Tailormade targets growth from new online arm

Portishead kitchen house Tailormade Catering Equipment Services is reporting success with an online catering store that it has created as a sister business.

The company went live with www.everythingforthechef.com earlier this year, and it features more than 7,000 catering products, from teaspoons right the way up to cooking ranges.

Tailormade is now aiming to expand the database to 15,000 products by the end of the year and will be adding more key-client account facilities to simplify the shopping process for its most frequent buyers.

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Tailormade owner, Jim Stevens, says that it decided to develop a user-facing site after receiving an increasing number of requests from customers to supply a wider range of catering products.

“We listened to our customers who are often too busy to buy things in the daytime — or are maybe even closed,” explains Stevens. “Many of our customers also expressed frustration at the product quality on some catering sites, or the lack of ease of navigability — so we decided to create an online store where all products are of a certain quality, prices are extremely competitive and it is easy for customers to navigate and find what they want.”

Tailormade has been working closely with a number of its key suppliers to make the site happen, including Blue Seal, Foster, Meiko and Rational.

Everythingforthechef.com will function as a separate entity to Tailormade, which remains focused on commercial kitchen design and installation.

Stevens founded the company seven years ago and says he has resisted the temptation to grow the business at a rate which would have been difficult to handle.

"We could have easily doubled or possibly even trebled our size at various stages of the business’s life, but we have always felt that, to expand too fast, might make us lose sight of what makes us successful: total focus on customer understanding and service excellence,” he says. “To maintain these standards and this ethos we have chosen to grow embryonic ally, only as fast as our standards will allow.”

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