Right now the world is trying to adapt and adjust to a new normal. The same goes for businesses and how customers shop and interact with them.
Business owners are savvy and have adapted very quickly to a no-contact way of conducting business. Some have even pivoted their offerings to better serve their customers during this time.
Here are a few examples of how businesses are adapting their product offerings to keep serving and supporting their customers.
Even if some businesses might not have any choice but to temporarily close their doors, they’re still getting creative with how to continue generating revenue and bring customers back in the door once they’re up and running again.
Simple Local Coffee in Portland started selling gift cards online, and customers jumped at the opportunity to support their local business. To find businesses in your area that are selling gift cards, use Square’s Give and Get Local gift card directory.
Takeout and delivery only
A more popular change you’ve probably seen is one you might have been partaking in for some time now. A lot of restaurants, especially quick-service restaurants, are only offering their food for takeout and delivery.
Perhaps you already use delivery apps frequently, but you may be noticing more options as more businesses get up and running with delivery services like DoorDash, Caviar and GrubHub. Some restaurants are offering delivery directly from their restaurant, or takeout only, so if that is your preferred route, be sure to let your customers know through your social media account or email that they can order directly from your website. To find businesses near you that are accepting pickup and delivery orders, use Square’s Give and Get Local online ordering map.
Some cities now have takeout and delivery options with Michelin stars. A new trend that’s emerging is fine-dining restaurants partaking in takeout and delivery but getting creative with the way customers can experience their cuisine. Atelier Crenn, a very well-known Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco, has started selling “Crenn Kits” that you can reserve a pickup time for. Chef Dominique Crenn has become well known for her farm-to-table restaurant experiences and her Crenn Kits allow customers to enjoy a farm-fresh, multicourse menu in their homes.
Claro, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Brooklyn, started offering its cuisine on delivery apps like GrubHub and Caviar. It’s pivoted its menu for more delivery-friendly options, like quesadillas instead of tostadas, that don’t forgo the quality Claro is known for.
From restaurant to general store
Instead of closing its doors temporarily, The Russell, a fast-casual restaurant based in Kansas City, saw a unique opportunity to give households what they needed, while still using their established supply chain. The Russell's owners, Heather White and Amante Domingo, recognized that customers were struggling to get items from scarce grocery store shelves and decided to offer ready-made meals along with pantry essentials.
If you’re in Kansas City, you can order online for everything from prepped meals to coffee, bread, cheese, and produce, and then head to the store to pick it up.
Businesses are reaching out to their fellow business owners to collaborate on unique offerings for customers. Recently two popular San Francisco restaurants, Lord Stanley and Mister Jiu’s, teamed up to create Lord Jiu’s, a five-course meal experience that you can order online.
Both chefs are well known in their industry for creating delicious restaurant experiences, and they put their heads together to create something unique for customers to enjoy at home.
Salon visits via video
While heading to the salon isn’t possible right now, people still want to look their best for work or friendly video calls. To meet this demand, stylists are getting creative with how they can keep serving their customers.
Many stylists and salon owners have started offering virtual appointments where they walk you through a haircut or easy coloring session — some will even mail you everything you need for as professional a look as possible to get you through your time away from the salon.
At-home meal kits have been around for a while, but today some restaurants are creating kits of their own. Customers can either order kits for delivery or pick them up, and do the rest at home.
For example, The Organic Coup, which specializes in air-fried chicken, has begun selling “Family Meals” of its prebreaded chicken and corn dogs in large quantities to cook up at home. These can be ordered straight from its website or through its delivery partners.
Online or live-stream fitness classes
We know that working out can be very helpful in relieving stress and staying healthy, but most of us are having to do without our favorite gym and boutique fitness classes to break a sweat. Studios don’t want members to miss out completely, though, and many have started offering online classes or planning Instagram or Facebook Live classes. Midwest Dance Mechanix in Wichita, Kansas, has transitioned its dance lessons to online and has been teaching almost 100 classes a week for its dance students. Offering classes and lessons online allows students and instructors to keep their regular fitness and class schedules from the comfort of their living rooms.
These are just some of the ways that businesses are getting creative to provide service, food and, hopefully, a little comfort to their customers right now.