Adapted practices in response to covid-19: retail and fast-food chains

Coronavirus outbreak catapulted consumers and businesses worldwide into a new reality. Food retailers and fast-food chains are both facing their own challenges in this situation and it triggers them to adopt new practices in the way they operate, communicate and collaborate. This article collects a number of interesting examples that illustrate their way of adapting their business and communication.

Staying safe

Acknowledging these threshold levels - and especially the stage the country is in at this moment - may help to prepare for changing spending patterns in the short term. Furthermore, it might even predict how consumer habits are shaped in the long run. To conduct the investigation, Nielsen correlated global news events with spending behaviour on for example hygiene, health and pantry products.

The foremost important priority for everyone these days is to stay safe and healthy. Next to intensified health measures and social distancing procedures, retail and fast-food chains are now taking additional steps to protect and reassure employees and customers. 

  • Ahold Delhaize introduced an ‘oldies hour’ in their Belgian and Dutch supermarkets. During these early opening hours elderly - at increased risk of complications from coronavirus-  are able to shop calmly while shelves are relatively well-stocked.

  • To encourage social distancing among the local community, Burger King Belgium has changed the trusted pay-off to ‘Stay home’ instead of ‘Home of the Whopper’ 

Meeting the needs

Food companies are facing extreme changes in customer buying behaviours. Besides securely managing in-store and online demand, safeguarding supply chains and intensifying recruitment. These are some interesting examples of how food retailers and fast-food chains keep the business going and fulfill food demands. 


  • In India, e-commerce firms and startups like Uber are uniting to deliver essential goods across the country. Their next step is requesting help from the Indian Railways’ freight network.
  • Aldi and McDonald’s started a remarkable collaboration in Germany, where Aldi is now employing staff from the fast-food chain. 
  • US-based Frisch Big Boy restaurants have started selling bread, milk, and toilet paper - next to their usual fast-food menu - at their drive-thrus, carryout counters and also via home delivery.
  • To keep their customers engaged and to enlighten them during confinement, Burger King is now revealing its secret recipes to make their signature burgers at home.

Mutual aid and citizenship

Changing values, prioritizing cooperation and social caring, are a coronavirus side effect. For companies worldwide, this is probably the most natural moment to showcase mutual aid and citizenship. 

  • Morrisons distributes £10m worth of food to restock UK’s food banks during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • At Belgian supermarket chain Carrefour care workers and elderly are given priority to the rows in front of the shop, caused by social distancing regulations. 
  • David Gibs, CEO of YUM! brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell), announced to donate his salary to general manager bonuses and the employee relief fund.
  • Online grocery Picnic gives top priority to doctors and nurses in its recently added Sunday delivery service.
  • To promote healthy activities in Belgium Delhaize and Decathlon collaborate to offer consumers the most demanded products of the sport's brand in some of the retailer's stores.
Aware of other initatives?

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More about how Puratos is facing covid-19

As goes for everyone, at Puratos, the health emergency caused by Coronavirus is having a significant impact on our work and our daily lives.
We would like to inform you that, in full compliance with local authority guidelines around the world, Puratos has taken all the internal measures necessary to strengthen the health and safety of our employees and business partners, as well as to continue to ensure the production and supply of our products to all our customers.

We are issuing some articles to help guide you through these challenging times: 

If you have any questions, please visit our website or contact your local Puratos representative.