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October 27th 2020
An estimated 50% of restaurants in the metropolitan area were severely affected or closed by the downturn of the economy during the covid-19 pandemic. For a local DC metro, Washington Post Top 10 -list local food establishment in McLean, the 2020 changes poised a huge threat.
LoKL Gourmet established in 2014, has been celebrated as one of the most delicious food establishments with friendly service and easy access in Northern Virginia. Until 2019 it had focused primarily on friendly neighborly service, fresh grab-n-go items and made-to-order sandwiches, juices, and smoothies. A month before the pandemic hit, the store doubled down on its loyal customer base, expanding its operations by creating a bar in the adjacent unit, investing heavily in its launch.
Within just two weeks of launching in late January, the covid-19 pandemic began taking a significant toll on LOKL Gourmet's sales. Customer orders and store visits decreased by 80%, and employees were asked to self-quarantine and only come back to work upon meeting certain health and safety criteria. The owner and managers had to make some difficult decisions and adapt to the new environment.
LoKL Gourmet began creating new marketing campaigns to advertise new curbside pickup menus, as well as weekly gourmet take-out options for families. While partnering with Fairfax INOVA hospital, loKL began providing sponsored meals to front-line medical workers. Safe distancing and dining guidelines were established and slowly, customers began ordering again. Cost-cutting and optimization of operations also helped create opportunities to continue serving customers.
With the help of Make My Day CPA and the support of the neighborhood clientele and LoKL Gourmet’s vendors, more clarity was gained in the cost of operations and opportunities were identified for continued sales. With this renewed clarity, LoKL Gourmet was able to pivot quickly and continue serving customers throughout the pandemic.
For more information about LoKL Gourmet visit: eatlokl.com