pandemic

15 Entrepreneurs Reflect on What the Pandemic Taught Them About Business and Life

Any experienced entrepreneur will tell you that having detailed plans is the key to a thriving business, but few could have planned for the events of this year. While many business owners continue to fight to stay afloat, many are reflecting on the last several months with an eye toward the future.

For those struggling to make sense of this year’s chaos, we asked the members of Rolling Stone Culture Council to share the top takeaways they have from this year and how they believe the future of business will be affected.

Remote Work Requires Over-Communication

It is important, now more than ever, to over-communicate. With a remote workforce, there is an increased need to touch base with your company, as there are fewer organic opportunities to connect and most communication is nonverbal. There are plenty of technologies and platforms that can help, and we have leaned into these as

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McDonald’s hasn’t served a single salad in almost nine months, and it’s part of a strategy helping the chain cash in during the pandemic

McDonald's southwest salad 5
McDonald’s salads are off the menu. Irene Jiang / Business Insider
  • McDonald’s salads disappeared from the menu in April. Nine months later, they still haven’t returned. 

  • Few customers seem bothered by the loss of salads, and the simplified menu has helped McDonald’s speed up service.

  • McDonald’s declined to comment on the future of its salads but said the chain was still actively exploring opportunities to bring back missing menu items in new ways. 

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

McDonald’s salads have disappeared. And no one seems to be missing them too much. 

In late March, the chain announced plans to slash all-day breakfast and many of its less-popular items from the menu, including yogurt, salads, and grilled-chicken sandwiches. The decision was said to be a temporary move to simplify and speed up operations.

Read more: McDonald’s All Day Breakfast might have disappeared forever, as workers and franchisees

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How Ocado went from understated British grocer to an $18.4 billion tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online

"Bots" are seen on the grid (or "The Hive") of Ocado's "smart platform" in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.
“Bots” are seen on the grid (or “The Hive”) of Ocado’s “smart platform” in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online.

  • It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide.

  • Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1 billion to grow its services.

  • It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online.

  • Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus

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Crunch time for China’s robot startups as pandemic brings pain and opportunities

By David Kirton

SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) – With glowing blue eyes and trusting feline features, a new robot cat by Chinese startup Elephant Robotics seems happily oblivious to the worries of CEO Joey Song as he shows it off at the company’s lab in Shenzhen.

Elephant Robotics’ main business is the automation of factory assembly lines but revenue has plunged by a third this year due to the coronavirus, leading the company to cut staff by a fifth.

“It’s tough,” said Song. “Before, we had more than 30 people.”

Due to the downturn, the firm is putting more energy into the robot cat project funded on Kickstarter in December. Readying its first large batch of 1,000 cats for sale, it hopes that as more consumers work from home, interest in pet robots will grow.

“If the industrial robots can’t sell right now, we just focus on other robots to lower

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