Restaurants
 
With Sales Increasing and Dining Rooms Reopening, Chains Push Hiring
 
Restaurant chains have started to focus more on hiring as sales increase and dining rooms begin to reopen. McDonald's has announced it would be hiring 260,000 new employees over the summer while Subway has said it plans to hire 50,000 workers. Two other brands that have announced they are mass hiring people are Panda Express and Dunkin', hiring 30,000 and 25,000, respectively.
 
"As our business continues to see a growing demand for our value offerings, curbside pickup, and delivery, we are happy to support such a large-scale employment opportunity to meet the demands of our guests," Aidan Hay, Subway's senior vice president of operations for North America, said in a statement in the above Restaurant Business article.
 
Grocery Stores
 
So Long, Salad Bar: Grocers Get Creative, Consider Robots to Revive Prepared Food Amid Pandemic
 
As a result of COVID-19, salad bars have adapted to reflect the new ways grocery stores are trying to safely provide products to customers. This includes putting sealed to-go containers in these self-serve bars instead of hot soup or salad items. These salad bars aren't entirely gone, as customers can order one from staff with masks and gloves that will put it together themselves.
 
"We are all about the customer experience, so it's important that those visuals remain strong," Phil Myers, director of foodservice at Central Market in Texas, said in the above CNBC article. "A shut down salad bar that's all steel and dark is not inviting."
 
Innovation
 
No Testers, No Problem: Ulta And Sephora Have a New Take On 'Try Before You Buy'
 
Ulta Beauty has announced a new way for customers to try their products without trying them on. It's called GLAMLab, which is a virtual makeup try-on app that offers access to over 4,000 items. Users can take a selfie and then use that photo to try on lipstick, eyeshadow, or even mascara or eyeliner.
 
"The coronavirus has moved the [retail] industry away from high-touch to low-touch," said Greg Petro, founder and CEO of predictive analytics and digital product testing firm First Insight in the above CNN Business article. The 'new normal' for retailers will be to work with shoppers in a hands-free way to help them to find what they need while also giving them the space to feel comfortable."
 
Loyalty Programs
 
British Airways Extends Executive Club Elite Status By 12 Months and Reduces Thresholds for All
 
British Airways has announced multiple ways it is rewarding loyalty members. The first way is by extending the membership of those in the Executive Club by 12 months. For example, mentioned in The Points Guy article, if you have a membership that expires in October 2020, now it expires in October 2021.
 
There is now a 25 percent Tier Points reduction as well, and according to the article, the new thresholds are:

  • "Bronze — 225 Tier Points
  • Silver — 450 Tier Points
  • Gold — 1,125 Tier Points
  • Gold Guest List — 3,750 Tier Points (2,250 Tier Points to retain)
  • Concorde Room Card — 3,750 Tier Points"
 
These new thresholds will be in place until July 2022.
 
Ikea Launches Digital Platform to Showcase Home Design Experiments
 
Space10, the R&D subsidiary of Ikea, has announced a web-based platform called EverydayExperiments.com. This platform is meant to show a series of digital experiments from third-party technology and design studios.
 
"The future home should be about the people first," said Fredrik Axén, digital manager core business franchise, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., in an Ikea article on Chain Storage. "It's a place for everyone to be safe, to feel comfortable, and in control. Technology is quickly becoming a vital part of the IKEA customer experience and home furnishing offer. Being a values-driven brand, we focus on people and planet.  As we enter a new digital era, we are also exploring new ways to create a better everyday life at home, while protecting people's privacy."
 

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