AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you are trying to re-stock your pantry and refrigerator, you might be able to find what you need not at a big grocery store, but at your favorite restaurant.
Some Central Texas are trying something new and selling groceries as they struggle to sell enough meals during the Stay Home Work Safe order.
“In these times, kind of a prevailing wisdom is try to avoid crowds as best as you can and stay home as much as possible, so going to, whether it be a grocery store or hardware store to get your daily needs items, can be a little bit of a scary and dangerous experience, so we’re trying to come up with a concise, but robust list of essential items,” said Ben Siegel, owner of Bangers Sausage House and Beer Garden.
Bangers opened up an online “OG Bangers and Sons General Store” about a week ago.
“People have been super supportive of the fact that we’re operating,” Siegel said.
They’re selling produce, meat, bread and even toilet paper. “Just the concept of a general store, right, the goal isn’t to supply the whole world, it’s to take care of a community,” Siegel told KXAN. “Whether it’s a one-mile or five-mile radius, the goal is to figure out what those folks need and be able to provide it for them.”
Without being able to operate the dining area, Siegel said their revenue has dwindled, and they’re currently at “sub 10% percent.”
Down the street at Emmer and Rye, Chef and Owner Kevin Fink told KXAN, “Honestly it’s very hard.”
Emmer and Rye also started selling groceries about a week ago.
“I think, for us restaurants, it’s always been about servicing our community, be a part of it,” Fink said. “Interestingly enough, this is a much safer to go, not wait in a huge line, not see hundreds of people and be able to sit in your car or have it be delivered to you.”
Fink said he’s still sourcing from local farms and ranches he normally buys from when his restaurants are open.
“For us, all the eggs are coming from Milgaro farm, so Kris Olson who delivers to us when we’re normally running still has those eggs that we use,” Fink said. “[The farms] are really dedicated to A, what we normally buy from them and B, we’re dedicated to making sure that they make through this as well.”
He added, “We look forward to taking care of you in our space as much as we can, we’re dying to do that, but in the meantime, continuing to cook, prepare and give people groceries is also what gives us substance and enjoyment.”
Siegel said he’s hopeful sales from the market will grow in coming days.
“Honestly, just the fact that we didn’t shut it down, the fact that we’re being innovative in this time, that we are trying out new things there’s a lot of satisfaction in that,” he said.
To limit contact, these restaurants are doing online orders only. You call them when you get there, and they bring the groceries out to you.
When we visited Emmer and Rye and Bangers, we saw employees wearing masks and gloves. At Bangers, they were also checking the workers’ temperatures.
Restaurants offering groceries
- Bangers Sausage House & Beer Garden
- Bennu Coffee
- Brentwood Social House
- The Brewtorium
- Citizen Eatery
- Colleen’s Kitchen
- Crepe Crazy
- Dai Due
- Easy Tiger
- Emmer & Rye
- Guero’s Taco Bar
- Mighty Fine Burgers
- Otherside Deli
- Quality Seafood Market
- Salt & Time
- Sawyer and Co.
- Scholz Garden
- Spread and Co.
- Texas French Bread
- Thai Fresh
- Waterloo Ice House