Restaurants turn into grocery stores during COVID-19 crisis

Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 22:41:37-04

WACO, TX — Tough times have business owners calling on their survival skills to meet payroll.

Some businesses are even "shaking things up" to stay afloat.

Restaurants, hit by dining restrictions, have begun to look more like grocery stores.

Before the coronavirus, Larry Lear never would have thought of buying groceries at his favorite restaurant.

"Somebody had told me that they were offering this service and I called this morning so we're real excited about it. We're getting tired of eating soup and beans," said the Waco man.

He can get a lot more than that at Fuddruckers.

In addition to its regular takeout, Manager Frank Villarreal offers eggs. produce and bread items.

"Anything that comes pre-packaged to us, we sell, we'll sell to the community. How's Business been? out of the 12 locations that we have in our franchise, we seem to be doing the best right now," he explained.

As word has begun to spread, restaurants have become grocery stores of a sort, offering bounty and convenience.

”And I can do a drive-by, huh? Ain't that something, well, I'm gonna have to try that,” said shopper Curry Haliburton.

Across town at Saltgrass Steakhouse, manager Morgan Emmons offers even more items, including staples like sugar, flour... and toilet paper!

”Since we started doing what we call our 'market' menu, we have been able to bring some of our employees back as business has gone up.”

Other restaurants, like Texas Roadhouse have turned into butcher shop, offering special cuts of meat.

"I think you'll be coming back" said Lear.

If you've noticed bread getting scarce on store shelves, you won't find that at Fuddruckers.

The manager says in the last two weeks, he's sold more than 2,000 loaves.

At Saltgrass, the manager says she only needs 45 minutes to fill an order, and often less.

That's compared to some grocery store delivery options that sometimes make you wait 3 days.