Hey cake chums!
I hope you will allow me to get a little bit serious for a moment. I think it is safe to say that, along with many countries around the world, the UK is facing an unprecedented crisis right now and like many businesses, those of us on Planet Cake are facing uncertain times ahead.
Following the latest updates from the UK government and their team of experts, the key new measures that we need to be following are that:
- Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres.
- Everyone should work from home if they can.
- All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease.
- People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible.
- By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”.
- The UK is now “three weeks” behind Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe.
- If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days.
- Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”.
- Schools will not be closed for the moment.
In light of these latest developments, I know that many of us are continuing to field cancellations left and right, as well as facing the fact that baking ingredients seem to be some of the latest products to be rapidly disappearing from supermarket and wholesaler shelves, leaving us concerned that we will be unable to source the supplies needed to produce any orders that do remain on the books.
While I would love to say that I will be able to provide all of the answers in these worrying times, unfortunately, like many of you, I feel like I am just muddling my way through at the moment. However, that being said, I am sure that we all have had some experiences already that may be able to provide some support and clarity to our friends and colleagues within the industry.
With that in mind, I thought that it might be useful to use this week’s second instalment of #cakershour to address some of these concerns and allow us all the time to share any experiences or advice that might be of use to everyone.
Before we meet for #cakershour, you may well find it useful to check out Monday’s Facebook Live from The Cake Professionals team, which you can find at this link. And if you know of any other sources of information or advice – including any guidance you may have had from accountants, your local EHO and the details of any local cake supplies retailers to you that might be expanding their range of products to include core baking supplies – please do make a note of them ready to share with the rest of us. You never know who else this information may be able to help out.
With that in mind, this week’s focus questions will be:
- How are you handling cancellations or postponements? Have you taken any legal advice or had your T&Cs reviewed by a solicitor? What has the response from your clients been?
- Are you struggling to get hold of any cake supplies? Have you found any creative solutions to plug any holes in your supply chain?
- What plans do you have in place to be able to continue with any cake consultations during a period of enforced isolation or lockdown?
- What other challenges are you facing that we may be able to help with?
- How are you going to keep yourself busy during a period of enforced isolation or lockdown?
I am also pleased to be able to announce that Phil and Christine Jensen of Peboryon – the clever bods behind The Cake Professionals – will also be joining us as my guest co-hosts for this week’s #cakershour and I am looking forward to hearing their perspectives on some of the key challenges that we are all facing.
It will be important to keep things supportive and professional – we don’t want to allow things to descend into panic – and hopefully, we will be able to use this time help us all navigate the uncertainty we are facing during these unprecedented times.
I do hope that you will be able to join us for this week’s #cakershour and I will see you there…
Twitter #cakershour is hosted by Mr Baker’s Cakes and takes place every Wednesday from 9:00pm. To find out more, check out the intro post here.