Wedding Catering Company mixes up the deck
Imagine if your business was planned this way: minimum revenue for the first quarter and maximum revenue for the second quarter. And for the second quarter, an unprecedented pandemic has drawn people apart, causing what is perhaps the greatest economic rescheduling in modern history.
Welcome to the world of weddings.
This year, more than 2.2 million people in the United States wanted or are planning to get married, and 24 percent of them targeted May and June. For companies like Pennsylvania Roots Catering, the COVID-19 disruption has been impractical and potentially devastating to business. However, an honest assessment of the market and an opportunistic view of its business processes have enabled lead owner Matt Bubbenmoyer to make the most of a bad situation.
“We saw a number of rescheduled events for March and April,” he said. “We’re moving our clients further into the year, a big shift in income and timing over the year. In general, we would have expected a considerable amount of money to come in the door in March and April. Now it will be May or June before these contracts are implemented. It’s a big impact for us. “
Roots serves the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, a largely rural area about 90 miles west of New York City. It owns one of its wedding facilities, serves two others, and specializes in farm-to-table dishes. The company planned to open a new mobile catering facility in late March, but this has been delayed.
Fortunately, as Bubbenmoyer noted, Roots was fairly openly available for July and August and was able to reschedule a large number of clients for those months. So far he has not had any rejections. At the moment his income is accrued. But like many in the events business, his business could be a huge success if the COVID-19 crisis drags on over the summer.
“These people will go through their wedding,” he said. “It really becomes a matter of when. The current forecast is, let’s say summer, and we’re just pushing back a few things, and that’s a very tolerable shift in income and cash flow that we normally expect. If this continues into September, for example, it’s a completely different ball game, because then customers will cancel their events because they don’t know when to set a new date. “
Roots has been in business for 12 years and since it is fully booked with weddings it hasn’t branched out into other types of events. In order to meet its current contracts, Bubbenmoyer has waived the minimum number of participants, waived cancellation fees and has stayed in contact with the rescheduling options. Although his clientele has to rethink the formality and size of their weddings, he doesn’t see a major paradigm shift in tradition.
The downtime has given Roots employees the opportunity to work on the company’s website, respond to the requirements of current contracts and bring the aforementioned mobile catering unit to market. This unity was the source of a welcome and somewhat surprising change in business model. It was originally scheduled to be launched at a local winery on the weekend of March 23rd. However, the crisis made this gathering impossible, so Bubbenmoyer had an even better idea: Bring the food to the people who need it.
“As soon as I spoke to the winery on the phone, we spoke to a Safe Harbor (homeless shelter and grocery bank) in Easton, and everyone in Safe Harbor and part of the public came in for both lunch and dinner.” he said. “We had an overwhelming amount of gratitude and appreciation. You know we have leftovers after these events and we want to make better use of this product. So we will work with Safe Harbor in the future. “
NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOLIDAY SHOPPING RETROSPECTIVE STUDY – FEBRUARY 2021
About the study: The Retrospective Study of Shopping On Vacation: Insights into Merchants for 2021 and Beyond, a collaboration between PYMNTS and PayPal, examines consumer shopping practices and preferences during the 2020 holiday season and what these mean for merchants now and for the upcoming holiday seasons. The report is based on a census among 2,070 US consumers.
Bookings, Business Model, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Hospitality, News, Retail, Sales, Roots Catering, Shop Talk, Weddings