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Surviving As A Small Or Medium Business

Welcome to Natalie’s Blog…


As I know from my own experience, running a business is not easy whatever sector you are in. As a business owner or manager you face competition not only from other businesses of similar size but also from much larger businesses or ‘chains’ (often multi-national or even international).

The good news is that we can all take encouragement from the results of a recent survey of British Restaurant & Pub customers by London-based food-tech company GoKart.

Of the 2000 members of the Great British public questioned in the survey, a high percentage were not only appreciative but actively supportive of the efforts of small and medium enterprise (SME) owners and managers:

  • 53% of customers prefer to eat out at independent establishments because they want to support local businesses;
  • 50% of consumers are concerned that local high-street businesses are struggling to compete with national or multi-national chain restaurants and are being driven out of the high street as a result;
  • 42% of respondents think the British Government should limit the number of national or multi-national chain restaurants on the UK’s high streets.

Sadly, the survey revealed that 37% of consumers have seen one or more of their favourite local venues close in the past 12 months alone and 43% are concerned these closures will continue, with uncertainty around Brexit and the weakening pound due to higher priced meals.

There is disappointing news from the Government’s Insolvency service too… 984 restaurants went into administration in 2017, an increase of 20% on the previous year.

But despite this it is clear from the survey that British consumers are willing to support their local restaurants, pubs, cafes, take-aways etc:

  • 63% of survey respondents said independent venues offer greater varieties of cuisine or more creative dishes over the standard food offered by larger chains;
  • 69% stated that the freshness and quality of the ingredients is the most important thing they look for when choosing somewhere to eat.

This survey demonstrates the challenges local independent restaurants (and other businesses) have over the big chains.

However the positive sentiment and support customers feel for small and medium businesses is encouraging and with the recent growth (or return!) of high quality, specialist ‘artisan’ and craft businesses, those of us running SME’s should take heart.

We must continue to fight back by responding to the natural support consumers feel for local businesses by meeting and exceeding their expectations with affordable prices, high quality fresh local ingredients and rewarding them for their custom.

Here at Delvaux our own small and medium size business customers understand this; they use our range of personalised Neapolitan and Petit Chocolates and branded confectionery sweets to thank their customers for their business and loyalty, encouraging their customers to promote their business to colleagues, friends and family.

Our business customers use our range of individually personalised and wrapped Chocolates (such as Neapolitans and Petit Chocolates), Fruit Sweets, Salted Caramel Fudge, Mints and other sweets to surprise, delight and thank their customers, as well as to promote special offers, additional services, new venues and products… we like to call it ‘edible advertising’ and there is no question it makes a positive impression!

At Delvaux we will thrive as a family business by listening to our customers and providing high quality customer service, innovative products and services, responsive production and delivery …and we will continue to grow by surprising, delighting and thanking our customers too. We hope we can help you do the same!

Contact us now to discuss how we can help you and your colleagues to market your business and thank customers more effectively, speak to me or Richard (Sales Manager) on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or email us at:

(Natalie’s Blog, 5 September 2018)

Meet… Natalie Atkinson (Managing Director, Delvaux Ltd)

Natalie is the Managing Director of Delvaux Ltd, a family-owned business originally founded in 1985 by her mother Monique as a division of Rombouts Coffee. Natalie leads the ‘delicious marketing ideas’ team at Delvaux, experts in helping Delvaux’s clients to use personalisation and gifting as ‘edible advertising’.

Since Delvaux’s early days supplying petit fours to Restaurants and Hotels and supplying retailers such as the House of Fraser, Conran and Harvey Nichols with luxury chocolates, glace fruits, nougats and nuts, Delvaux has developed into a thriving independent business supplying personalised chocolates (Neapolitans and Petit Chocs) and confectionery in individual wrappers printed with messaging, logo, special offers and promotions etc.

Delvaux has been in business for over 35 years supplying 1000s of businesses, associations, charities, institutions and individuals with millions of personalised Neapolitan and Petit chocolates over that time. More recently Delvaux has expanded under Natalie’s direction with the addition of Mints, Fruit Sweets, Salted Caramel Fudge, Jelly Beans and Jelly Sweets and Chocolate Coffee Beans to the product range.

[If you have any questions please call us on UK freephone 0800 371 428 or International telephone +44 (0) 1932 550500, alternatively please email us at]
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