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What Did We Learn From The Pandemic? What Did Starbucks Learn?starbucks drive thru

When Starbucks was started, they had a philosophy that they wanted to be your “third place”. They figured you went from home to the office and that if they created an inviting experience, you would make them your third place. Turns out they were right.

However, in the pandemic they noticed something, they saw virtually no decline in business and people simply used pick-up or drive-thru and did not really need the inside experience they had created. As a result, they have opened 8 test locations in Amazon GO facility locations (stores that are totally self-service, even checkout) which offer totally self-service Starbucks products.

The Self-Service Model

Banks for years have been trying to achieve this total self-service model using ATMs and advanced online methods to let you bank 100% free of interaction with a live employee. The neighborhood gas station that used to have attendants fill the tank, wash the windshield and check the oil have now gone nearly 100% self- service.  Fast food restaurants expect you to bus the tables and increasingly installing automated ordering kiosks.

Pre-pandemic, many businesses were already searching for ways to reduce employees. The pandemic speeded up that process.

Working from HomeHome office

Another lesson learned was the economies and efficiencies (not to mention the employee satisfaction) related to having employees work from home. This has created a huge shift that will see more companies reducing space needed for staff and using tech to let remote work replace the office.

Lastly consider the huge shift from brick-and-mortar retail to online retail. Any business that can should immediately develop, upgrade any and all channels of online sales. It is clearly the wave of the future.

What have you learned? How did you adapt? Or are you waiting for “old normal” to return? I can guarantee you we have a new business environment and the old is not coming back.

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About the Author(s)

Steve Engelhardt

Steve Englehardt is a current SCORE Mentor helping small businesses develop and grow.

3 Major Lessons Companies (like Starbucks) Learned From Surviving the Pandemic