By Andrea Karen Hammer
With business and restaurant owners grappling with restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, many have suffered substantial financial loss, as some even confront demise. Although many have attempted to increase e-commerce capabilities, they realize that the benefits of in-person interactions–even distanced or masked ones–can’t be replaced.
Following inspiration from neighborhood ice-cream trucks and the mobile food truck in the great movie Chef as well as outdoor business “villages” during the holidays, here are two pandemic business solutions. The ideas are offered in support of business and restaurant owners, who are desperately waiting for COVID-19 pandemic stimulus relief and working toward long-term economic recovery:
Business and Food Truck Caravans
Remember hearing the bells chime on ice-cream trucks traveling through your neighborhood? For this great summertime treat, customers always come running!
Despite the cold-weather snap in some parts of the United States, many would welcome this type of convenient pickup from neighborhood food trucks, particularly after feeling cooped up because of pandemic restrictions. As a supplement to existing delivery services, this mobile business option would help entrepreneurs and customers by expanding purchasing possibilities.
As shown in the movie Chef, exact time of business and food truck arrival could be announced on social media. If additional COVID-19 safety precautions are needed, advanced registration for specific time slots could be scheduled in advance via an online calendar. With permission to park business and food trucks in empty lots, high-traffic ones (even for a nominal fee) and other public spaces, business and food truck owners could develop a new outdoor enterprise model, following proper distancing with drive-through options for further health protection.
Outdoor Restaurant and Business “Villages”
Following the model of popular holiday pop-up shops featuring artisans’ craftwork, outdoor commerce villages could become a year-round shopping option. Although more difficult to sustain in cold-weather months, heaters and tents with ventilation make outdoor commerce villages customer friendly while following COVID-19 safety precautions.
As business and restaurant owners dangle over the edge of a cliff waiting for COVID-19 pandemic stimulus relief, these are a couple of pandemic business solutions to develop while working toward better days in the year ahead. Your thoughts?