of the day on the Friday, Sean received a call from one of our butchers. Due to an outbreak of covid, they had no butchers and no drivers, meaning they couldn’t deliver to three of our customers on the following Monday. As you might imagine this caused a bit of an issue on an already busy Friday afternoon.
Because we source meat from a large number of suppliers Sean was able to go into action, with a little help from the rest of the team, and find someone able to deliver to the three customers affected. Phew! All sorted, and just another day at Menu Fresh over. Sean packed up and went home for a well-earned fizzy beverage or two.
Not the most exciting story, right? Well, Sean woke up on Saturday and being the dedicated soul he is, checked his work phone. The replacement supplier was unable to fulfil the orders until Tuesday, would the customers mind? Well of course they would. We’re talking Christmas week, and a delay of a day could be as bad as no meat at all. Our hero opened his little black book of butchers* and started calling around.
All-day he slaved over a hot mobile phone, but as you might imagine, it’s a busy time for meat suppliers and nobody could fulfil the order at such short notice. It looked like his next call would be to the customers to see if they could stand a delay…until a text dropped in from Robert Greaves, one of the family members behind H.Greaves & Sons. As they work Sundays he could make up the orders, in time for delivery on Monday. Although there was a small snag: they had no drivers who could cover the extra deliveries. Sean thought long and hard and came to the conclusion he would have to deliver them himself.
On Monday Morning Sean set off from his home in the heart of sunny Liverpool to arrive at H. Greaves in Wigan. Just a short cross-country drive to Nottingham and Lincolnshire to visit the three sites. Driving rain, cold, and pre-Christmas traffic notwithstanding Sean arrived at his first drop off a little after 11.30 a.m. Refusing a cup of tea (which is incredibly out of character), he set off to complete the other two, arriving in time for them to carry on without any disruption.
Sean says: “two of the customers were delighted, if a bit surprised to see me, one of them didn’t even notice anything was different”.
As night fell, Sean drove back across the Peak District, even travelling through the outskirts of Manchester, which is something he prefers to avoid. People talk about going the extra mile for their customers, well, he certainly managed that. Not all heroes wear capes, but I should add, Sean was wearing a mask.*
Now, this isn’t something we try to make a habit of, but these issues do happen from time to time, and when they do our team leaps into action. In a year where so many factors have made delivering fresh food produce challenging, we are proud that we will move everything to make sure orders are delivered when expected.