Pivot: 3 Companies that Made Huge Changes Successfully During the Pandemic

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Today, you know Nintendo as a beloved video game giant. Its most recent console, the Switch, is extremely popular, selling over 52 million units worldwide just three years after its release.

At some point, a business may find itself needed to turn 180-degree and walk toward a different direction from where it started. It might be because the products they sell are no longer relevant or the owner has lost their passion for the industry. Maybe a global pandemic has forced the business to find other sources of revenue. No matter what the reason behind the decision may be, pivoting is a risky move that can either propel the business to new heights or cause its downfall.

The key to successfully pivoting is to know exactly what you can offer to consumers and what consumers want from your business. How you can glean insight from customers is up to you, but getting feedback through surveys could be helpful. Alchemer (formerly SurveyGizmo), for example, knows a thing or two about gathering customer feedback. They can help your business follow the footsteps of these companies that managed to successfully pivot in 2020.

Denny’s: the All-American Diner Turned Grocery

When COVID-19 started spreading across the United States, restaurants were among the businesses that took a hit. The shelter-in-place orders, an effort to stop the virus, caused revenues to drop. Denny’s was no exception.

The popular diner chain saw its sales in March dip by 19%. Like other restaurants, it temporarily had to close its doors to diners and had to find new ways to earn a profit. The company tried all sorts of strategies: free deliveries, curbside pickup, meal kits, and a grocery option.

In more than 30 locations, customers can order grocery items and pick them up at the nearest Denny’s. The effort aimed to funnel money into the store, alleviate some demand for goods in grocery stores, and provide an easy way for consumers to shop for necessities during the pandemic.

Chipotle Goes Digital

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Like Denny’s, Chipotle Mexican Grill was also in trouble because of the pandemic and restrictions imposed to contain it. However, the fast-food chain immediately turned itself around and focused its efforts on increasing its internet presence. This year, the company added digital kitchens that will handle online orders. Customers craving their burritos and tacos can drive to the location and then pick up their order.

The service was in demand that, by May, Chipotle announced that it will hire thousands more of employees to join its digital kitchen. From losing revenue at the beginning of the pandemic, the restaurant was able to pick itself up and not only survive, but succeed.

Mandarin Oriental Group Wants Locals to Stay In

The pandemic caused borders to close which meant that tourism was halted. This is bad news for businesses in the hospitality industry, including the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Now that foreign travelers are not streaming into the airports, the hotel operator wants to service the locals.

In Boston, they launched a program called Staycation at M.O. Those who may be tired of being stuck in their home, potentially with family or roommates, can relax in their own private room at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Those who do not feel comfortable staying in a hotel room during the pandemic can still experience the luxury by calling room service in their own home. Mandarin Oriental Hotel is willing to deliver food and other goodies right on a customer’s front door. It is an innovative pivot.

Pivoting is not going to be easy and nothing can guarantee that it will turn out to become a success. However, knowing what consumers need and maybe learning a few things from the aforementioned companies can help your own business transition into another product or service.

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