Coffee in the Time of Quarantine. Pt.3Erich Hunisch
When I went to the shed to pull out my road bike, I saw instead, my fixed-gear (a fixed-gear bicycle has a much simpler drive train, no gears, no shifting cables, just pedals and cranks arms “fixed” to the cog on the rear wheel. When considering the issues that could come up (that I mentioned in the last post) I resolved to remain blissfully ignorant of any, for now. To instead keep this afternoon jaunt decidedly simple. So I put air in the tires of the fixed gear bike and set off for the neighborhood.
Something “Decidedly simple” in a time of media overload and mass quarantine, is a hard-to-come-by rarity that should not be overlooked. It’s this motif that helped Kay’s Daily Grind pivot so quickly to retain their customer base. Kay’s is a unique wholesale partner in that they’re one of our only that have a full service drive-thru. It’s a similar experience you’d find at a Mcdonald’s or Starbucks, but with, in my honest opinion, way more enticing food and drink offerings. Keeping things convenient and simple, what a notion during these times.
Here I chat with Casey Woehrle of Kay’s Daily Grind in Covington Township.
EH:Casey, what do you find yourself wishing was still “business as usual” now that we’re officially supposed be shut in doors?
CW: EVERYTHING – I miss actually waiting on customer’s and our regulars faces coming through the door. A dining room filled with people. The quiet is strange, I actually miss the noise!
EH: Yup, It’s hard to no go stir crazy, it’s great to be able to talk to you like this! In a business sense, what is Kay’s Daily Grind doing to keep from going “Stir Crazy”.
CW:I think we’re one of the lucky ones when it comes to small business. It was a lot easier for us to transition than most because of our drive-thru. We’re able to offer drive up service with minimal human interaction. I don’t think we’d be open without it. We’re seeing a lot of new faces come through. A lot of people don’t want to get out of their car, so them being able to drive up has been easy for them. We’re still able to offer our full menu, the real difference has been that our operations have shifted to drive up or take-out only.
EH: That’s very fortunate for you. Its great that some of your customers probably aren’t even noticing an interruption in service from you guys. Such a simple shift in focus has afforded you the opportunity basically continue operations on a somewhat normal scale, and that’s great. I’m curious, what do you think the local business world is going to look like after all this and *hopefully* a return to normality?
CW:I think it has brought out the real meaning of community. It’s made locals realize how important it is to support your local small businesses. We really are the backbone of the economy. It’s opened up a lot of new doors to how the community looks at us and support us. It’s amazing in a way, even with all the hardship going on. And I also think these last couple years have been hard on small business because the economy was doing so well, it actually made it hard to find workers. There were so many job opportunities before this quarantine that it was difficult to find steady workers. Now with everything going on I think small business will have had more opportunity to find some really eager, hard working employees that may have not seen a barista or restaurant line cook position as being a full time job for them, realizing that maybe it’s something to enjoy more than whatever they were doing before this quarantine. Small business will be evolving into something a little different. Maybe some of these business will have picked up take-out & delivery and realizing it’s something they can keep even after this quarantine. It has definitely forced businesses to either evolve or die, which is harsh to say but it goes to show that you can make anything work in a small business if you try hard enough.
EH: So for all your customers out there reading, what would you like to say to THEM?
CW:Honestly, I just want to thank them for having faith in us. I feel like a lot of people are afraid to go out and eat. So we thank them for still coming out and believing in our services. We wouldn’t be able to survive without them right now. I’m more worried about our employees than anything, so the customer support translates into us being able to support our staff. So yeah, just “Thank You”.
EH: Awesome. So what do you want the general public to know about your service right now?
CW:I don’t think a lot of our customers know that we can do call-ahead orders. Big or small. And then pick those orders up right from the drive thru. Our full menu is available on our website.
Let’s all remind ourselves to keep things as simple as we can, and get through this together.Please use the links in the article to directly support local business, thanks for reading.
Love & Peace.
Director of Marketing
Electric City Roasting Co.