The pandemic has created a time of reflection and change for a majority of companies. Of all the innovations and new products that have been produced, the most surprising change has been the decisions to take companies public. Filing an IPO is no small task; however a number of companies have initiated the process since March of last year. Some companies encountered a windfall of sales during that time and decided to strike while the iron was hot and others gambled on a quick recovery for their industry. The middle of a health crisis seems like a strange time to go public, and it has yielded mixed results, yet that hasn’t slowed down the number of companies hopping on the bandwagon.

DoorDash and Airbnb kicked off the craze late last year and they did so for very different reasons. Airbnb did not have the best results as their business model was predicated on travel that was largely restricted during the early parts of the lockdown. Their decision to file an IPO largely stemmed from the expectation that there would be a travel boom once the dust settled. The business was correct and saw some major stock rises in February; however, the delta variant has cooled off summer travel and the company has struggled more in recent months. DoorDash largely went public due to the growth they saw during the previous year. Their initial returns were excellent, although questions have been swirling about the company’s future after filling a critical need early in the pandemic. Time will tell if DoorDash’s business model can survive in this new world, yet they certainly made the most of their fifteen minutes of fame.

The success of DoorDash (DASH) and Airbnb (ABNB) made others take notice and even caused some to push their own IPOs back a few months because the market was too strong. Unfortunately, several of the businesses that launched afterwards, especially restaurants, have had a bumpy road. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (DNUT) was one of biggest names to take the leap and they fell well short of expectations. This is the company’s second stint at being publicly traded and the results have left questions about how long it will last. Krispy Kreme was not profitable during the pandemic and their main product, a sugary dessert, is not a high priority. The filing could be due to the expectations of quick restaurant recovery and the success of others who went public.

Restaurants like Portillo’s Hot Dogs, Greens Restaurant Group LLC, and First Watch have also decided to file IPOs. These restaurants appear to be taking the path of Airbnb and betting on an economic recovery. The delta variant has slowed recovery efforts; however, the restaurant industry has adapted well to the situation and many of them are in the midst of a record recovery. Companies like Portillo’s and First Watch have made significant changes to focus on “off premise ordering” that could future proof their business model and positively impact stock prices. Expectation and valuations have been lowered for many of these chains which could make it harder for others to take the plunge.

The decision to go public comes with multiple consequences; however, the allure of rewards has drawn in multiple companies. Entire industries have been reshaped over the last year and an unprecedented opportunity has presented itself. Going public has been an outlet for companies to change their fortunes and potentially adapt to changes in the future. For suppliers, this means more opportunities as product offerings and storefronts could drastically change to keep up with the high expectations from investors. Depending on how current IPOs turn out, there could be even more filings in 2022.