Savour Festival: The impact of funding on a growing event
Launched in 2021 by Alex Holland Davis, Savour Festival is a culinary experience that has gained significant popularity in recent years. This annual gathering celebrates the diverse and vibrant world of gastronomy, presenting dishes from London's award-winning chefs. Set in the historic venue of Royal Hospital Chelsea this July 21st-23rd, Savour Festival is quickly becoming the go-to destination to create unforgettable memories and explore London’s culinary landscape.
Savour Festival faced several barriers to growth in its first year due, in part, to the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to restrictions and cancellations of many scheduled events. The rising fuel prices coupled with the ongoing cost of living crisis also caused stagnation in the food and hospitality industry.
Savour also faced operational barriers around cash flow management. During the summer, peak season for festivals, the competition for essential resources (tents, portable bathrooms, etc.) intensifies as all events aim to secure the same supplies. For a new event still building vendor relationships, the start-up equipment and rental costs can be exorbitantly high.
Challenge to secure capital
In their efforts to mitigate cash flow problems and scale the business, Savour sought to secure working capital. Savour first looked into traditional funding channels such as banks, but these channels often struggle to comprehend the unique dynamics of the festival industry, where revenues are generated in irregular cycles due to sponsorships and ticket sales. Savour was eventually introduced to Lenkie’s funding solutions via Easol Capital, Savour’s experience business management platform.
Savour Festival applied for funding through Lenkie’s simple 2 minute application process. Savour received flexible funding within 48 hours, without the hassle of the traditional institutions. Before, Savour had to fill in a lengthy application process and wait weeks before the decision was finalised, but with Lenkie, there was cash in hand in days of applying.
For Savour, repayments were also simple. A percent of their festival ticket sales through Easol was deducted weekly. Dashboard reports also showed a summary and timeline of the repayments.
Through Lenkie’s funding, Savour Festival was able to execute a sales and marketing plan, increasing their event attendance and ticketing sales. Savour Festival used a large portion of their working capital to expand their marketing reach, effectively targeting a broader audience and attracting a large customer base for attendance and sponsorship. With more cash flow, Savour Festival was able to employ more sales staff, leading to more than 150% increase in exhibitor revenue. The festival also was able to hire the staff to go through the lengthy process to obtain a 5 year licence for the venue, thus securing their future festivals.
Further, Savour Festival gained the ability to place substantial deposits for various items well in advance of the event. This alone cut the cost of equipment rental by half, giving them more capital to reinvest into their business.
Savour Festival's collaboration with Lenkie has fuelled its growth as well as secured the quality of the event for years to come. By leveraging Lenkie's funding, the company has been able to allocate resources to essential areas, such as expanding the team. Moving forward, they aim to enhance their dedicated sponsorship team, which is also a key requirement to compete with other festivals in the market. The goal is to become the largest food festival in the south of England, absorbing substantial sponsorship and reinforcing their position as an industry leader. As attendees eagerly anticipate the next edition of this culinary extravaganza, Savour Festival continues to evolve, bringing joy and culinary delights to those who seek memorable experiences.