This has been a challenging year for businesses everywhere as physical distancing restrictions meant to limit the spread of COVID-19 prevent customers, staff and partners from conducting business as usual. For many, this has meant adapting business practices to offer pickup and delivery, innovating online using social media channels to connect with customers or re-imagining online stores and ecommerce strategies.
Here are just a few examples of how Eastlink Business customers are facing the challenges of COVID-19 head on with new ideas and innovation:
Newfoundland’s partridgeberries are hard to resist, and Two Whales Coffee Shop in Port Rexton is doing their best to make sure locals and visitors can enjoy them while distancing. Customers can order online or on the phone to treat themselves to their favourite soup and panini combo, partridgeberry brownies, and a latte all with curbside pickup. Whether you live in Port Rexton, or come from away, everyone can enjoy a distinctive Newfoundland treat, while hiking and viewing icebergs, thanks to their hard work.
Fourteen 14 Food Co. may be unique because both owners were born on the 14th, but they’ve faced the same challenges from COVID-19 as most other Grande Prairie businesses. But their hot pressed sandwiches remain popular with customers ordering takeout and delivery, and they make sure to support other Grande Prairie businesses by buying local. They’re also using the slow down as an opportunity to create unique new sandwiches and dishes which they share on social media to see how regular customers like them. Hopefully people will enjoy a few new menu items alongside their old favourites like the Uncle Joey and Piggy Mac once Fourteen 14 Food Co. is full re-opened.
When physical distancing meant customers couldn't visit the Radical Garden Market's restaurant, bakery and food truck like they used to, the Timmins organic growers decided to go back to their roots and turn their farm into a source of locally-grown groceries. Now, customers can order takeout meals, beverages and bakery treats along with fresh and healthy organic fruits and vegetables.
Staying connected with customers and keeping your team in high spirits is difficult when physical distancing prevents you from meeting in person, but Aztec has worked hard to engage with partners and staff in new ways. The Grande Prairie company moved their “Happy Fridays” tradition online with video conferencing and even hosted a special guest appearance from a Nashville country music star thanks to a partner’s sister. Despite the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Aztec has shown how using technology and creativity can keep your business strong through any challenge.
Health and wellness are more important than ever as communities cope with physical distancing, and fortunately Power Yoga Canada owners had the flexibility to move classes online so studio members could livestream yoga sessions on Facebook or access recorded classes on their website. They've since enhanced the sense of community in Sudbury by partnering with over a dozen yoga studios across Ontario who offer sessions through video conferences, allowing locals to connect with other yoga instructors and students across the province with more sessions and times to choose from!
Mr. Prime Rib is looking forward to welcoming their loyal customers back into their dining room, but until then they're happy to keep Sudbury fed with more weekly specials and delicious takeout options. The family-run business has always been known for its quality and value and they're proud to be part of the community's S.H.A.R.E. organization where local restaurants offer discounts to front line workers and make regular donations to the local food bank. The Mr. Prime Rib family is happy to continue serving the Sudbury community which has supported them for past 53 years.
Physical distancing may have prevented customers from enjoying The Vault’s in-store experience, but that hasn’t prevented the popular jeweler from staying connected. They quickly launched an updated online store and innovated how they use social media channels to promote the wide selection of jewelry pieces available for pickup of local delivery. Now they can continue to showcase stunning product lines in new ways and remain part of the special moments in customers’ lives. Despite these challenging times for local businesses, The Vault continues to shine with new ways.
Port Rexton Brewery Newfoundland pub owners are no strangers to welcoming visitors from away, but Port Rexton Brewery might be the first one to welcome the world into their trivia night each week. When physical distancing guidelines meant patrons could no longer gather for a favourite social event each week, trivia night organizers quickly moved the event online. What started as a weekly affair averaging 10 teams has grown to more than 25 teams joining each week from at home and around the world. Fortunately for locals, they can still order delicious beer online for curbside pick up in Port Rexton or at their shop in St. John’s!
With travellers and tourists grounded by physical distancing, owners of the Best Western Plus Walkerton Hotel and Conference Centre turned their attention to supporting frontline workers, offering employee discounted pricing to hospital and other support teams looking to self-isolate or find an easy place to rest. This has allowed them to remain operational and continue to maintain a staff while providing a welcoming place to stay for the people who need it most during these challenging times.
Bishop’s Cellar has always been focused on providing great customer experience in store, they’ve now shifted to a more robust online shopping experience with home delivery. Not only are they bringing product right to customers’ doorsteps, they’re also curating specialty cases of product to make the processes more efficient.
When Morris East pivoted to a take-out and delivery only model, they needed a way to take more calls than they were used to. With a simple solution, the Morris East team is now able to answer calls not only while in the restaurant, but from their mobile phones and continue to satisfy customers’ pizza cravings with delivery.
Gow’s Home Hardware in Bridgewater made some big changes to their location to continue serving customers. To keep customers and staff safe, they moved to an online shopping and curbside pickup process. The new process allows customers to place their orders online, by phone or email and then pick up their items in the store’s parking lot. It has been so successful, the hardware store is going to continue to offer this shopping method even after the impact of COVID-19 subsides.
With physical distancing guidelines preventing patrons from enjoying the Millstone Public House in person, the owners quickly found new ways of offering a warm and generous experience. Curbside pickup and delivery options now let customers enjoy their pub favourites and even add a few kitchen staples like milk and flour to save a trip to the grocery store. If you want to skip a trip to the store altogether, Millstone also offers a unique grocery bag service containing an assortment of groceries and essentials that change each week as pub owners learn what customers are looking for.
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