Subway Grocery

Restaurant chains are now offering groceries

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Some fast food restaurants are beginning to double as small grocery stores as they seek to dampen the financial impact of the coronavirus. Restaurants have been hit remarkably hard over the past month given the near-universal advisories against large social gatherings. Many are still open for contactless pick-up and delivery, but business is way down.

To counteract this, restaurant chains like Panera Bread, McDonalds and Subway have announced that they are now selling groceries in addition to prepared meals.

CNBC reports that you can now order bread, bagels, milk, yogurt, cream cheese, fruits, and vegetables from Panera Bread. The orders can be placed via the restaurant’s website, its app, or via the Grubhub app.

According to CEO Niren Chaudhary, the company has lost about half its business as a result of COVID-19.

“It’s a win for our associates because we will be able to keep our cafes open longer,”  Chaudhary explained, “and it’s great from a business standpoint because it should be incremental profit and revenue for us at a time when we desperately need it.”

McDonald’s Australia and Subway are going to give it a go as well.

“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,” Subway writes on its new grocery website, adding: “We hope our grocery offering will be a helpful, safer alternative to crowded grocery stores while also helping us support our amazing employees.”

In the US, deliveries from Subway are free within 8 km. Available for order are bread, deli meat, sliced cheese, and fresh produce. Toilet paper is not on the menu. For more information you can call Subway’s 1800 number: 1-800-888-4848.

In Australia, the McDonald’s menu now includes grocery staples like cream, milk, English muffins, and gourmet bread rolls. Other products, including eggs, will reportedly be added at a later date.

“Maccas has always been committed to serving our communities,” said McDonald’s Australia CEO Andrew Gregory, according to Chain Store Age. “During this challenging time, we hope our contactless drive-thrus and new ‘essentials’ options will help provide both convenience and peace of mind for customers across the country.”

Given that the end of the Age of COVID is still a ways off, we can expect other restaurants to follow suit and try their hands at selling groceries.