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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Cooperative Bank of Thessaly case study: Byros Grigoris(Greece), food & beverage

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“When the evening’s over and all the stress is finally gone, and the client is happy and smiling – that’s the best moment. When he comes up and shakes your hand and you can see the satisfaction on his face,” says Grigoris Byros, who runs a catering business in Trikala, Thessaly. “But at the same time, that’s also the source of stress – your client’s face. If anything goes wrong, you’ll see it immediately.”

Grigoris worked with his father for around 8 years in the catering business before founding his own company in 2018, offering catering services for social events like weddings and baptisms. “The first year was a bit slow. I think I started out ‘low risk’, not taking on too much, just to make sure it was working well. But in 2019 the business took off,” explains Grigoris. “The aim is to work as much as possible and to grow, to take on more gigs, and cater for bigger events. At the moment we offer the cooking and the service, including tables and chairs…but in the long run I’d like to offer a more comprehensive package that includes things like the decoration and maybe strike an agreement with a DJ too. Offering the full package will make it easier for me, but also more attractive for the client.”

With an EU-guaranteed loan from the Cooperative Bank of Thessaly, backed by the EIF under the Investment Plan for Europe, Grigoris invested in new equipment for his kitchen: “Previously we were able to cater for events involving around 100 guests. With the new equipment, we can easily manage up to 250 now. It’s often difficult to get support at banks, so this opportunity was important. I think the loan gave me an advantage of about a year and helped me hit the market better prepared. It would have taken me longer to finance the improvements otherwise, slowly introducing better equipment.”

Grigoris attends every event himself and manages the catering on the ground: “There’s a lot of stress in the build-up but the hardest part is when the service starts. You need to be fast, on cue, no time for mistakes. You need to meet the promises you made to the client, to make it all work. That’s my aim: to offer high quality service and high quality food. All the time.”

Company: Byros Grigoris (Greece)

Type of business: Food & beverage

EIF financing: EaSI Guarantee Financial Instrument, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Cooperative Bank of Thessaly

For further information abiout EIF intermediaries in Greece, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/el

 

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