In accordance to understandable and necessary measures being taken worldwide, a majority of Egypt’s local businesses have had to stop operations short in recent weeks in efforts to limit the spread of the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
Although business owners must always have contingency plans set in order to adapt to unexpected situations, the global pandemic at hand is an entirely different kind of situation to be dealt with.
While many businesses or venues have closed or shut down altogether, some local businesses have managed to take proactive measures in ensuring that both their business stays afloat, and that the general health and well-being of the people comes first.
Here are some successful examples of local businesses that have adapted to the situation at hand in both an applaud-worthy and timely manner.
Oscar Grand Stores
Oscar Grand Stores, or more commonly known as Oscar supermarket, was among the first businesses and supermarkets to take action towards both combating COVID-19 and reassuring its customers.
The supermarket, with branches in both Heliopolis and New Cairo, immediately tightened up its sanitation restrictions and consistently reassured avid customers through its social media platforms.
Upon entrance of the supermarket, customers will find a hand sanitizer dispenser and can also help themselves to a pair of gloves. In addition to this, the supermarket also has various other sanitizer dispensers dispersed throughout the store.
To top it all off, Oscar also introduced a ‘Seniors Only Hour’ in which only elderly customers can come and shop between 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. This new measure to limit the risk of elderly people contracting the virus will be implemented starting Saturday March 21.
Zawya cinema, a local art-house cinema located in downtown Cairo, also recently released a statement announcing its temporary closure in efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
In addition to closing their doors to the public, Zawya has taken proactive measures in encouraging people to stay home.
As opposed to the the usual call to stay home through informative posts and the like, Zawya did what they do best – entertained.
In utterly timely fashion, and under such dire circumstances, Zawya has decided to provide Egyptian everywhere access to free online streamings of various films and documentaries on a weekly basis.
The first documentary they are making available is entitled ‘Those Who Remain’ and can be accessed through this link.
In efforts to maintain its operations as well as reassure its customers, this homegrown online food delivery service has been very proactive in a variety of ways.
In addition to creating a very timely Khaleek fel Aman ma’a Otlob (Stay Safe with Otlob) campaign followed by a series of helpful posts that raise awareness around the virus and provide helpful tips on how to keep safe, Otlob has also created a video to showcase all the new necessary sanitation and safety methods they are implementing.
Delivery men are required to pick-up orders from restaurants without actually making contact with persons at the restaurant. They are also required to sanitize before receiving the order from the restaurant and before delivering the order to the customer, in addition to wearing gloves of which they dispose of and replace after and before every delivery.
When it comes to the actual order, delivery men are now required to ring the bell and leave the food order on their delivery box in front of the door, whilst they stand a couple of feet away at a safe distance – customers can then retrieve their order and enjoy either the already option of online payment or simply leaving the payment atop the delivery box.
To top it all off, Otlob has also announced waiving their delivery fees in efforts to support their various local restaurant partners.
TBS – The Bakery Shop
A beloved bakery by all, TBS is still operating but under strict new guidelines. The bakery has announced that it is closing its public seating areas in all of their branches (relying solely on delivery and on-the-spot orders), and has also reassured customers by ensuring appropriate sanitation methods being implemented across all branches as well.
In addition to this, TBS has also implemented a limited number of customers at a time policy, in order to decrease the gathering of large groups of people within their stores, as well as applying new operating hours that end at 8:00 p.m. daily.
This cute and hip little Zamalek cafe also took timely proactive measures in attempts to both keep their services running, as well as contain and limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Earlier this week, Holm Cafe announced that it would close its doors to customers in order to apply the appropriate sanitation methods.
Following this, the cafe said it would re-open on Monday but under takeaway or delivery services only, rather than accommodating to customers in-store.
This local fashion brand is a great example of how a small business can proactively make use of their social media platforms in order to raise awareness around the pandemic, as well as how to combat it.
In addition to continuously releasing tips on how to spend your time at home, therefore encouraging the #StayAtHome movement, and creating inspirational posts that encourage a positive mind-set towards self-isolating and social distancing. Fufa also went a step further by putting their extra fabric to good use.
The innovative fashion brand created a series of patterned ‘masks’ in order to hand out for free with any ordered item. Although masks may not be a necessary item to have on-hand, the forward thinking action undertaken is what counts in this case.