The director of a catering supplier says business has returned to healthy levels as hospitality businesses have reopened, but warns we "all have a responsibility" to avoid a damaging local lockdown.

Ben McClure, sales director for catering supplier McClures, which employs about 135 people in Windermere, said July and August were so busy the business has had to take on more staff to deal with demand.

“We are surprised really at how good business has been in those two months, in particular in August with the Eat Out to Help Out scheme,” he said.

“Before the lockdown we certainly weren’t expecting that."

However, it had been tough to begin working with suppliers again, many of whom had a reduced ranges themselves during lockdown.

“With things opening overnight we didn’t have a lot of warning and unfortunately some suppliers had closed and were starting from scratch,” he said.

“Even now a few suppliers are still playing catch up.

“I don’t think anyone expected it to come back so well and I think lots of people were trying not to hold too much stock with fear of it going out of date.”

During the lockdown period, McClures also started a click and collect retail service in the local area.

Ben said although demand for the click and collect service had reduced in recent weeks, the business may keep it going during the quieter winter months.

“I think it did help people out in hard times and they have appreciated it and a lot of them that have businesses have been very loyal since they’ve come back,” he said.

However, he said the key thing was to try and avoid a second lockdown and the associated economic impact.

“We all have a responsibility to take precautions,” he said.