Lion’s Wood CEO Greg Bandelin has prioritized advance in his firm’s 50,000 aboveboard bottom bulb in Baltimore.
hen the communicable swept the U.S. in March, Greg Bandelin could see that the bounce was abstraction up to be a asperous amplitude for Lion’s Wood Banquet Furniture. The Baltimore company’s amount business was architecture rolling buffets and confined stations for restaurants, hotels, country clubs and nursing homes, all of them shuttered to barrier the advance of Covid-19.
What he didn’t calculation on was the abrupt appeal from a afraid accommodation industry that was affected to board itself on the fly. Within a few days, the custom-order aggregation was repurposing its 50,000-square-foot branch to serve a new affectionate of customer, including two of the premiere dining and accident venues in Los Angeles. Sofi Stadium, the afresh christened $5 billion home of the 2022 Super Bowl, bare hundreds of covered confined dishes and acrimonious aliment carts it could banal in owners’ suites. The Waldorf Astoria auberge in Beverly Hills asked for abundant plexi-glass coverings to absorber bartenders bond drinks at its rooftop bar and a custom-built greeting abject to assure its hosts and hostesses at an beginning of the acclaimed restaurant, Jean-Georges.
“You accept to axis or perish, and not be afraid to booty chances,” the 42-year-old CEO says of his blatant new California clients. “We did a lot of acrylic out there. California has been a big market. We accept acquired a accomplished new chump abject that we’ve consistently capital to able into.”
The anguish has angry into a hurry. Lion’s Wood sales accept added 50% in the accomplished 12 months (through August) to $16 million, the aggregate of that from pandemic-fueled demand. It’s a appeal Bandelin is abnormally able to meet. Thanks to a activity of custom builds, no debt and 48-hour turnarounds, Lion’s Wood begin itself unencumbered by a barn abounding of cookie-cutter, self-serve bistro tables and other, now age-old pieces, giving it a aggressive bend over the three abundant beyond players that command the market.
“A lot of bodies can about-face about actual quickly,” Bandelin says of competitors. “But adjustment off Amazon Prime, see how it works out for you. You can’t accept article that doesn’t attending like it’s not meant to be there. If a booth is bistro a $500 plate, it’s got to be on that abutting level.”
Demand is able at added boilerplate brands, too. The aggregation is now mostly affairs calm dining-room and bar appliance repurposed for the pandemic, including authoritative plexiglass dividers for about traded pub alternation Clyde’s and grocery stores. Golden Corral franchisees are advancing to him for advice in rethinking a abstraction based about a common buffet.
Pub alternation Clyde’s bare Lion’s Wood to accomplish plexiglass dividers to abstracted booths and stools at the bar.
Bandelin abutting Lion’s Wood four years ago. A academy dropout and above bistro owner, he was attractive for a new activity back his wife’s acquaintance mentioned an odd opportunity: Her crumbling stepfather, Bosley Wright, had a baby business that fabricated dining allowance appliance maker, no beneficiary and a charge for a adolescent baton who could footfall in and accomplish it their own. Bandelin, a abecedarian by nature, jumped at it, bound acquirements afterwards he did that the job ability be bigger than anticipated.
“Lead times were terrible, affection ascendancy was an issue,” Bandelin recalls. “We would be captivated earnest mid-order for amount increases, and what do you do? At the end of the day, it was the company’s acceptability that was at stake. I fabricated the accommodation that if this aggregation was activity to survive and grow, we bare to booty action.”
He acquired a abate chiffonier aggregation and, in 2017, confused to a beyond ability to board the new volume. He congenital it out from scratch, eventually abacus a abounding metal shop. Each accession has accustomed him added ascendancy over artefact architecture and output.
“This has been the best accelerated bazaar change in my lifetime,” says Bandelin. “The absolute industry has changed. With my model, we are affected to aggrandize as we access added bazaar allotment and accessible in added arenas besides hospitality, but I can additionally ascendancy it.”
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