A Warwickshire tea room has turned around its’ pandemic dip in trade following a Bounce Back Loan from Barclays.
Orangemabel tea rooms on Alcester High Street used the funds to install a series of themed beach huts in the tea room’s gardens which can be pre-booked and are not weather dependent. As a result, the business has seen its’ turnover double.
The business was established in 2013 by owner Jayne Roberts who said: “Like everyone in our industry our income ground to a halt during the first lockdown and I had to find new ways of working that would future-proof our business once we were able to re-open. I came up with the idea of the themed beach huts which mean people can enjoy their refreshments in the knowledge that they are in a safe and private environment – whatever the weather!”
Jayne organised a Facebook competition to allow her customers to choose a name for one of the beach huts. The winning family of four came up with the idea of the ‘Birds and the Bees’ which Jayne has since incorporated into one of her themes. The business also used the funds to enhance their existing website to include an online booking system to cope with the increased demand for these huts.
Jayne Roberts continues: “As well as our regular customers, we have seen an increase in new customers who are coming from further afield. The huts are also being booked for family celebrations, small hen parties, baby showers and the demand for them has exceeded all my expectations.”
“Having spent many a sleepless night, worrying about the future of the business, I would definitely recommend other business owners use this time to pivot and adapt their business and to think of new ideas to keep their customers coming back.”
The business currently employs nine people but this is set to increase in the coming months owing to the popularity of the increased footfall.