Many of our clients are small, locally owned downtown shops and restaurants. Today we hosted a zoom video conversation that was loosely facilitated by my team. We will asked local business owners to share what they are thinking about and doing as people start to avoid gathering in shops and restaurants. We got on the call and then broke out into smaller meeting rooms to answer the question:

How might we continue to serve our customers without them visiting our physical space?ย 

Most of the ideas were centered on how to manage demand (lack of) and staffing and take orders online or over the phone and start curbside delivery. It was hard for everyone to imagine how they might change in the near term short of just closing. One idea was to "adopt a lunch spot". ย Local workplaces that are still open would order food for pickup from a local restaurant.ย 

I also asked them to all work on an "empathy map" so they can not only focus on what they need, but on what their customers need.ย 

I'd love to know what other communities and businesses are doing. Or not doing.ย