Business development advisors at Malcolm Scott Consultants are working with garden centres and farm shops to help them adapt their full range of retail and catering food operations, to offer take away, click and collect, and delivery services.

With many farm shops having remained open as essential food retailers, and garden centres in England, Wales and Northern Ireland having been given the green light to open again, owners are now focusing on processes and compliance to support both the retail and the catering offer of their food ranges.

Andrew Burton, of MSC, said: “Covid-19 has immediately changed the shape of every business, and we are doing everything we can to work with clients remodelling of their offering to adapt to the new climate. We all know there are bottom line effects and businesses are working on new business models because of this, and there are also processes and compliance updates that many businesses shouldn’t ignore.

“By following strict health and safety and operational guidance, many businesses are aiming to recover some of that lost revenue via food-to-go services both in retail and catering.  At the same time they are putting plans in place to reopen their on-site restaurants, with new safety measures where it is deemed safe to do so, so they are proactively ready to go.  Things such as reviewing their seating layout, allergen communication and cleaning regimes and kitchen equipment are just examples of areas businesses have to look at.

“A challenge businesses now face is how to meet customer expectations with the added need for social distancing, queue management and increased safety, and when focusing on food, a key part of this is management of risk and compliance. As such, the MSC team has been working with clients on developing their overall business models, including areas such as click-and-collect,” he explained.

In addition to helping clients plan for future operations in terms of food retail and catering processes and compliance, the business is also providing advice to enable businesses to introduce, develop and operate takeaway and delivery services in the coming weeks and months.  MSC has prepared a detailed breakdown of guidance and supporting materials for all operators, which can be provided by contacting MSC at