JJ Foodservice is to open two new depots this year as it looks to grow its business and satisfy increasing demand.
The 30,000-50,000 sq ft depots will open near the M25 before the end of the year, bringing the wholesaler’s estate to 10 sites. It is eyeing Acton and Croydon as potential locations.
CEO Mustafa Kiamil said locating the depots near London would “make sense” because of the high level of disposable income in the capital.
Both depots will feature JJ Foodservice’s Argos-style ‘click & collect’ function, which Kiamil said generated 50% of sales across the business. JJ Foodservice had also experienced a surge in ordered deliveries, he added.
“For foodservice, the feel-good factor is creeping in,” Kiamil said. “We can see it’s coming back. If a restaurant is doing well they won’t click & collect, they’ll have it delivered.”
The company had invested “millions” in new tech over the past 12 months to bring the foodservice sector online and help JJ Foodservice’s customers compete in the long run, Kiamil said.
The company is piloting software called Foodit, which aims to rival Just Eat and works by linking restaurants with customers looking to order online.
For a flat fee and a 5% commission on sales, Foodit creates an SEO-optimised transactional site with a live tracker for orders. It also stores customers’ purchase data to enable restaurants to target promotions.
The software, which will be rolled out this summer, is being trialled with 60 restaurants.