Wholesaler Wellocks aims to boost chef productivity via online ordering

Specialist fresh food wholesaler Wellocks is aiming to increase its customers’ productivity with a new online service.

This week, Chris O’Callaghan, head chef at Linthwaite House Hotel restaurant in Windermere earned himself a coveted Oliver Harvey jacket after switching to online ordering at Wellocks. He was one of 120 chefs nationwide who qualified for a jacket as part of Wellocks’ Smart Chef campaign to improve productivity in the kitchen – and give restaurant profits a boost.

James Wellock (pictured above), Wellocks’ MD, said: “Kitchens and chefs are constantly under pressure to increase margins. Wellocks’ online ordering system has been designed to save chefs’ time, help them be more efficient and let them get on with what they do best in the kitchen – cooking delicious food. Online ordering is an essential skill for today’s chefs to master and over time can significantly boost a business’s performance.”

Wellocks, a family-run concern that has been trading since 1964, claims to be one of the UK’s fastest growing privately owned enterprises, and launched its Smart Chef campaign at the end of last year to get chefs to see the benefits of switching from telephone to online ordering. Chefs who ordered online for an entire month qualified for a jacket – as well as enjoying 1% off all orders.

Chef Chris O’Callaghan said: “The Wellocks online ordering system is great. It’s a simple tool to use that allows us to keep an eye on our spend as we get a pro forma invoice each night. We also know if a product is short or out of stock that night so we can resolve the situation then rather than in the morning when time is precious. The Wellocks jacket is awesome.”

James Wellock said the online ordering system had been designed to give kitchens and business owners multiple benefits: “Chefs can build orders any time of the day or night, create master lists, see their order history as well as get access to past credit notes and invoices to speed up accounting. These tools improve time management, efficiency, accuracy and offer better budget management.”  

He  added: “Ordering online is what smart chefs do and it’s just as important to doing your job well as having an efficient workspace, pristine chefs’ whites and the perfect ingredients. At Wellocks, we understand the pressures on chefs and kitchens to be more productive, to deliver more with less resources and we’ve invested in online ordering to make our customers’ jobs easier and their businesses more profitable and sustainable.

“Online ordering also reduces errors such as over-ordering, duplication or forgetting a vital ingredient as well as making the most of every offer to better control budgets.”

Wellocks, which is based in Nelson, Lancashire,  employs 385 people with distribution hubs in Aylesbury to serve the south-east, Tewkesbury for the south-west, and Motherwell for Scotland.  Turnover hit £40m in 2015.

In addition to fresh ingredients – vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, cheese, game and dairy – Wellocks supplies a range of store cupboard goods and freshly prepared products from vegetables to pasta and pesto made in its own kitchens to make chefs’ lives easier.

Its  client portfolio includes top hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants including Gleneagles, Exclusive Hotels and Brasserie Blanc group, as well as many of the UK’s top chefs such as Michael Wignall, Simon Rogan and Daniel Clifford.

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