COVID-19 has drastically altered the economy, forcing businesses and industries to adapt to a new normal. Social distancing guidelines have forced many stores and restaurants to close their shops and switch to operating remotely. Franchisees have been hit hard by the economic downturn, but many are weathering the storm and some are even prospering more than usual. Here are some ways franchisees are adapting to the new economy.
Delivery and Pickup Services
Many restaurants already had delivery and pickup services, but they have now had to switch their operations to focus solely on pickup and delivery. This has led to an explosion in the demand for delivery professionals. Meanwhile, other franchises who didn’t have delivery services had to completely refresh their operations to accommodate social distancing orders.
Rethinking Products and Services
Between social distancing and changes to the supply chain, many franchises have had to either change or reduce the products and services they offer. In the process, franchises have learned lessons about which products and services their customers value the most. Moving forward, franchises can take these lessons and use them to streamline their offering and improve their return on investment.
Health and Safety
Franchises of all kind have had to adjust to new expectation for health, safety, and hygiene. While franchisees may not require employees to wear masks indefinitely, from now on customers will expect them to maintain a high level of cleanliness and sanitation. For example, they will want carts, tables, and chairs disinfected after each use. Customers are simply going to think much more about health and safety moving forward.
Franchises have had to hire more teleworkers because of the pandemic or switch current employees into remote positions. Many employees already see this as a new normal. Working from home and flexible schedules are both ideas that have a lot of appeal. Franchisees will need to continue to present opportunities for more flexibility because employees want jobs that not only give them financial stability but also a healthy work-life balance.
So much has changed in the franchise industry this year in a short period of time, largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Franchisees had to quickly adjust to a new economy to overcome challenges such as social distancing guidelines and increased safety and health regulations. Many have adapted to this new normal by expanding opportunities for remote work, improving cleaning and sanitation procedures, and relying more heavily on delivery and pickup.
by Nancy Estep
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