It’s been quite the ride for people and businesses for the past few years.
There have been shutdowns, supply chain issues, rising fuel costs driving costs of all items upward, increased interest rates, and a volatile stock market.
As the saying goes, innovation comes out of necessity, and businesses have had to become very creative in handling the stops and starts of the past few years. As if coming out of a pandemic wasn’t challenging enough, there’s unprecedented employment and surging inflation, causing the costs of business to climb.
One area that has recovered from the economic impact of the past few years is the entertainment industry. Even in light of significant disruptions to other sectors, the entertainment industry was one of the few that found new, creative ways to deliver their product, albeit in non-traditional ways.
For example, as people could not attend concerts in person, performers would live stream and record concert performances broadcast through multiple channels, allowing people to stay home and enjoy the show.
Movies are another example of industry pivoting. As theaters see a continual decline in in-person attendance, they are having in-theater debuts shorter than in years past and offering new movies direct to streaming.
In light of people spending more time at home and having more remote work options available, the home’s size has prioritized other considerations, such as location to shopping and dining options or proximity to work.
Agents and clients became accustomed to researching properties and homes online and having 3-D walkthroughs and remote viewings, adding to the convenience of home shopping.
Additionally, real estate agents have begun to rely on DocuSign and other online services to get all documents and forms to be filled out, moving away from physical paper forms and toward more cloud-based solutions.
Another industry that has learned to pivot is the healthcare industry. Some functions require in-person attendance, but many routine and non-emergency services have become remote “telehealth” options.
Retail has seen a significant drop in foot traffic, a significant revenue driver. To adapt to these challenges, traditional retail has had to find creative solutions to overcome the difficulties of the past few years.
Businesses have pivoted to holding less inventory on hand, created a broader online presence, offered discounts for in-person shopping, and been even more creative with less traditional retail space and shifting to “pop-ups” at various outdoor events that are guaranteed to have foot traffic.
Restaurants And Dining
One industry that has seen a significant revenue drop is the hospitality sector and, more significantly, the restaurant industry. With razor-thin margins, restaurants have had to become flexible in their offerings, lowering labor and other expenses and being creative in their various solutions.
Rather than close their doors, restaurants have become creative with their business and have worked with local and state governments to devise innovative solutions such as permanently expanded outdoor dining.
Outdoor dining: As soon as it was allowable, restaurants took over sidewalks, parking lots, and parts of streets to provide outdoor dining options that expanded their seating capacity that was beyond their permitted outside dining area.
This pivot was hugely popular, so much so that cities throughout the United States, but especially right here in California, have created permanent outdoor dining solutions. In addition, the new outdoor dining options have required restaurants to rethink their strategy regarding permanent seating, tables, and even lighting solutions to accommodate their new outdoor space.
In Santa Monica, the outdoor dining program was so widely popular, to the tune of over 80% of respondents in a recent poll favoring the outdoor dining option, that the city council recently approved permanent outdoor dining.
Contactless payment solutions: Customers have looked for safe options for their shopping, dining, and payment options. Restaurants and retailers have followed suit by providing more contact payment solutions, from contactless “tap” payment options and phone ordering options.
QR menus: Another way that restaurants have pivoted with contactless solutions is by using QR codes for menus. Customers can access a QR code from their phones, eliminating the need for physical menus.
Take-out dining solutions: Aside from expanding outdoor dining options, restaurants have seen a significant boost in revenue from take-out and delivery options.
Businesses that have found creative solutions to the many problems bubbling up over the past few years are building foundations to persevere until things improve.
Providing more remote and outdoor options, delivery services, and contactless payment, making it more convenient for consumers and safer, has been the most significant areas of improvement for most struggling industries.