Restaurants are struggling to maintain revenue, while grocery stores are equally challenged to keep some items in stock.
The consumer-friendly solution: National chains and many local restaurants are now offering groceries, even much-coveted toilet paper rolls.
“From limited choices on grocery shelves to the growing need to limit the number of trips outside of the home, it is an incredibly stressful time when it comes to putting wholesome food on the table, and we knew Panera could help,” said Panera CEO Niren Chaudhary in a press release. “With this new service we can help deliver good food and fresh ingredients from our pantry to yours, helping provide better access to essential items that are increasingly harder to come by.”
Panera is the latest restaurant chain to jump on the bandwagon, announcing its offerings earlier today. Subway, Potbelly, Fuddruckers, Texas Roadhouse and California Pizza Kitchen are among those also selling grocery items at some locations.
Texas Roadhouse is offering a variety of fresh-cut steaks, including ribeye, strips, sirloin and filet ready to be grilled at home. Fuddruckers is selling a meal kit that includes a sleeve of six -pound patties, six buns and a produce pack with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions.
Panera has milk, which has become hard to find at some grocery stores, as well as produce, bread, pastries and all of its regular menu of sandwiches and soup. Customers can choose delivery, curbside delivery or drive-thru options. They are working with DoorDash and Grubhub to offer contact-free delivery.
Subway is selling most of the items customers can order on their sandwiches, including packs of 150 bacon strips for $35.75. Frozen soup is available in 2-pound bags. More than 250 locations in California, Connecticut, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington are online with more being added daily.
“With most Subway dining rooms closed due to COVID-19, we're using our access to food distribution to offer Subway ingredients to our local communities during this difficult time,” according to the company’s website. “We hope our grocery offering will be a helpful, safer alternative to crowded grocery stores while also helping us support our amazing employees.”
Like Subway, the Potbelly Pantry has all the ingredients customers can normally get on its sandwiches, along with potato chips, soft drinks and cookies.
California Pizza Kitchen’s CPK Market is selling meal kits along with almost three dozen food and beverage choices, including eggs by the dozen and milk by the gallon.