Wow, what a year it has been – we did not expect a pandemic and the Lockdowns we have all experienced. And we were not prepared for the devastating affect the pandemic has had on our business and our colleagues in the hospitality industry.
We started 2020 with the usual activities and plans, and then everything just stopped.
Like most of you, we went through all the common emotions and feelings before adjusting our business plans, hoping it would all be over by the summer. It feels as though we have been adjusting them ever since!
With most people working from home, it meant that even our private executive travel stopped as meetings and trips abroad were cancelled.
The wedding industry pretty much ground to a halt – we had ONE wedding this year compared to the usual 25-30.
Besides the bridal car, we normally get a lot of additional cars booked for the bridal party for weddings across the South West. Since March, we have done one local wedding for Kevin and Sarah where they only had one car to take the bride and then again for the husband and bride after the ceremony.
TV productions were put on hold. Last year we worked on several productions, this year we have had no bookings from this sector apart from when we helped another company with some transfers.
There were also no more shopping trips, events or airport transfers.
The whole of our business was effected and there was not enough work to justify us both driving so we had to adapt. Mark carried on with the chauffeur role whilst I took a job at Yeo Valley.
It was a bit daunting at first, it’s been a long time since I had to attend interviews and inductions for another position, but I have found the transition OK and have adapted well to my new role. I am happy that I have kept the admin side of Cadbury Cars, so I am not totally out of the business.
Our other drivers are all self employed, so we did not have to lay anyone off, but their work has also suffered as a result.
We adapted as best we could and took on some courier work and driving people to hospital visits. We have also undertaken some essential work travel where clients did not wish to use public transfers.
It pleases us that clients have been very impressed with our safety video. And those who have had to go for hospital visits are happy that we can get them there safely. We were thrilled with this testimonial we received:
‘Hi Katie – I’d just like to say thanks for the excellent service provided by yourselves on Tuesday when you took me for an appointment in Clifton. I’d been feeling quite anxious about things and was so reassured to see the hygiene measures you have in place and to be able to travel in comfort. It made such a difference, too, to know that Mark could wait for me while I was at the clinic.
Thanks again for all your help’.
Cadbury Cars survived, and we are still here. We are fortunate to have some great clients who are supporting us and using us when they can – most cannot wait to get to see us again.
We are also stubborn and will not give up easily!
We hope that the vaccine will be available very soon and will make a difference to everyone’s travel plans. We appreciate that work will probably not be as it was for a while longer, but that we see a vast improvement in our workload by the end of the first quarter.
We would like to take this opportunity of wishing everyone a happy new year.
We will continue to plan for 2021 and we hope that we can get back to doing what we love so we can support you all in your travel needs in doing what you love.