From airlines to zoos, companies continue to search for creative ways against challenging times to stay afloat in the upside down.
Restoring livelihood is a huge part of the philosophical reset we need to make it back. Small business struggles to keep doors open; restaurants use creativity to serve any meals they can; business offices sit empty while we await approval and distribution of the vaccine or a proven therapeutic with delivery date in flux.
Although the airlines remain pessimistic similar to post 9/11, they anticipate a return to travel as vaccine distribution expands around the globe. Decreased service, cancelled routes and low demand forced planes into storage, but the industry looks to science for when travelers will likely make a return to the skies. While it remains an unknown how long it will be before the virus is fully contained, the whole hospitality industry will trust in science while making concessions in seating, service and schedules to fit the need of the consumer in its effort to make ‘the new normal’ of travel as comfortable as possible.
Online shopping has increased tenfold while shopping centers were, and still are, resembling ghost towns. The smart ones turned away from brick and mortar while enhancing their online presence. Even the technologically challenged that swore they would not join the world of virtual shopping have succumbed as on-line consumption habits have stuck. Retailers have been actively re-evaluating how they stock merchandise based on altered purchasing power. We may still find empty shelves, but retailers maintain a strong on-line presence with diverse offering.
The hospitality industry, although facing challenges that stem from a lack of trust, continue to morph their services to maintain the business. Those businesses that were quick to reopen might have chosen the bottom line rather than staff
safety. Promising a clean and safe environment to entice consumers to return, who would have thought you might dine at a table surrounded by shower curtains or sit next to a family of teddy bears or mannequins. Creativity continues to rule while seeking ways to keep doors open and the economy churning.
Implemented protocols that ensure safe working conditions on production lines continue to change with altered schedules, shifts over a 24-hour period, and procedures that keep workers further separated. Changes include distancing at entrances and exits, provision of high quality PPE, limited in-person meetings, temperature checks to catch potential problems before they happen, and expanded cleaning protocols. Infection rates peak and drop, but the supply chain will remain productive as front-line workers strive to keep us healthy, safe and fed.
Corporations transitioned to virtual work with ease. While multiple teams remain at home, the long pause out of office has created changes in how big business looks at cost and expenditure. Return to work policies keep adjusting, requiring different departments to step to new challenges HR finding new and cost-effective ways of tracking staff; IT implements stronger firewalls and lockdown methodologies to keep proprietary information safe. Whether a psychological barrier remains long after Covid-19, the C-suite will continue to overcome challenges around a safe return against teams that remain virtual.
Zoos have found a creative way to keep revenue coming into the business. Taking a page out of what Lion Country Safari is doing in Florida, local zoos have created a drive through so that car loads of families can still enjoy the wonder and fascination the experience provides. Movie theatres have looked to partnerships with hospitality venues with low attendance, turning their parking lots into drive-ins.
While you might consider 2020 a year that wasn’t, those with a strong constitution will keep fighting the good fight when into 2021 and beyond.