Beating the Coronavirus Crisis one Meal at a Time

By paying for its team members to get take-out during the coronavirus pandemic, Firmidable gave a much-deserved nod of appreciation to its employees—and supported all of these restaurants in the process.

If you’re running a law firm, or a law firm marketing agency like Firmidable—or almost any type of business you can think of under these unsettling coronavirus conditions—you may be thinking more than ever about how to preserve employee morale and support the broader community.

We came up with an idea to do both at once.

Feel free to steal this idea at your firm:

Firmidable picked one night to buy takeout meals for its entire team at the neighborhood restaurants of their choice. The agency also donated to the Second Harvest Food Bank of South Louisiana.

This way, we could thank our team members for their determination under strange circumstances—and support our hard-hit local restaurant industry at the same time.

We called it the Firmidable Virtual Dinner Party.

“Firmidable has been running on full cylinders since the crisis began, including creating COVID-19 graphics and website pop-up messages for all our clients across the nation,” said Firmidable President Nathan Chapman. “And the team did this while adjusting to working from home and, for some, with kids underfoot.”

At the same time, he said, “Our advertising agency specializes in legal marketing, which is fairly recession-proof, but our beloved restaurants are struggling to survive. I had the idea to encourage everyone to select a place they loved, to give those restaurants some support during the crisis. It was fun to see the places everyone chose.”

Getting takeout was once an unremarkable activity. Now it’s both a comfort and a cause.

Keep reading to see how Firmidable’s staff spent their take-out night.

Chris Jewell, external traffic manager, got food from his favorite sushi place during Firmidable’s Virtual Dinner Party. “I’m happy to have the opportunity to give Chef Elvis the business because he is still the king of sushi!”

Supporting Friends in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurants are such an ingrained part of the landscape, especially in New Orleans, Firmidable’s home base, that many of us develop a relationship with our regular spots and the people who work there.

It was disorienting during the coronavirus stay-at-home order to stop seeing those familiar people.

So in many cases, Firmidable team members chose to support eateries where they have a personal connection.

For Digital Specialist Kieron Bowman, it was a place he himself used to work for several years, Copeland’s of New Orleans.

For Media Buyer Ashley Morgan, her family’s favorite waitress, Casey at Boulevard in Metairie, La., was a major reason to support that restaurant.

Nathan Chapman went to long-time favorite Pascal’s Manale in New Orleans, where his trip for takeout led to a strange kind of reunion.

“The woman who gave us our to-go order was wearing a mask so I couldn’t recognize her at first,” Nathan said. “But she welcomed me so warmly, I realized it was our favorite waitress, Wendy, recognizing me behind my mask. It was surreal, and a little sad, but the warmth of the people we know—and the classic tastes we love—felt like the old days in the city I love.”

Some of our legal marketing agency members used the occasion to make a plug for chefs, owners or restaurant leaders they admire.

Media Manager Mandy Lee went with her family to The Seafood Pot in New Sarpy, La., outside New Orleans.

“Miss Jan and her team go above and beyond to make sure you enjoy your meal,” she said.
External Traffic Manager Chris Jewell picked Kanno California Sushi Bar in Metairie, because, “I’m happy to have the opportunity to give Chef Elvis the business because he is still the king of sushi!”

Firmidable Production Manager Cindy Bower (left) kept up a tradition of going to Vincent’s Italian Cuisine on Firmidable’s Virtual Dinner Party night. Seen here with Vincent and her friend Mona, she’s been dining at Vincent’s since it opened in 1989.

A Taste of Normal Life

For most of the legal marketers at Firmidable, Virtual Dinner Party night was also a chance to revisit comforting routines.

Senior Account Executive Alex Ludwig chose a restaurant in his New Orleans neighborhood, Seed, where he went for his last sit-down meal before the coronavirus shutdown.

“It’s a regular stop of ours so it definitely adds a reassuring feeling to our routine during COVID-19,” Alex said.

Senior Writer/Editor Mark Waller got takeout for his family from Café Degas in New Orleans, which he remembers as one of the first places he went after moving into his neighborhood in New Orleans.

Production Manager Cindy Bower went to Vincent’s Italian Cuisine in Metairie on Firmidable’s take-out night. It’s a place she’s been going with friends since it opened in 1989.

Accounting Coordinator Stephanie Milligan got food from Drago’s Seafood Restaurant in Metairie, which she said, “has been one of my favorite restaurants since I was a little girl.”

Firmidable President Nathan Chapman got takeout from his longtime favorite Pascal’s Manale restaurant on the agency’s Virtual Dinner Party night, and he toasted the team.

More Ideas for Your Law Firm during the Coronavirus Disruption

Whether you want to use the take-out idea at your law firm or not, our legal marketing firm produced a detailed webinar and blog post about multiple aspects of law firm perseverance during the crisis. See that here.

We raise a toast not only to our team, but to all the partners, attorneys and support staff at law firms across the country who continue serving clients and keeping their firms vital.

To talk about maintaining and growing your firm’s place in your market, contact our legal marketing agency.

Firmidable has been a national expert in legal marketing for almost 30 years. It brings law firms customized, data-driven marketing strategies and services, including online and traditional media for a wide range of legal practices. From Maine to Hawaii, it has transformed the lives of attorneys—and their clients.

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