Innovations We Love: May Edition

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  • by Courtney PeGan Stevens

We are living in a strange time where very little feels “normal.” Yet, we are all trying to negotiate and navigate what the “next normal” is going to look like. We do not have any crystal balls here at SEEK, but there are a few innovations that we’ve noticed that could have some serious staying power. For this month’s installment of Innovations We Love, Senior Vice President of Operations, Courtney PeGan Stevens,  highlights some of the innovations that she believes are shaping what we may consider “normal” going forward. 

Drive-In Raves in Germany

Why We Love It: 

I foresee a resurgence of Drive-In style entertainment. Enclosed public spaces are going to be polarizing for a period of time; I believe that the Drive-In experience can solve a real consumer tension for those who are craving out-of-home experiences without sacrificing the sense of security they feel on their own property.  I love this unexpected example of Drive-In entertainment coming out of Germany. We are already seeing Drive-In Movies pop back up, and some churches are even adapting to a Drive-In model. Could this be a successful format for music festivals and political rallies, I wonder?


Why We Love It: 

For many, shopping has become a bigger ordeal than ever before. It takes more time, more brain space, and can potentially drive feelings of anxiety about safe interactions with others. (and don’t even get me started on Out Of Stocks!)  I am inspired by how Pepsi has shifted to offering large format variety packs direct-to-consumer. I’ve been an online shopper (including grocery) for years now; I am heartened to see so many brands make themselves even more accessible to consumers. Offering DTC means that brands can meet a consumer need without adding any additional tension or anxiety. 

INNOVATION: The Return of Carhop Dining Service

Why We Love It:  

Like Drive-In Movie Theaters, there is a new demand for Drive-In Restaurants with the old fashioned Carhop servers and all. The servers have replaced their rollerskates with masks and gloves, but the diners don’t seem to mind. I see this dining format having huge opportunities going forward for both small businesses and large chains. I particularly loved reading about how historic Drive In Mug & Bun in Indianapolis is enjoy a resurgence in business. KFC has already introduced at least one Drive Thru Only concept store in Australia, demonstrating there is a blueprint that other big brands could follow as well. Could this innovative trend extend into fine dining, as well? 

Which recent innovations have you seen that stand out most? Let’s keep the conversation going. Join us on LinkedIn or email me directly: