We’re just halfway through the year 2020, yet the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the convenience services industry in ways that many couldn’t have imagined six months ago. While operators are experiencing revenue loss and a general slowdown due to COVID-19, the current economic downturn has also inspired business owners to get creative.
We talked to operators who shared three strategies for office coffee service (OCS) throughout the coronavirus crisis.
1. Offer home delivery services
With many employers allowing their employees to work from home during the pandemic, operators saw an opportunity to provide the same top-notch coffee service employees enjoyed in the office through home delivery. Eugene Ace, founder and CEO of GoJava, a Canadian office coffee and pantry service operation, said his company decided to try home delivery early on.
“As soon as the lockdowns started, we saw the demand for home grocery delivery and decided to jump in,” Ace said. “We launched a new Shopify store, GoJavaGrocery.ca, over a weekend, lined up new suppliers, and started doing deliveries.”
2. Strengthen your operation from within
Businesses across the U.S. are in various stages of reopening, but break rooms are now operating with even stricter standards of cleanliness and sanitization. Savvy operators were diligently planning for these new standards, training their employees on enhanced best practices to ensure a safe break room experience for their clients.
“We know that work environments have changed and safety expectations are much more heightened than ever before,” explained Blake Jones, who works in sales and marketing at Pot O’ Gold Coffee Service in the greater Seattle area. “As we prepare to reopen to full capacity, we have been preparing our office and warehouse by following the guidelines set forth by the CDC.
“We've implemented new requirements for our delivery drivers and service technicians, including the issuance of appropriate PPE, reinforced cleaning protocols and strict social distancing policies,” Jones added. “We've also amped up the selection of PPE products we can now offer our customers. These products include Purell [hand sanitizer], Clorox wipes, face masks, gloves, etc.”
3. Go the extra mile to support your community in a time of need
Convenience services operators are very involved in their communities, supporting charitable organizations and other causes through monetary donations or gifts of food and beverage. During the coronavirus crisis, many operators stepped up to thank the frontline healthcare workers and first responders in their communities.
“In appreciation for the care they give to our families, friends and neighbors during this difficult time, we've donated meals, perishable items such as milk and eggs, as well as traditional snack items to first responders and charitable organizations in the communities we serve,” explained Caitlin O’Shea, communications manager at Canteen. “One example being our team in Madison, Wisc., who partnered with their local Boys and Girls Club and Saris Cycling Group to donate sandwiches, snacks and beverages, which were then delivered to food pantries, multicultural centers and frontline medical workers in their community.”