WEST CHESTER, Pa. — Penn State Extension is opening its 2022 Under the Ground program available to food and beverage businesses throughout the Commonwealth. The program provides businesses with valuable qualitative customer feedback, peer networking, and immersive educational experiences. Together, these tools complement a business’s sales data to comprehensive strategy for improvements and success.
Food and beverage retail spaces dot communities across Pennsylvania. They enliven our Main Streets, provide entertainment, and generate jobs and income for local families. Many of these small businesses run on limited staff, making it more important than ever to maximize profit through customer satisfaction. Under the Ground seeks to help these businesses see their blind spots, better serve their customers, and learn from their peers.
Under the Ground, a year-long subscription, begins in spring of 2022. All subscribers receive a tailored survey for their business and the products they offer, which their customers are invited to complete throughout the year. Companies seeking more detailed feedback from secret shoppers or industry experts can join at Premium and Elite Levels. These levels offer guaranteed secret shoppers during peak season or the addition of a 4-person expert team of industry leaders and peers to assess your space and your online presence. These reviews culminate in a detailed report that captures direct feedback and group recommendations for improvements to consider. See details here. All qualitative feedback is gathered and analyzed by Penn State Extension and provided to businesses throughout the year.
“The pandemic altered the way we shop entirely. Consumers today want a customized experience, they want e-commerce options, and they want to know that businesses they shop from share their values. This program helps business owners understand their customers so they can stay relevant and thrive in this new retail world,” says Miranda Harple, who leads Under the Ground programming for Penn State Extension.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated consumer use of online technologies for shopping and marketing. Under the Ground provides retail businesses with tools to shore up their digital presence. Premium and Elite Levels will benefit from industry expert analysis of up to two social media accounts and websites.
All participants of Under the Ground have access to at least one educational immersion trip to gain practical, real-world insights into best practices in product merchandising and other topics. Educational trips are for store owners, managers, or business employees who would benefit from continued education. Throughout the year, participants can also access four peer-to-peer networking events to connect with other retailers in the state. Under the Ground seeks to knit a stronger community of food and beverage retailers who can enhance their spaces through connections with customers and peer networks.
This is a paid subscription program. Register online at: https://web.cvent.com/event/df59e74b-8991-4f6f-a372-914e4382d36a/summary.
The first 20 businesses to register will receive a $200 discount on this programming. This discount applies to all levels of subscription and will be applied automatically at checkout. Two businesses will receive full scholarships to the Starter Level – with preference given to new markets, markets looking to renovate, or markets in regions with limited access to a variety of healthy foods. To be considered, fill out our survey
Penn State Extension serves individuals, businesses, and communities, helping them address problems and realize opportunities through educational programs, products and services. In support of Penn State’s land-grant mission, extension programs make a difference locally through face-to-face education as well as widely through online programs. With support from federal, state and county governments, extension has a tradition of bringing unbiased, research-based information to the citizens of Pennsylvania for more than 100 years.
Penn State Extension offers a variety of online non-credit courses for the public. Consumers can access educational articles, videos, online courses, and publications at their convenience, and can register for regional in-person workshops and online webinars on a wide range of topics.
For more information about Under the Ground, contact Miranda Harple at email@example.com.
–Penn State Extension