HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Certain businesses are struggling to survive right now, and some are creating new ideas to connect with customers while they rebound through this tough time.
Hunter Davis owns four Duck Donuts franchises in Hampton Roads.
About two months ago, he opened the fourth store in Suffolk just before the coronavirus pandemic hit the Hampton Roads area.
He said he immediately saw a sharp decline in business.
“Nowhere did that factor into our plans,” said Davis. “The first two weeks were pretty rough, to be completely honest with you, especially having just done an expansion.”
He has had to temporarily close two stores.
Davis and his team took action and went back to the drawing board to create ideas on how to move forward.
He credits his store manager with coming up with the ideas.
“Two weeks into it, we really had to do a regroup. ‘What can we do to change the direction of how this is going?'" recalled Davis.
He said they brainstormed and came up with the idea of kits for creating your own donuts people can do at home. They also created partnerships with local strawberry patches and the Old Beach Tavern on Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach for an event on May 2. It will be a drive-through breakfast with alcohol including mimosas available.
Davis said social media has been a vital tool in reaching the public and connecting with them.
He said the new ideas are helping business and said sales are starting to rebound.
“This process has been kind of eye-opening and I think it’s actually causing us to run a better business, which is pretty cool. Obviously, this is a terrible thing, but it has caused us to want to look to adapt and look to innovate maybe in a way that we wouldn’t have prior to this,” said Davis. “I think we’re going to see the economy rebound. I think we’re going to see our community rebound, and I think we’re going to be a stronger business for it, honestly.”
Here is a link to their store.