S7 Ep. 7: Seattle Retail and Restaurants Reshaped by the Pandemic

December 1, 2020

Today’s episode of Seattle Growth Podcast features stories from two industries hit hard by the pandemic: retail and restaurants. The interviews were recorded before the recent spike in cases and subsequent restrictions on businesses and social gatherings, but give a sense of hope that this next round of challenges can be overcome.

In the first interview, Lisa Bridge, the president and CEO of Ben Bridge Jeweler, discusses how her retail business adapted to the pandemic. Bridge opens up about the emotional and financial toll of the damage to her company’s downtown locations. Bridge compares weathering the pandemic in Seattle to other cities in which Ben Bridge Jewelers operates.  

The second guest is restaurateur Bernie Garcia, the president of Moctezuma’s Restaurants who was recognized as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Garcia shares how he connected with his customers during the shutdown and adapted his operations to emerge stronger than ever. He offers lessons that can be applied by any business facing a dramatic shift in the business environment.

Both guests discuss the changes they’ve seen in Seattle and what they hope for the future of the city. Combined, these interviews give lessons of resilience and offer distinct perspectives on the changes in Seattle. The stories offer insights that can help you build the future that you want to see for yourself, your business, and your community.

Are you interested in product management? Register for the next Foster the Product event in which Amazon’s 25th employee and former VP, Jennifer Cast, will share how to build better products by working backwards from the customer. Talk followed by small group networking and guided discussion. Hosted by UW Foster School of Business, but open to the public.

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