With the sun losing its glare and now appearing as a beautiful orange orb just above the distant horizon where the sky meets the sea, Barry O’Connor thought to himself, “This is as close to paradise as you can get.” Yet, the vast empty sea of white sand surrounding him told a very different story. It was July 17, 2020, and this beautiful area should have been overrun with college students and young families as they enjoyed their summer vacation. Instead, the executive order that came as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic four months earlier forced him to immediately close his four bars and six Caddy’s Waterfront Dining restaurants, laying off 600 employees and dashing his dreams of another lucrative season.
Barry gazed at the beautiful sunset one more time before turning his thoughts to the monumental problem that faced him. While he agreed that the health and safety of his employees and loyal customers was paramount, he couldn’t help but feel the pang that losing a few million dollars a month brings. Now, as businesses began to reopen their doors in the face of new restrictions brought about by COVID, Barry was left to figure out how to navigate the uncharted landscape of new in-house capacity restrictions, everyone’s fear of contracting the virus, and the unknown of when this pandemic would end. All the while, Barry’s bar business was in shambles due to a second government shutdown of bars, which only added pressure on the Caddy’s brand to drive revenue and keep the other half of the business afloat.
A potential solution loomed on the horizon, however. This Caddy’s location in Treasure Island had an extensive beach immediately outside its doors, which could expand its footprint, allowing an additional 450-500 customers to enjoy the Caddy’s experience in the safety of an outdoor arena. However, due to local government zoning restrictions, Caddy’s was not legally allowed to treat this area as a traditional restaurant setting. But Barry had become a self-made man because he understood that the nature of business was never static. He knew that the best way forward was to disregard the inconvenience of circumstances beyond his control, and instead pour his efforts into a search for the opportunities that always accompanied such impacts.
But just what opportunities did the pandemic create? How could he best leverage technology to exploit them? How would he manage the impact of the changes on his customers and employees?
Author: Randy Esponda, Timothy E Newsome, Say Sengsouvanna, Samuel Barrington, Cynthia L Steel
Cite As: Esponda, R., Newsome, T.E., Sengsouvanna, S., Barrington, S. and Steel, C.L. (2021). When Caddy’s went viral. Muma Case Review 6(7). 1-25. https://doi.org/10.28945/4750