The Cost of COVID
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
COVID-19 has had an unparalleled effect on small businesses, a pattern noticed throughout the nation. As we walk through the streets of downtown, it's hard to miss the near empty restaurants and countless “Closed” signs. In fact, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, over 43% of the 5,800 small businesses that were studied, temporarily shut down. The numbers get worse, with almost every business owner admitting that they fear for the economic health of their business.
When conversing with our clients, we strive to empathize with the struggles they face daily. Whether it be lack of customers, inability to offer delivery, or the skyrocketing prices of services such as Grubhub and Doordash. One of the key services we began to implement is online ordering through our websites in order to facilitate direct contact between the owner and customer, erasing a need for a third party food service. The large issue with these food services is that they charge the business around 20% of their profit for each order, forcing restaurants to raise their prices significantly for customers, even for takeout orders. Furthermore, with business owners being overwhelmed by the pressure to provide food delivery services with these large brands (i.e. Doordash and Postmates), they can sometimes be unaware of the loss of profit that they face. This even affects customers because businesses typically increase the price of their items to compensate for the decrease in margin of profit for businesses. By utilizing online ordering through their personal website, owners and clients alike are able to benefit and reduce their financial burden.
What’s more, with the shift to outdoor dining, businesses have invested thousands of dollars in building safe, social distanced seating for customers to be able to enjoy. As we (hopefully!) near the home stretch of this pandemic, we wonder how businesses will be able to recover as the COVID situation begins to improve. Will restaurants reopen? Will prices go down? Will takeout and delivery remain the primary option?