SEO411 is in the business of problem-solving. Sometimes it is a matter of correcting the local SEO and sometimes it entails assisting a client in rethinking their business strategy to ensure the company’s survival. In this case study, we took the problem of a coronavirus-related grocery shortage to an existing client who was able to supply and transcend community demand in a way that allowed them to keep their business open during a time of great crisis.

The Problem

With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, panic buying of groceries ensued across the nation and lasted for weeks. For many Houstonians, one grocery staple particularly difficult to find was a simple loaf of bread. The baked goods aisles in the stores remained largely empty, leaving individuals facing a month-long quarantine wondering how they would manage without bread for simple meals.

A longtime client of ours, Roland’s Swiss Bakery, had the opposite problem. Thanks to businesses closing down during quarantine, this commercial baker of grand tradition tracing all the way back to German immigrants was no longer being asked to provide delicious baked treats to large paying clients such as the Omni Hotel and the George R. Brown Convention Center. Essentially, the arrival of COVID-19 threatened to shut Roland’s Swiss Bakery down with no sales coming in and a long list of cancellations.

Fortunately, we were able to help Roland’s pivot their business model and marketing strategy to serve a community need that had the potential to also save their business.

The Solution

Roland’s needed to capitalize on the fact that they had key ingredients already in their store to make essential grocery items. While many shoppers were unable to find bread or crucial ingredients such as yeast and flour during the grocery shortage, Roland’s had them readily available.

Together, we worked with the bakery to put together a new business plan that would serve them well during the short term new normal of coronavirus grocery panic buying, as well as in the long term. The bakery pivoted their efforts from baking commercially for large clients to baking loaves of bread each week for public purchase and supplementing those efforts by acting as a popup bakery in various areas throughout the city. To help this new revenue stream continue to grow and thrive, we set up the bakery with the capability to honor online orders that can be picked up curbside.

The Result

As a direct result of our assistance in redirecting the bakery’s revenue stream from commercial to public and helping them establish online order capabilities, the future is looking brighter for Roland’s Swiss Bakery. They are now able to comfortably pay their rent each month and have expanded their footprint with popups. The bakery is also planning to expand its services to include e-commerce online ordering of bakery items in the near future.  When we designed the website we set it up in a way that a shopping cart could be easily integrated. In the end, it was simply a win-win as our joint effort resulted in the business keeping their doors open while also helping to meet a critical community need for essential grocery items such as freshly baked bread.