Wow, what crazy times for DSRs and operators — and everybody else. Including us here at AFDR.
Our DSR Live! podcast is probably going to change for awhile as we all learn how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
Our first change is we’ve postponed April’s DSR of the Month. Not because we don’t have an honoree, but the winner hasn’t had a chance to record an interview because life is too hectic right now. But we’ll get it done soon.
So, this week’s show features DSR Dave Miesse and AFDR Marketing Director Bill Hornung discussing what they’re hearing out on the street during a brutal week of layoffs, confusion and, frankly, panic.
DSRs who remain in the fight seem to be focusing on three things:
- Don’t be paralyzed as business evaporates. Now is the time to build even stronger relationships with your existing customers. Simply being there as a sounding board and friend will be treasured by those operators as business re-opens. Yes, this is easier said than done when little money is attached to it. But what’s the alternative?
- The sad reality is many customers have been left without any DSR help due to layoffs. So, if you’re still working, seek these customers out. Is trying to snatch customers during a crisis inappropriate? No, as long as you genuinely offer to help regardless of the long-term outcome. That’s just being a human being. Besides, your competitors won’t be holding back.
- Finally, your #1 competitive advantage is to become an expert on everything possible about dealing with the crisis (very few will do this). Understand what’s behind all the government programs, SBA loans and your state and local government assistance. Help operators deal with the hard decisions of how — or if — to hang on to staff. Identify how they should change their business as life comes back to normal — whether it’s expanding takeout options, dealing with third-party delivery or creating meal kits patrons can cook at home.
There’s no sugar coating this — business sucks. But history shows that hard times like these always bring out amazing ideas and better ways to work.
It’s your choice to either be part of creating the future or being a victim of the situation.