grocery

Restaurants Are Selling Their Menu Ingredients as Groceries

Chains and small businesses alike are resorting to grocery sales.
article cover

Giphy

· less than 3 min read

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.

The next time the line at Kroger wraps around the store (twice), try your nearest Panera. Restaurants are opening their refrigerators to customers as an alternative grocery supply.

At chain restaurants: Panera Bread is selling staple items like eggs and milk at 1,800+ locations; so is Subway at 250 stores across five states.

At local establishments: Restaurant owners from Michigan to Washington, D.C., are offering up their eggs, produce, and fresh baked goods for grocery shoppers. Some are even selling their stocks of household supplies and toilet paper.

Leveraging the industrial-grade kitchen can generate cash to pay employees and keep the lights on while restaurants are in a desperate position.

  • The U.S. restaurant industry has lost roughly 3 million jobs and $25 billion in sales since March 1, per the National Restaurant Association.
  • 3% of restaurants have closed permanently in that period; another 11% are projected to close by April’s end.

And chains still have the advantage. Panera’s bulk inventory is far larger than a family-owned café’s, meaning it can afford to price its groceries like a real supermarket.

Stay up to date on the retail industry

All the news and insights retail pros need to know, all in one newsletter. Join over 180,000 retail professionals by subscribing today.