Restaurants become the new grocery stores, is this the new normal?

In these unprecedented times, restaurants have become the new grocery stores. Will this new normal help both consumers and the struggling restaurant industry?

Where do you buy food? The new grocery stores are not big box alternatives. Instead many restaurants are turning their kitchens into a new way to serve local communities. From access to fresh produce to pantry staples, restaurants are stepping up to help everyone in need.

The restaurant industry is struggling. While everyone understands the stay at home orders, the empty restaurants have a new meaning to the term ghost kitchen. As numerous funds and programs help those people in the service industry who have been furloughed, some restaurants are looking to expand what it means to serve the community. Restaurants are the new grocery stores.

From local establishments to national brands, many restaurants are using their resources to help communities. Why not use a restaurant’s ability to procure food to help people in the community.

Some people are worried about grocery shopping. From empty shelves to following the social distancing rules, a typical stop at the local grocery store is far from typical. This shopping evolution gives consumers options.

To adapt, OpenTable has created a technology via its service to show consumers shopping times. Through the Open Table app, a local restaurant offering grocery services to stores is displayed.

More importantly, it allows consumers an opportunity reserve a time to shop. This scenario allows efficient shopping and less waiting in line. Now more people can get groceries and get home.

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On a larger scale, California Pizza Kitchen has announced CPK Market. Available at its locations nationwide, the restaurants will offer specialty meal kit solutions and pantry, fruit, vegetable and meat items.

Ashley Ceraolo, Senior Vice President of Marketing at CPK. “Given the entire country is dining differently and family mealtime is more important than ever, establishing a concept where guests could confidently purchase affordable produce, meat, and other essential pantry items was the best way we felt we could attend to immediate needs while still doing what we do best – serving our customers the most delicious food options available.”

The six meal kit options come with easy to follow recipes. Plus, these meals can get the whole family in the kitchen to make cooking a family event.

By turning restaurants into the new grocery stores, there are benefits to the restaurant and the community. From keeping a cook employed to keeping the farms healthy, it is more than just a bag of groceries. Even just buying a few extra staples can be help keep that restaurant in the community when the new normal returns.

Have restaurants in your area turned into the new grocery stores? Do you have a positive story of the community coming together? Please share it with #FoodSided.