Meet the Montreal business that pushed back against the pandemic
Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe, the sisters behind Mandy’s Gourmet Salads, were about to embark on a national expansion when COVID-19 hit. Here’s how they managed to pivot, keep their business afloat and serve their community during this unprecedented time.
This isn’t the story that Mandy and Rebecca Wolfe intended to tell. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the sister team behind Mandy’s Gourmet Salads were in the middle of plans for an ambitious national expansion for their Montreal restaurant chain. When they returned from a short family vacation to find the economy shutting down and their business facing an indefinite period of uncertainty, they had no choice but to act fast.
“We came back to a very new world, where everything was slowly shutting down due to COVID-19,” says Mandy Wolfe. “There was a definite level of disbelief, and we were also panicked, and scared.”
With a robust take-out and delivery service already in place, the sisters quickly closed restaurant eating areas for the safety of customers and put plans in place to keep staff safe, morale high and revenue coming in. They introduced a grocery and meal-kit delivery service to help feed busy families; delivered food to newly-settled refugee families with their charity, the Welcome Collective; and Mandy and Rebecca themselves made sure that three days a week they delivered meals to front-line workers at Montreal’s hospitals and long-term care facilities.
After a few months of uncertainty, the Wolfe sisters say the business is in recovery mode, and they hope they’ve made it through the worst of it. Chris Gandhu, a High Net Worth Planner at TD Wealth, and Eric Partee, Account Manager, Small Business Banking at TD Canada Trust, offer some ideas for business owners to consider as they look to move forward in an uncertain economy:
1) Get creative
Just as Mandy’s moved into grocery delivery and pre-packaged meal kits, companies may be able to rework their product or service offerings to meet a new need. “We’ve heard the stories about breweries and distilleries that have recognized the need for hand sanitizer,” says Partee. “By adapting their product line to include specially-produced hand sanitizer, it allows them to maintain a revenue stream and keep staff employed.”
2) Tell your story
Businesses that have bounced back often have a strong social media presence which they use to let their clients know they are open for business and what safety measures they are taking. This is something the Wolfe sisters made sure to do with Mandy’s. “You may be able to attract a larger client base by providing reassurance and transparency over businesses whose social media presence is lacking,” says Partee.
3) Keep tight budgets
Even though access to wage subsidies, grants and interest-free loans can make it tempting to spend on the business, cash is king, says Gandhu. “Right now, it’s a good idea to really question all your expenses. This may be the time to renegotiate contracts with suppliers, cut unnecessary costs, and maybe choose to do things yourself rather than outsourcing.”
4) Recognize timely opportunities
“This may be a good time to capitalize on the downturn to buy out competitors, or pick up equipment at a discount due to other businesses liquidating,” says Gandhu. “Companies that do this may be positioning themselves for expansion at a discount for when things recover.”
Gandhu also says to maintain close ties with your bank, your business advisors and accountants. They may be able to help you by find cash flow if you need it, and assist you in creating a plan to help you get back on track.
− Denise O’Connell, MoneyTalk Life
DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein has been provided by TD Wealth and is for information purposes only. The information has been drawn from sources believed to be reliable. Graphs and charts are used for illustrative purposes only and do not reflect future values or future performance of any investment. The information does not provide financial, legal, tax or investment advice. Particular investment, tax, or trading strategies should be evaluated relative to each individual’s objectives and risk tolerance.
TD Wealth represents the products and services offered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., TD Wealth Private Banking (offered by The Toronto-Dominion Bank) and TD Wealth Private Trust (offered by The Canada Trust Company).
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
® The TD logo and other trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.
MENTIONS JURIDIQUES : Les renseignements aux présentes ont été fournis par Gestion de patrimoine TD aux fins d’information seulement. Les renseignements proviennent de sources jugées fiables. Les graphiques et les tableaux sont utilisés à des fins d’illustration et ne reflètent pas des valeurs ou des rendements futurs. Ces renseignements ne fournissent pas de conseils financiers, juridiques, fiscaux ou de placement. Les stratégies fiscales, de placement ou de négociation devraient être étudiées en fonction des objectifs et de la tolérance au risque de chacun. Gestion de patrimoine TD représente les produits et services offerts par TD Waterhouse Canada Inc., Gestion privée TD Waterhouse Inc., Services bancaires privés, Gestion de patrimoine TD (offerts par La Banque Toronto-Dominion) et Services fiduciaires, Gestion de patrimoine TD (offerts par La Société Canada Trust). Toutes les marques de commerce appartiennent à leurs propriétaires respectifs.
ᴹᴰ Le logo TD et les autres marques de commerce sont la propriété de La Banque Toronto-Dominion.
免責聲明：本文內之陳述由道明財富 (TD Wealth) 提供，僅供資料說明之用。本文根據相信為可靠的資料匯編而成。圖表僅供解說之用，並不反映任何投資的未來 價值或未來回報。本文資料並不旨在提供財務、法律、稅務或投資建議，衡量個別投資、交易或稅務策略時，應考慮個別人士的目標和風險承受能力。道明財富、道明銀行 (The Toronto-Dominion Bank) 與其聯屬及相關實體對任何資料錯漏或導致的損失或傷害概不負責。道明財富是代表由道明宏達理財加拿大有限公司 (TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.)、道明宏達理財私人全權託管投資有限公司 (TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc.) 以及透過道明銀行提供之道明財富 私人銀行 (TD Wealth Private Banking) 和透過加拿大信託公司 (The Canada Trust Company) 提供之道明財富私人信託 (TD Wealth Private Trust) 所提供的 產品與服務。TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. － Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund。
® 道明 (TD) 標誌和其他商標是道明銀行的產權。
免责声明：本文内之陈述由道明财富 (TD Wealth) 提供，仅供资料说明之用。本文根据相信为可靠的资料汇编而成。图表仅供解说之用，并不反映任何投资的未来 价值或未来回报。本文资料并不旨在提供财务、法律、税务或投资建议，衡量个别投资、交易或税务策略时，应考虑个别人士的目标和风险承受能力。道明财富、道明 银行 (The Toronto-Dominion Bank) 与其联属机构及相关实体对本文中任何资料错漏或导致的损失或伤害概不负责。道明财富是代表由道明宏达理财加拿大有限公司 (TD Waterhouse Canada Inc.)、道明宏达理财私人全权托管投资有限公司 (TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc.)、以及透过道明银行提供之道明财富私人 银行 (TD Wealth Private Banking) 和透过加拿大信托公司 (The Canada Trust Company) 提供之道明财富私人信托 (TD Wealth Private Trust) 所提供的产品与 服务。TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. — Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund。
® 道明 (TD) 标志和其他商标是道明银行的产权。