Northamptonshire catering firm forecasts £50,000 loss due to wedding postponements

Couples putting their wedding plans on the back-burner has meant Devine Betty's Catering Co might not see any new business for some of next year

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 28th May 2020, 10:24 am
Emma and Liz set up their business in 2014 after borrowing 500 each off their husbands to expand their work space from Liz' home into a commercial kitchen.

A Northamptonshire catering firm has said it will miss out on new bookings next year as they catch up with postponed weddings after the coronavirus lockdown.

Devine Betty's Catering launched after one of the founders, Emma, found herself at a loose end when her coffee shop, Devine Deli, in Oundle, was closing down.

After talking over coffee with her now co-founder Liz, of Betty Bakes, the pair decided to give bespoke catering a go in Liz' kitchen.

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Betty Bakes and Devine Deli soon joined forces to become Devine Bettys Catering Co and within two years the duo found themselves fully booked for functions across the county.

A typical day-in-the-life scenario for the two working mums would be an 80 hour working week each, which involves meeting different clients, planning the clients' special day and typically working 18 hour shifts on a Saturday to prepare, cook for guests and pack away.

After building up their beloved business six years ago the news of a lockdown sent shock waves through the pair as they were racked with confusion and fear over whether their business would survive.

Emma said: "No one had any idea what would happen, what to do or how to offer any reassurance.

The pair each spend up to 80 hours a week working flat out to cater for their clients perfect wedding.

"The wedding and event industry was, has, and is still very much left in the dark with little to no guidance. We went and are going through huge stress, ever changing predictions and lots of tears.

"We had to move quickly with the imminent weddings and events to secure postponements for our clients, fortunately we have great relationships with the venues we work with and managed to communicate in every direction to get this done."

The pair have fortunately qualified for the small business grant, which covers their fixed outgoings for three months.

But their personal income has stopped short term to make sure that all money can remain in the business to protect their booked clients.

As well as providing a full catering service, Devine Betty's can also act as a wedding planning service and can source furniture and flower arrangements.

Emma added: "Loss of business isn’t really tangible at this point as we cater booked events however going into the next year we will have lost at least £50,000.

"This is due to 2021 dates being given to 2020 postponements, therefore we cannot take the volume of new bookings we should.

"We have also had clients ready to book 2021 just before all this, they’ve had hours and hours of conversation, emails, menus and planning but decided to wait until this is all over before progressing with booking their weddings."