Restaurants across the country are now starting to ask, “do you want toilet paper with that?”
According to the National Restaurant Association, since the coronavirus shutdown the restaurant industry has seen a loss of 3 million jobs and a $25 billion decline in sales. With restaurant sales seeing such a drastic cut and grocery stores unable to keep up with the constantly growing demand, a growing number of restaurants have started adding essentials such as flour, toilet paper, paper towels, and fresh produce to their to-go options. Chain restaurants like Panera Bread, Denny’s, and Subway just to name a few have all pivoted to adding a wide variety of items ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to dairy products and bread.
How is this possible when so many grocery stores are scrambling to keep up with demand? Since many restaurants are being serviced from different suppliers than grocery stores, they will often have access to a different supply, perhaps just in different quantities or different brands. When the country’s grocery supply chain is being stretched in ways it never has been before, this is the time to allow restaurants to fill that urgent need, in terms of supply, distancing, and job retention.
As a restaurant owner, you might be asking yourself, why would it be beneficial for a restaurant to take this on? The truth is, adding grocery items to your offerings will not likely be the thing that turns over a huge profit. However, it can offer some additional revenue or help to mitigate loss while you continue to supplement your income. In addition, you’re now offering an extra incentive for customers to come in by offering them an opportunity to skip the long lines at the grocery store if they can add an item or two to their take-out order. You also now have another way to keep more staff members employed.
It’s not just the big guys who are making this work. New York Deli & Catering of the Poconos decided to add on a “COVID-19 Essentials” to their online ordering in the very beginning of March. You can purchase everything from eggs and milk, to fresh bread, to fruits and vegetable, to paper products. Owner, Tammy Crawn, said that she sees a few orders per week for groceries. She feels that her customers appreciate the option to shop somewhere small rather than go to a grocery store just for an item or two.
“We sold a lot of toilet paper and paper towels in the beginning,” she added.
For more information on how Schiff’s Food Service can help to support your business as you look to add essentials to your offerings, please contact your sales representative or call our customer service team at 800-800-0557.