Road to recovery: Experts answer viewers’ pandemic business questions


(NewsNation) — As many businesses recover from the hardships they faced over the past two years amid the pandemic, many are now wondering how to innovate and stay ahead of industry trends.

Jim Carroll, a futurist and innovation trends strategist, addressed viewers’ money anxiety during an appearance on “Morning in America.”

Michael Ungaro is the CEO of San Pedro Fish Market, a family business his grandfather started in the 1950s in California. It began as a little corner store of about 200 square feet; now, they have several locations, and its main stores are 55,000 square feet with 3,000 seats.

Over the past two years, many businesses have struggled with staffing shortages, including Ungaro. He said all of his locations aren’t fully staffed. He’d have 400 employees at full staff, but they’re still 140 short.

Q: We can’t open everything full-time. What does the future look like here? When do you think this will end?

Carroll said millennials define themselves differently with careers, so businesses have to align with that.

“They don’t define themselves by what they do for a living, but rather by the question, what do you like to do,” Carroll said. “So we have to innovate in terms of their focus on lifestyle, their focus on living their life before their career.”

He continued, “What I’m seeing in the workforce is a lot of innovation in terms of aligning to that reality. Obviously, that makes it very difficult in terms of staffing hours in a restaurant, but that is kind of a key attribute of the way they think.”

Q: Are restaurants going to have no choice but to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment? Also, Do you see the restaurant industry having to be in the metaverse to provide customer experiences?

Carroll said he thinks cryptocurrency is something for restaurant owners to watch. But he also said businesses owners should pay attention to what he calls “the hype cycle” and watch for how hyped a trend is.

“Every time I talk to my clients, I talk about where a trend is on what we call the hype cycle. How hyped is it? If it’s a little bit hyped over the longer term; it is going to become real,” he explained.

In addition, Carroll said he’s a bit skeptical about the metaverse.

” I was around a previous version of it in 2008; it didn’t become real then. We’re social creatures; we crave social interaction. We’re going to crave that interaction in a restaurant scene,” Carroll said. “So what you really need to do is examine any of these trends in terms of how hyped are they and the timing of when they might become real. That’s what’s critical.”

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