Verbal abuse of wholesale staff, including delivery drivers, telesales executives and credit controllers, has led to the launch of a #BeKindToWholesale campaign by the Scottish Wholesale Association.
Chief executive Colin Smith told Cash & Carry Management that he was horrified by the accounts of wholesale staff being shouted at and sworn at by customers who are angry that deliveries are late or that some products are out of stock.
He added that in one incident the police had to be called because a chef had become particularly aggressive towards a delivery driver.
Smith explained that with hospitality, tourism and leisure businesses all opening at the same time, it has led to unprecedented demands on wholesalers and their staff. “This is a particularly tough time for wholesalers,” he said. “Wholesalers are faced with product supply shortages and price increases from manufacturers and importers as a consequence of Brexit, increased demand, staff shortages and factories not yet running at full capacity.
“Our members are also experiencing a chronic shortage of wholesale staff available for warehouse picking and drivers for making deliveries. Add to the equation longer turnaround times due to adhering to the various COVID restrictions – including the ‘spaces for people’ diversions and parking restrictions which all add time and complexity to delivery planning schedules – and this is a very challenging time.”
In an open letter to hospitality and foodservice businesses, he said: “We fully understand that there are many stresses and anxieties in play at the moment. However, where it is unacceptable for waiting staff and bartenders to be abused at work, it is equally unacceptable for wholesale delivery drivers, telesales or credit control teams to face similar abuse from their customers. Please, let’s not just be kind to hospitality but be kind to everyone.”
Smith is encouraging wholesalers to reproduce his letter (below) so that the campaign gains traction and reaches a wide audience.
Tel: Scottish Wholesale Association 0131-556 8753
Published Date: June 15, 2021