Many pandemic-related news is dark. Well, most of it. But there are bright spots, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs who have smart ideas and gutsy pivots have defied the Covid-19 curse. Remember the mantra "change is good"? These entrepreneurs live by it. They make moves that not only increase revenue today, but also set them up to flourish tomorrow.
Automats Make a Comeback
Popular in the first half of the 20th century, automatic restaurants later fell out of fashion in the United States with the rise of fast food chains. Today, a dumpling store in New York and a pastry shop in Portland, Oregon, return to the future with a vending machine.
Wakerhauser's instinct is right on trend. Another example is the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop (yes, more dumplings), which will open before the end of the summer in Manhattan & # 39 ;s Village. Dreamed of by the restaurateur Stratis Morfogen, the sewer shop's non-contact kiosks, which are located inside a brick and mortar shop, come with temperature-controlled logs that hold the food.
Customers order and pay via a smartphone app and then receive a barcode to unlock the glass door. A scanner at the store entrance detects anyone who gets a fever, and they collect their orders with the help of a human companion from PPE.
Socially Distanced Fitness
Gyms took a hit from Covid-19, but some found creative ways to swing when social distance put an end to sweaty cheek-to-choke.
In Toronto, six yoga studios and a handful of independent instructors led group meetings in a pop-up event convened by LMNTS Outdoor Studio. During June and most of July, customers paid around $ 25 apiece for the opportunity to work out together in an urban park, and keep a safe distance thanks to 50 plastic domes, each measuring 12 feet wide and seven feet high, and equipped with touch sound and light for night classes.
In Redondo Beach, California, South Bay Fitness holds clients in place with bellows spacious enough for weights, a bench, a floor mat – and of course a human. The walls of the temporary fitness rooms are made of clear plastic shower curtains attached to the metal frame. The gym also offers instruction via Zoom and outdoors, which helps you drive the bigger trend.
Bars on Wheels – and Inner Tubes
In New Zealand, a small pub on wheels stopped en route from Auckland in the north to Dunedin in the south, crossing around 900 miles from June to mid-July. No bigger than a tool shed and with only two stools in the bar, the mobile drinking hole sold out every 27-minute reservation (about the time it takes to enjoy a pint and a little conversation, and maybe play some little darts) at 10 stops. It was a publicity stunt by Emerson & # 39 ;s, a popular Kiwi brand, but no one really cared, because: free beer.
In Ocean City, Maryland, alcohol sales at Fish Tales' restaurant, meanwhile, received a boost from a new contrast, the "bumper table." It is a giant four-legged rubber tube with wheels and a donut-shaped "table" in the center. When standing in the hole, customers simply can not get closer than six meters. After an employee tested positive for Covid-19, the popular restaurant was closed on July 11 and reopened just over a week later.
Boat-In Movies …
Covid-inspired run-in movies last month. Next up: boat-in movies will sail into 16 US cities throughout September. Floating Boat Cinema, run by Australian film and event company Beyond Cinema, will offer screenings to customers who rent one of 12 to 24 boats. Events have been confirmed in Los Angeles, San Diego and Miami, and an online ticket sales portal also indicates views in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Cleveland, Austin, Texas and elsewhere. The ships will enable filmgoers to maintain social distance, and each boat must contain one lot, whether it consists of only two customers or the upper limit of eight.
… And Drive-In Concerts  It's Hamptons, so why not have a concert where participants pay $ 1,000 to $ 25,000 for one of 500 parking spaces in a 100 acre field to take the show together? Billed as Safe & Sound, the July 25 event was the first in a planned series of run-in programs that are alleged to allow for public gathering while also being socially distant.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, and appeared on stage while his DJ persona, D-Sol, performed for an hour. "To stand up there and watch the sunset, look out over this huge field of cars and people in their cars, it was absolutely beautiful," Solomon told Bloomberg . "If we work together and are thoughtful, we can do things that feel more normal and allow ourselves to live with this virus safely."
Unfortunately for Solomon, not everyone shared his rosy view of the event. Despite the organizer's best efforts to keep patrons socially distant, the incident caught some flak when concertgoers got out of their cars. The concert's marketing company, In the Know Experiences, listed "no upcoming show" on its website a week after the event.
Professional Services Go Mobile
On its way into the Coronavirus with a fleet of eight "luxury" dental vehicles, Henry the Tentist may be better positioned than most to meet the changing needs of consumers during the crisis. The company still had expansion ambitions. The New Providence, New Jersey-based mobile dental practice opened a brick and mortar location in late July at The Parlor NYC, in The Palace hotel. In an interview on August 4, co-founder Justin Joffe said that the hotel-based practice ordered three-week deals for the first 48 hours after the opening was announced. Henry the Dentist & # 39 ;s other pandemic pivots include a move to telecommuting for consultations and a diversion of the fleet from individual business locations to high-rise apartment complexes.
"People who work from home have a lot more flexibility during the day to do things like personal care," says Joffee. Apparently, when cottage fever sets in, even going to the dentist is preferable to sitting around and suffering during endless Zoom meetings.
Joffee says the company's appointment orders have increased by 31 percent over the past 90 days over the same period in 2019.
Nearby, in Florham Park, New Jersey, Sperling Dermatology took its business on the road with the state's first mobile spa ever. Built into a 24-meter-long Mercedes van, the Sperling Sprinter was launched in mid-June, focusing on demand for on-site services.
The mobile unit, which complements three brick and mortar premises, drew $ 500,000 in sales in July, according to Sperling's managing partner Ari Katz. Not a bad move for treatments that include entry-level facials for $ 200 to $ 300, body sculpting, botox and eye lifts.
"Everything we do, whether in New Jersey or New York, follows strict health guidelines," he said. says. "Mask on, take temperatures, disinfect between treatments – we do it right."