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March 12, 2020

A Letter to Our Clients from Kelli Valade

The internet, TV and radio are abundant with information (and misinformation) about the Coronavirus. However, even with this much coverage, the future of the impact this novel virus will have remains uncertain. Thus, the challenge of making the best decisions for our employees, our customers and our guests is greater than ever.

On Wednesday, we published a report with our most up-to-date data on the impact the outbreak is having on the financial, workforce and guest environment for our industry. Our goal here is to provide you with the insights and analytics you need to help you perform best, no matter what situation we find ourselves. Rather than feed into any hysteria, we are committed to arming you with the facts and real story that we have access to, thanks to our partnership with you and hundreds of other restaurant brands who trust us to deliver crucial insights in times such as these.

We represent many brands, small, large, local and national. The impact as well as the rebound of this outbreak will be felt differently across the country for certain markets and certain brands. We work with the best of the best; a privilege and responsibility we take seriously. Our client brands lead the industry and we learn from them every day. First and foremost, we will make sure we are providing you, our clients, with as much crucial information as possible to help you succeed.

The team at Black Box Intelligence is closely monitoring the effects the Coronavirus is having on local and regional markets, as well as at the national level. We will continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information, as soon as we have it. For now confirmed COVID-19 cases have thus far have been reported in 42 states and the District of Columbia (with only 9 states having more than 10 cases) and we have noticed “coronavirus” mentions pop up in restaurant reviews in our Black Box Guest Intelligence platform. Guests are paying closer attention to us, our sanitation practices and are looking for signs of sickness among staff members.

It is difficult to predict at this point what the patterns and spread of disease will look like for the industry, although a slowdown is expected. Now, more than ever, is the time to lean into who you are as a leader and as a business. Take care of your employees. If there is room to clarify anything, do it whenever possible. Increase the cadence of when you are talking with your team to alleviate fears and offer transparency.

Know that we are with you, every step of the way. We are doing everything we can to ensure you have what you need to make the best decisions for your team and your guests. Please continue to check with us for updates and keep in close communication with your Client Success representative, who will keep working toward finding the solution that is right for you. There is no one size fits all approach. Therefore, our goal of being more granular than ever is top of mind so that we can get the answers needed to you, our clients, as quickly as possible.


With gratitude,
Kelli Valade
Chief Executive Officer | Black Box Intelligence

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