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According to Ed Gleich, Chief Innovative Officer of Little Caesars, they were the first ones to do it. Three years ago, Little Caesars’ launched their innovative service for their customers – “Reserve-n-Ready.”
The company’s solution provides additional convenience to its customers, staying true to its tagline.
This service allowed their customers to place their orders directly through the company’s app and website. Gleich explained that the customer would receive a notification informing that the order was prepared and ready for pick-up.
All their orders are stored in a Pizza Portal. By just scanning a QR code, the portal will automatically open, giving them access. This allowed customers to enjoy a contactless scenario even before the pandemic hit.
However, this service was not what they expected would make businesses survive amid the current pandemic.
What Happened to Businesses During the Pandemic
According to CNBC, 60% of businesses closures are now permanent because of the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world.
After all, the economies of various countries worldwide have been dramatically affected by the quarantine and health protocols that governments needed to implement and enforce to help curb the spread of the virus.
Some businesses chose to cut down on their costs, reduce the number of employees, and close down branches to accommodate customers better while saving their firms that were on the brink of closing down at the same time.
Of course, the pandemic is still a risk to businesses, so business owners still need to ensure that they’re strictly following and implementing health and safety standards when selling their goods and services.
Little Ceasars’ unexpected preparation was a fortunate one as their changes helped them survive the devastating effects of the pandemic.
Performance During COVID-19
Protect and survive are now the two most crucial goals for businesses in this era, especially now that the entire world is busy balancing the survival of everyone affected by the plummeting performance of the world economy and the lives of those at risk COVID-19.
Little Caesars’ seamless process for ordering pizza, wherein waiting at the counter for their orders, became the most convenient and safest way because it allows for hassle-free contactless transactions.
This allowed customers to enjoy better convenience while the company enjoyed easier operations. However, this arrangement didn’t just end with the customer placing their order.
After all, once a customer places their order, the business must then deliver the product on time and ensure the product retains its high quality. This is even as it travels to the exact location, no matter how far the destination is.
In the case of Little Caesars’, while they have their riders to do the work, they still wanted to expand their reach. That’s why the company made its services available on DoorDash Marketplace, allowing them to reach farther locations and accommodate more customers.
Gleich said that even though they had already implemented this new service towards the end of 2019, they still managed to achieve more success, wherein they can now serve this unique service at a national level.
They made things even more efficient by allowing drivers to go directly to the Pizza Portal to get their orders instead of going to the counter. Doing so allowed them to reduce further the queues for their services, ideal for today’s unique predicament.
New Employees in the Pandemic Era
While the system is clean and set, a system will not work on its own. After all, the heart of every business is not the equipment nor the building but its employees.
As mentioned, many businesses chose to let go of some of their employees during the height of the pandemic to lower their operational costs. However, it seems like Little Caesars differs from the rest. The company has even accepted new employees on board.
According to Gleich, accepting new employees does not dramatically change the course of the world’s fight against coronavirus. They adapted by following health protocols, such as wearing masks at all times and practising social distancing, especially inside their stores.
However, the world’s supply of masks is tightly regulated by the authorities. So much so that prices for masks have gone high, and manufacturers were pressured to produce more to accommodate the increasing demand.
Of course, this also affected businesses as manufacturers needed to prioritize workers in the healthcare and medical industry when supplying masks.
Little Caesars managed to overcome this challenge once more. Ilitch Holdings, Little Caesars’ parent, built their manufacturing site to produce their masks and ensure an adequate supply of masks for its employees.
This cost the said business a considerable amount, but this aligned perfectly with the company’s goal of long-term success.
When it comes to the new employee’s training, which will undeniably be challenging, especially since the business must strictly practice social distancing, Gleich said they had adapted their training to accommodate the stringent protocols.
He further added the training program would stick to the original and just involve the fundamental way of preparing a pizza but with enhanced precautions.
This just proves that, even while battling a global crisis like a pandemic, businesses can still use the traditional process but integrate additional flexibility and adaptiveness.
Because the pandemic doesn’t fundamentally change a business; instead, it tests businesses on how capable they are of adapting to the situation without breaking the brand they established.
The Unforeseen Pandemic Success
Although Little Ceasars was the mind behind the innovative solution of contactless deliveries, their success wasn’t without its challenges. After all, they still needed to overcome numerous challenges and progress, even while in the middle of a pandemic.
When the WHO declared that the world was battling a pandemic last March 2020, and countries implemented strict home quarantines and closed borders, it seemed like the world came to a sudden stop.
Many lost hope, especially as the pandemic continued to devastate the world. Still, Little Caesars became an example to follow when standing up again and overcoming the problems brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Little Caesars’ number of investors even spiked up during the pandemic. Just as recently as August 2020, the company opened its first stores in Colombia.
However, this success did not mean they forgot their primary goal: to bring convenience to their customers. After all, having more stores means having a broader reach and reaching more customers, which posed new challenges on its own.
Just as Gleich said, taking care of your customers must happen now, not later, because they want to assure them that they will always receive an excellent experience.
To further reinforce this, they also send notes to their operators to inform them that serving their customers will also impact the company’s long-term success.
Little Caesars anticipates that there are people who will choose to return to the norm of eating out, while others would continue availing of the company’s pandemic-friendly services.
Thanks to the success of Little Caesars, it proves that nothing beats a flexible, persevering business, even in the middle of a global health crisis.