Food Service Logistics & Seagulls

The challenge

30 years ago, the challenge was to find a building solution that could grow with the Bidfood business and adapt to their different operational needs along the way.  After 30 years, their biggest challenge was seagulls!   


The solution

To design & install canopies that have the flexibility to grow, adapt and change their purpose.  We also showed those seagulls who’s in charge! 

Key facts 

  • Durable
  • Adaptable
  • Loading Bay
  • Goods marshalling
  • Flexible
  • Temporary storage unit (W)9m x (L)9.6m x (H)4.3m

Project overview

Bidfood are a leading foodservice wholesaler who supply food, drink and catering essentials to a wide range of sectors.  Did you know that Bidfood was originally called Bidvest 3663 because back in the day, 3663 was FOOD on your phone keypad?  This is not in any way relevant to our project with them but a bit of trivia to start our story.

We have had a long running relationship with Bidvest 3663 and their first contract with us was over 30 years ago for the installation of seven fabric-covered canopies, which they used for loading/unloading vehicles, protecting food from the elements and sun.  In 2010 we supplied them with another canopy, which was to be used as a temporary storage unit for six months to allow for a reorganisation and extension to their main warehouse.  They liked the flexibility!

The canopies could be hired during peak times, could be moved from one site to another when they needed to expand their operations and they could be modified as business needs changed or they brought in new delivery vehicles.  

The additional space these canopies afforded them meant that large artic lorries were able to deliver through the night in a safe, temperature controlled environment.  It also enabled all goods marshalling to run smoothly under shelter before staff would take them into the refrigerated warehouse or load them onto smaller delivery lorries.  Using the canopies helped to protect goods and increase their longevity as well as reduce energy costs.

During their long life of service, we have done a small bit of maintenance but nothing extensive and in 2009, we extended one of the canopies by 4.9m to make better use of the space available and accommodate business growth.   Our structures are only temporary, short-term solutions if that’s what you need them to be.  

Over the decades, the London pollution started to tarnish one of the covers and seagulls, which are clearly lured to the site by the prospect of food, were causing damage through their beaks and excrement.  In 2022 we gave it a new cover and the birds continue to be the only threat to its longevity.