COVID-19 has impacted businesses in countless ways . . . even their driveways and parking lots.
For many businesses, the coronavirus pandemic has deterred customers from visiting — to the extent where many businesses have had to close their doors. At the very least, your parking lot is probably nowhere near capacity at the moment.
So, with traffic down and fewer people wanting to visit your business in person, how do you make better use of that empty parking lot space?
Here are four ways in which you can repurpose your parking lot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Provide Outdoor Seating (or Add More!)
If you or your tenants own a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery, or another business in the hospitality industry, consider using some of your unused parking lot space for outdoor seating.
While many customers may be hesitant to be seated inside your restaurant during this pandemic, they might be far more comfortable dining out in the open — where they are socially distanced from other customers.
Especially if your business is positioned in a scenic area of town, you can easily adorn your new outdoor seating area with string lights, lanterns, and other decorations — turning your otherwise-boring parking lot into a “limited time only” outdoor dining experience!
2. Create Drive-Thru Lanes (or Add More!)
Given that most of today’s customers are opting for contactless delivery or pickup of goods, consider offering drive-thru lanes for customers.
If you already have a drive-thru lane at your business, consider adding a second or third to accommodate more customers and keep them even further apart from one another.
This will not only encourage customers to continue supporting your business but it will also assure them that your business values their safety and comfort.
3. Launch Your Own Drive-In Theater
With most movie theaters still closed, chances are that many families in your community are craving some form of entertainment or escape from life indoors — especially those with young children.
If your parking lot space can’t be used for normal business functions, consider transforming it (or a section of it) into your very own drive-in theater.
This can be a great way to keep your business top-of-mind while also generating some additional revenue during a down season. Offer this service by donation or by charging a small fee per vehicle!
4. When All Else Fails, Lease!
If you either don’t love any of the aforementioned ideas or doubt that they can work logistically, there is one last option to consider — leasing your lot.
Even during a pandemic, there are other businesses that are in need of space. In fact, hospitals and health care facilities are still looking for more areas to turn into COVID-19 testing sites.
Ultimately, leasing your lot could help your business earn additional revenue; but if revenue isn’t a primary concern for your business, there are countless ways to offer up your space to the community — whether it’s hosting charity functions or offering shelter to unhoused people.