How History Can Help Your Business Adapt In A Crisis

The unprecedented times the world is currently facing due to Covid-19 has left many countries in devastation. For a number of months now everyday life has been affected in  various ways and businesses have felt the repercussions of this virus hard. Back in March, UK shops, leisure facilities and other places of work were told to shut their doors for the foreseeable future, leaving thousands of jobs at risk and business owners anxiously awaiting the fate of their business.

Although the current health pandemic isn’t something the world has had to face on this scale before, it’s not the first time businesses have been faced with a crisis. From economic struggles to world conflicts, over time business both in the UK and across the globe have had to learn to adapt when crisis strikes.

With countries across the world still battling Covid-19 and businesses unsure as to what their future holds, we want to use this opportunity to look back in history at how one of the world’s biggest chocolate brands adapted during a crisis. After doing that, we’ll then be able to look at the present day and see an example of how a well-known food chain has taken a similar approach.


For many British businesses World War One was by far one of the biggest challenges they would ever face. The conflict saw chocolate manufacturer Cadbury, faced with numerous struggles; especially when the majority of their male-led workforce were called up to the front line. Back in those days factory work was mainly carried out by men, which meant Cadbury would have to change their business strategy and adapt to the crisis.

Cadbury decided that instead of halting production and potentially seeing their business collapse, they would replace their male workforce with women, who would later go on to be known as the “Cadbury angels”. The new female production line meant that not only could Cadbury continue to operate, it paved the way for women’s workplace rights across Britain and proved that you should never be afraid to try something new within your business.

Cote Brasserie

The effects of Covid-19 have had a devastating impact on the food and hospitality industry and sadly, several well-known restaurant chains have been put into administration. As many cafes, restaurants and eateries are unsure as to when they’ll be able to open again, this hasn’t stopped chains like Cote Brasserie adapting to the current obstacles.

The french food brand hasn’t allowed the pandemic to have too much of an impact on their usual business, as they have adapted to the current restrictions by taking their menu online. The new approach named “Cote at home”, has meant that some of their most popular items are now available for delivery and the brand has used geo location-based ads to let their customers know. Adapting to the pandemic has meant that unlike many other food chains, Cote Brasserie is actually benefiting from the lockdown instead of struggling.+

If you take Cadbury as an example, you can start to see that businesses have had to face many forms of crisis over the years. It goes to show that although obstacles like Covid-19 can present your business with tough decisions and times of trouble, you can look back in history for reference and change your business strategy to adapt to the crisis and help your business thrive as much as possible.