Gerrit van Gelder could not be happier. His story is all too familiar: In 2020, the hospitality supplier just moved into their new premises in the Netherlands. It has an automated warehouse and Experience Center.
Then COVID-19 struck, and sales lagged considerably for a long time. "Now we can finally use our building to its full potential. And we're very busy, even busier than before. The hospitality industry is in full swing again. So, our production crews have to work in two shifts and the order pickers in three to fill all the customer orders fresh every day."
Their convenience range is especially popular. "Many restauranteurs are struggling to find kitchen staff, so they want as much of the work done beforehand. We now supply huge quantities of sliced and sous-vide cooked vegetables and purees as basic products," Gerrit explains. "Then, chefs can still quickly prepare beautiful dishes, even with fewer kitchen hands. Despite the whole pandemic mess, we kept developing products and ideas in the past two years. That's paying off now."
"However, it's very challenging to source all the products from across the world. There are quite a few issues, like transport, high raw material costs, and the bad weather in Spain, that complicate things for us. The Dutch supply, too, is in shambles, partly because the greenhouses are empty due to the high gas prices. Then you're faced with all kinds of problems," Gerrit continues.
He remains alert, though. "I'm paying attention to what's happening in Shanghai. Two and a half years ago, we had no idea how that would affect us. And, less than six months ago, Dutch eateries had to shut down. Just before Christmas. While we'd ordered all sorts of specialties from all over the world for Christmas sales. We're delighted at how the hospitality industry has picked up again. Still, we're keeping these things in mind," Gerrit concludes.