Nestlé Professional has pledged to support small, independent businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Here, Roger Frei, business executive officer, MENA, discusses the initiative and its goals.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Nestlé Professional customers?
We recognise the impact that COVID-19 has had on many companies and industries, including our out-of-home business partners, such as restaurants, hotels and cafés which are struggling with the enforced closures, disruption and financial burdens, and the concerns they have for the future.
As we look at how to return to a more normal life, we will continue to be a dependable business partner and make every possible effort to provide support and adapt to the evolving situation across the countries where we operate.
Nestlé announced a new global initiative, #AlwaysOpenForYou, which offers business partners our prompt and pragmatic assistance as they prepare to reopen and welcome back their customers.
What’s Nestlé Professional doing to support?
We’re offering support to smaller, independent businesses in the out-of-home sector as part of this initiative. We’re extending credit terms, and suspending rental fees on coffee machines with over 5,000 customers across 15 countries in the region.
In addition, we’re offering 1-2 weeks of free products when those businesses will reopen, as well as meaningful training, such as the ‘Specialized Nutrition Training Program for Chefs’, and the barista training in virtual settings.
We have also been working with our local customers on activations to help increase their online orders, giving them more visibility online and offline; at Nestlé Professional, we are always open for you #AlwaysOpenForYou. The value of this initiative is expected to be around two million CHF for the Middle East and North Africa region.
How do you see the near future of the out-of-home industry?
We’re all in this together, not only as suppliers and business partners, but also as consumers. The near future will be challenging for the out-of-home industry, especially for those who are not agile enough to adapt quickly to the new reality.
We need to be positive and support our favourite local restaurants, as they are going through great lengths to ensure high levels of hygiene and maintain the employment of their teams. It’s now our turn to help the out-of-home industry rebuild itself.