If you’re like most of us, you’re wondering what Thanksgiving might mean for the flower industry this season. The CDC is recommending smaller family celebrations and limited travel this year. Even the Macy’s Day parade is scheduled to be a virtual event to limit spectators.
What does it mean for the flower industry? Let’s not throw in the towel just yet. People will still order flowers for their tables, and are even more likely to send flowers to those they can’t celebrate with. Much like Mother’s Day, we could be pleasantly surprised by demand.
The CDC published their holiday recommendations which include:
Having a small celebration with only people who live in your household.
Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others.
Having a virtual dinner, sharing recipes with friends and family.
Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday.
Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home.
They don’t recommend the following:
Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving.
Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race.
Attending crowded parades.
Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors.
Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household.
Here's a check list for planning your gathering. You might even consider posting this on your social media:
Check with your health department to understand the community levels of COVID-19 infection. If the infection rate is high – limit your celebration.
Remind guests to stay home if they are sick or have been exposed to the virus within the last 14 days.
Try to entertain outdoors as much as possible and if you are celebrating indoors, make sure there is good ventilation.
Shorten the time of your gathering. Longer gatherings pose greater risks.
Limit the number of guests of the celebration to those you have been exposed to and who you know are healthy. Guests attending from different states pose a higher risk.
Try to seat people 6 feet apart at the table. Family you live with may sit closer.
Provide individual sanitizers at the table and encourage mask wearing when not eating.
Ask everyone to wash their hands before the meal and often throughout the day and provide disposable towels to prevent sharing.
When guests arrive, minimize gestures that promote close contact.
Have one person serve all the food and limit guests going in and out of areas where the food is being prepared.
Consider using disposable utensils and dishware, eliminating some of the clean-up and handling.
Limit contact with commonly shared surfaces and disinfect those areas after the meal.
So, with all the guidelines in place, what can we do to increase our business? Here are some ideas that might give you a leg up on your marketing now:
You should continue to market holiday centerpieces, as most families will continue to celebrate.
Offer some outdoor decorations as well, to draw the guests out of the house and into the yard, where social distancing is easier to maintain.
Offer to decorate a gratitude bowl for loved ones to drop notes in about what they are grateful for this year. You could encourage the host to have guests provide their thoughts, or create and print your own, which can be read at the meal.
In addition to the dinner table, provide décor around the kitchen, where more of the serving will be done.
Offer customers a virtual centerpiece workshop package. Customers can pick up all the ingredients to make the arrangement and you provide a pre-recorded "how to" video, so they can make their own holiday centerpiece.
Offer to drop off small arrangements to friends and family in the area, or offer a multi pack option, providing multiple arrangements which family members can drop off the morning of Thanksgiving, to loved ones they can’t visit during the day. These can be paired with pies and goodies, so loved ones feel included.
Thanksgiving 2020 style might have a bit of tradition and a whole lot of creative new ideas, but anyway you look at it, the act of gathering and sharing a meal will never go out of style, despite the challenges we have all faced this year.