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COVID PIVOT REPORT – Flagship Restaurant Group

Blue Sushi Sake Grill

Figure 1: Blue Sushi Sake Grill


Omaha-based Flagship Restaurant Group is locally owned. The 2002-founded company runs popular restaurants like Blue Sushi Sake Grill, Roja Mexican Grill, and Plank Seafood Provisions. The company focuses on unique dining experiences with high-quality ingredients and excellent service. Given the pandemic’s impact on the restaurant industry, I chose to investigate Flagship Restaurant Group’s response to the crisis and how they adapted their business model to remain viable and serve their customers.

Business Strategies

  • Original Business Model: Flagship Restaurant Group focused on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and innovative menus before the pandemic. The company ran several successful restaurants with different themes and clientele. Flagship Restaurant Group was known for its excellent service, inviting decor, and commitment to sustainability and community involvement. Larger groups and special occasions had catering and private event spaces.
  • Changes: Flagship Restaurant Group had to change its business model to comply with COVID-19 regulations. As indoor dining became unviable, takeout and delivery became the biggest changes. The company also required mask-wearing, increased sanitation, and social distancing for employees and customers. Flagship Restaurant Group also had to cut its hours, capacity, and menu to serve a smaller audience. The changes were necessary to protect employee and customer health and business viability.
  • Success: Despite the changes, the company navigated the crisis and adapted its business model to continue serving customers. As restrictions eased, the company could quickly pivot to takeout and delivery options and implement outdoor dining options. Flagship Restaurant Group also secured the supplies and ingredients needed to continue operations, though some menu items had to be changed due to supply issues. Most of the company’s employees were also on the payroll, though some staffing adjustments were required due to reduced capacity and operating hours.
  • Challenges: During the pandemic, the company faced labor, supply chain, and regulatory issues. The biggest challenge was reducing staffing to maintain profitability amid reduced demand and capacity. Menu changes and higher prices resulted from supply chain disruptions. It had to adapt to changing health and safety regulations, which required significant investment in sanitation and protective equipment. Finally, the company had to invest in technology and infrastructure to accommodate changing customer preferences, such as a preference for contactless ordering and payment.
  • Opportunities: Flagship Restaurant Group grew its takeout and delivery choices, outdoor eating capacity, and consumer engagement via social media and other digital channels during the epidemic. Some of these opportunities, like expanding takeout and delivery choices or increasing digital presence, may be sustainable after the epidemic. The company might spend on technology, infrastructure, marketing, and social media to capitalize on these potentials.

Conclusion and Evaluation

Flagship Restaurant Group successfully shifted its business model in response to significant hurdles and disruptions during the COVID-19 epidemic. Adapting to evolving client demands and tastes, the company was able to capitalize on new opportunities such as expanded takeaway and delivery choices and greater outdoor dining capacity. Despite major hurdles during the epidemic, the company maintained its brand and reputation while remaining profitable. The organization could be well-positioned to capitalize on these shifts and possibilities to drive development and success in the post-pandemic future.


Flagship Restaurant Group. (2022, October 24). FoodChain Magazine.

Forbes. (2020, September 30). How Are Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Faring Today in COVID-19 Downturn? Forbes.

Yahoo Finance. (2020, August 27). How firms are pivoting their businesses since COVID-19. Yahoo Finance.


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