- Hello Alfred, a concierge company that provides services like laundry, pet care and home cleaning, will start offering grocery delivery for $25 a week for out-of-network customers in the New York City area, Eater reported. Hello Alfred workers will pick up groceries from stores around Manhattan, parts of the outer boroughs of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Customers can order food, wine, medication, cleaning supplies and games. The service is free for customers in buildings in the Hello Alfred network.
- Salt Lake City-based Royal Slopes Window Cleaning’s recently expanded team started offering free bi-weekly grocery delivery services to shoppers who are considered high-risk or have difficulty shopping, according to KSL.com. Customers place a curbside pickup order at a grocery store in Utah and Salt Lake counties. The company’s team picks up the order, delivers it outside or to a garage and disinfects the exterior packaging.
- Restaurant delivery apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats are also expanding their grocery delivery services. In Idaho, Twin Falls Food Express began offering grocery delivery from Walmart on April 22, the company announced on its Facebook page, KEZJ radio reported. Shoppers give the company a list of groceries they need using an app or by visiting a website, and workers will shop for the items and drop them off at the customer's door.
With demand for grocery delivery booming and online retailers still adjusting to the surge, businesses that don’t typically sell groceries have begun delivering supermarket orders to people's homes.
Many of these companies serve industries that have taken a hit due to social distancing guidelines and restrictions on non-essential businesses. By helping people get groceries, they’re able to continue employing workers and can use excess resources.
Restaurants have also dipped into selling groceries during the pandemic. Earlier this month, Panera launched Panera Grocery, which allows costumers to order pantry staples like milk, bread and fresh produce for pickup or delivery. In addition, Subway is offering groceries at more than 1,000 locations, according to the company's website. Shoppers can purchase items such as bagels, baguettes, bread, milk and fruit.
Not many people are hailing a cab or calling a ride-sharing service these days due to stay-at-home orders. As a result, Lyft and Uber have launched grocery delivery services in several U.S. cities, providing earning opportunities to gig workers and taking pressure off retailers and dedicated grocery-delivery companies.
However, grocery delivery companies and grocers themselves have also doubled down on efforts to increase their workload. Instacart just announced it is hiring an additional 250,000 shoppers, and grocers like Giant Eagle and Kroger have turned some of their stores into pickup-only locations.