Fast, casual and fine dining restaurants everywhere are quickly rallying now with a fighting spirit in the wake of COVID-19 – fully shifting their businesses to accommodate takeout and delivery. Some establishments have turned to food delivery services like Caviar, DoorDash and Seamless to help meet current consumer demand. Yet the trades are predicting this trend will steadily decline too, as individuals become more wary of food handling risks in the midst of a pandemic. “There’s no making money right now,” says Ben Walker, VP of sales and marketing at Baldor Specialty Foods. “It’s redefining our role to keep the food supply running – from farmer to consumer.”
Wholesale suppliers and restaurants are indeed redefining their role right now, and doing so on the fly. Food supply wholesalers, who typically serve restaurants and schools, have pivoted to selling essential items to consumers now that some grocery store shelves stand empty. And restaurants are taking care of their own and their customers, providing meals for their employees and families and selling chilled ready-made meals, fruits, vegetables and other provisions, such as cleaning products and toilet paper.