As a future small business owner and locally owned coffee shop frequenter, I’ve been watching how small business are handling this crisis, thinking about the best way to handle this for themselves, their employees, customers and communities. It’s safe to say that consumers are watching businesses closely. I think it’s safe to assume that the steps they take are going to directly affect whether or not they can stay afloat after this is over. In the time of social media, of course, anything posted online about a businesses or organization can help or hurt them. But this is different. We as a community are seeing how much business owners care about something other than just the bottom line.
Restaurants and coffee shops are adapting to the new restrictions and now is a good time for us to look at what places deserve our money, time and loyalty. Is your coffeeshop down the road doing curbside delivery? Are they using personal protection while handling food? Are they using cash apps for payment? Did your favorite shop close down? Was it just the store front and they have a website? Do they offer gift certificates online? How are these places taking care of their employees? Can they take care of their employees? These are questions that I imagine has already gone through the owners’ and managers’ minds.
As consumers, let’s do our best to pay attention to how our favorite places are handling COVID-19. And if you know you’re going to return to your go-to coffeeshop after this, buy a gift card now while they’re struggling to pay rent or buy supplies. Or if they have coffee beans, buy some to sip on throughout your isolation. I know this was online a few weeks ago, but as I’m scrolling through the Instagram pages of my faves, I can’t help but pray that they will make it through this uncertain time. We may have to be pickier about eating out or about deciding on whether or not it’s better to just make coffee at home, but once we choose who we want to support, lets support them wholeheartedly. As it gets mentioned from time and time again, we are voting with our money (I don’t remember the saying…oops). Let’s consume responsibly (could go for anything really).
Another thing that we can do, is show our appreciation to those that are doing the best they can! That goes for locally owned businesses, grocery clerks, truckers, delivery people, and of course healthcare workers.
Some things that my two of my faves are doing:
- Interval in Milwaukee- Contactless payment and Curbside delivery! Interval has it set up so that you can look at their menus and merchandise through the windows, order with Venmo or another cash app, and they will set it outside on their table. Follow them on Instagram and you get so many updates as they navigate this new “coffee shop experience.” While, it looks like they had to let their employees go (or barely work because only one person can be there at a time), they genuinely care about their people and community
- Populace in Bay City, MI- While their storefronts are closed, Populace was lucky enough to fall back on their ten-year business of roasting their own beans. Not only can you buy their coffee beans online, but you can also support other businesses through your purchases now! Recently, they launched a collection of beans where if you buy a specific bag, they split the revenue directly with the other cafe/local business. I’ll just leave the link right here for you to check out.
What are your faves doing to stay afloat?
Happy Caffeination, Friends!