It is unbelievable how quickly things can change. Within a matter of days, the business model that has helped sustain community staples like Huddle House and Perkins Bakery & Restaurant in various capacities for nearly 70 years has been turned on its head. The restaurant industry, along with a few others such as airlines, hotels and walk-in retail, has been hardest hit.
The impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on our economy appears unparalleled in the last twenty years or longer. Brands and industries, in many cases, were caught unprepared for the “stay at home” orders, supply chain and labor issues, and other impacts brought on rapidly by the pandemic. It is in times like these that a brand’s ability to quickly pivot its business models to not only accommodate the changes, but also capitalize on them, is paramount in its ability to stay competitive, and without overstating, simply stay in business.
As the coronavirus continues its grip on the global economy, nations are working hard to discover new pathways toward re-opening businesses safely, getting people back to work, and jump-starting their local markets. The months without work and steady income have caused individual stress, harmed families, and cast a large shadow of doubt on what the financial future holds. People are looking for other ways to not only survive financially but thrive.
As an increasing number of Americans are asked to shelter in place, franchises need to create new ways to reach their customers.
The COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting economic crisis have all but crippled businesses in virtually every industry. Certain segments of the franchise industry have been hit especially hard, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a business in any category that isn’t facing dramatic losses.
The International Franchise Association today announced it has joined America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, an alliance of more than 100 trade associations and business organizations who are pushing for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the return of American enterprise. Together, the Coalition’s members span 30 business sectors and employ 45 percent of the nation’s workforce – more than 58 million workers.
It would be difficult to find any person or business that has not been affected by COVID-19. Over the last few months, most states have issued “stay at home,” “shelter-in-place,” and other similar orders. Businesses all over the country have ceased operating. Many others that have remained opened have experienced a substantial decrease in their business volume. Americans have filed for employment in record numbers. Franchise systems are no exception and have faced closures, layoffs and a myriad of other issues.
As we navigate the new normal of franchising, we all have a lot of questions. When will this end? How do we continue to grow? What does this mean for my business? There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but it’s time to think about the future and the success that could come, post-COVID.
The Pet Industry in COVID-19
Over the past few weeks, there have been headlines across the nation celebrating how animal shelters are being completely cleared out.