Restaurant pantries proliferate

To boost sales, a growing number of chains are selling groceries direct to consumers.
Photo courtesy of Panera Grocery

As Americans continue to shelter in place, home cooking continues to rise. That trend, coupled with a scarcity of some items on supermarket shelves, is motivating more restaurants to start selling groceries. Both Potbelly Sandwich Shop and Subway started selling deli meats, cheeses, condiments and other sandwich fixings in bulk last week, and prior to that, California Pizza Kitchen, Tender Greens, Frisch’s Big Boy and Dog Haus entered into the grocery business.

Now Panera Bread has launched its version. Panera Groceryis stocked with several varieties of bread, dairy items including milk, Greek yogurt and cream cheese, and fresh produce such as apples, avocados, blueberries, red grapes and tomatoes. Consumers can order via the Panera app or the website and receive groceries through pickup, drive up, drive-thru or delivery.

Moe’s Southwest Grill started selling items in household-size quantities. Guests can now purchase 1 to 5 pounds of proteins, such as white-meat chicken, adobo chicken, steak, pork carnitas and ground beef. Black beans, rice, salsa, shredded Monterey Jack-cheddar cheese blend, guacamole, queso and chipotle ranch dressing are for sale, too. Guests can also purchase 3-pound bags of tortilla chips and 12-packs of flour tortillas.

Produce, meats, dairy, breads, dry goods, deli sides, dressings and beverages are now for sale at Taziki’s Market, a retail outlet launched by Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe. Items are available for delivery or pickup in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Atlanta and Denver. Taziki's plans to expand the program across its various other locations throughout the coming months.

Grab-and-go coolers at Newk’s Eatery locations are stocked with produce items, including bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and lemons, as well as cheeses, hard-cooked eggs, wine and beer. Also available from Newk’s Pantry are toilet paper, paper towels, pecans, dried cranberries and a few baked goods.

Pollo Tropical added the Pollo Pantry, with a limited selection of prepped foods. On hand are a citrus-marinated whole chicken for $5 and six marinated boneless breasts for $10. Also available are ready-to-eat white rice and black beans in large packages that can feed up to 10 people for $5.

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