Both Bidfood and Brakes have been seconded by food ministry DEFRA to extend their services to the public while the pandemic is at its height.
When Cash & Carry Management telephoned the Harlow, Essex, branch of Bidfood we were told by the receptionist: “We have begun a service direct to householders with a minimum order charge of £100. We are evaluating the situation as we go along. We also have a click & collect service available for those who register with us.”
At Brakes a spokeswoman for the company (whose Ashford, Kent, office has been temporarily closed) said: “Our Reading and Portbury, Somerset, depots are offering a click & collect service to the public.” She understood the minimum order to be £100.
Customers calling the company by telephone are being advised that order arrival times might be affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
A statement issued by the Institute of Grocery Distribution’s CEO Susan Barrett said that the organisation “has been bringing the food and grocery industry together, engaging with retailers, manufacturers, government, trade and other key stakeholders, to help ensure food is able to flow through the supply chain and reach those people most in need”.
She referred to two foodservice companies working with DEFRA to help distribute food parcels to designated doorsteps, without naming either Brakes or Bidfood.