Having an agile business model and being responsive to market conditions is something that most businesses build into their strategy, however the Coronavirus pandemic has torn into those plans in an unforeseeable way.
Even the best thought out business model could not have accounted for the position we all now find ourselves in.
What this has done however, is to highlight our ingenuity and entrepreneurial British spirit. We are strong and resilient as a nation and this current pandemic is showcasing that in all its glory.
This is why we want to share how some of our clients are coping in the circumstances, to reassure you that you are not alone and how you too may be able to adapt your business.
One of our clients in the hospitality sector had to close overnight. What they have done since then however, is truly inspirational. Not only keeping their business alive, but supporting the local communities and those most in need.
Healing Manor, traces its heritage back to Domesday. It was not until 2013 that the manor house was transformed into the Hotel and Restaurant that it is today. In 2018, Lincolnshire Chef Steve Bennett and wife, Charlotte Hay took over the management of the hotel and restaurant which employs a team of 59 staff.
“The Coronavirus outbreak led to us having to shut up shop overnight.” says Charlotte. “This outbreak has devastated all industries as a whole, but we have managed to keep a skeleton team in place.”
Charlotte went on to say; “As an independently run business, supporting 59 jobs, we currently feel let down by the government support. Our sector was affected much earlier on in this pandemic, as we saw a vast reduction in corporate bedroom bookings back in February, ultimately resulting in lost revenue. The grants were initially fed out to support the hospitality sector as one of the most affected, yet there seems to be a huge pool of businesses not able to access this support.
With that all said, the option to furlough staff has been essential for our teams’ morale throughout this whole process. Our team have been the most important aspect of every decision we’ve made, and we were conscious to hold on as long as we could, so the press conference announcing the 80% wage cost cover for those staff who had jobs effected by COVID-19 was a weight lifted.
It’s funny that throughout this whole process, and still as each day unravels itself, that everyone is looking to one another for all of the answers, yet we’re all on an equal playing field with access to exactly the same amount of information. As business owners, it’s taking the responsibility of having to provide answers not only for our team, but our customers too.”
Charlotte and Steve knew straight away that they had to get their thinking caps on and come up with a plan, not only to keep their business afloat and their brand alive, but to also consider how they could help others being impacted in so many ways by this, many of whom are regular patrons and supporters of their business.
Healing village is home to around 3,000 residents. Healing Manor has been supporting the village since the outbreak by donating weekly fresh bread supplies into the village and have also launched their #NominateYourNeighbour appeal. This programme is to encourage people in the village to nominate a neighbour, family member, loved one or friend in need of a simple hot meal. Easter weekend saw the Healing Manor deliver 30 hot meals and desserts to people in the Village who had been nominated. “Many of these people are isolated and not able to get to the shops for fresh produce. Therefore we were delighted to do our bit to help these people and families. We pledge to continue with this campaign throughout the effects of COVID-19 as long as it is safe and viable to do so.” commented Charlotte.
Healing Manor is also in the unique position to be able to keep some of its courtyard and outside rooms open for key and critical workers. The Manor benefits from having rooms in the courtyard which were transformed into visitor accommodation. Due to the nature of them being external, this means the hotel can still utilise these rooms whilst not putting any staff or guests at risk. Not only do guests have external access to their rooms, meals can also be delivered to their doors ensuring safe social distancing at all times. “We have put in place extreme safety measures and have adapted our service to enable us to safely service our guest’s needs.” said Charlotte. “With a high number of renewable, power and food production businesses in our region who cannot stop working, they still need safe accommodation for those key workers.”
Healing Manor has also donated freshly baked bread to the YMCA, St Andrews Hospice and St Hughes amongst other local charities. They have also delivered bread and basic necessities to the Health Tree Foundation to support NHS staff at Grimsby Diana Princess of Wales Hospital.
This selfless support does not stop here though. They are in the process of launching a ‘Go Fund Me’ page which aims to raise money to purchase the raw products to enable Healing Manor to cook around 1000 free meals each week. 20-50 of these meals will be delivered to patients and staff at St Andrews Hospice each day. The remaining meals will help feed those working at the new Cambridge Park hospital who work for Care Plus, along with other charities including We Are One, an organisation suffering because the people they would normally rely on for donations and time are unable to due to the current situation.
To top it off, they have also launched their take away menu from which you can order and safely collect meals from the restaurant. With Steve Bennett (Lincolnshire Chef) as the patron chef, you can be rest assured of a high quality and tasty meal.
Healing Manor are also showcasing local suppliers they use for some of their produce such as IshFish and Alfred Enderby. Supporting local business, charities and the community really are at the heart of what Healing Manor are doing.
Kevin Hopper, Managing Partner of Forrester Boyd works closely with Healing Manor and has been a sounding board for the team during this period. “We can only say congratulations and keep up the good work Steve, Charlotte, and the team. It really is heart-warming to see such ingenuity and inspiration during such trying and testing times.“ said Kevin.
For those of you who want to keep up to date with the antics that Charlotte, Steve and their team are getting up to, keep an eye on their Facebook page. There is always something going on to put a smile on your face.
To find out more about the campaigns and support from Healing Manor visit: