Add “Grocery to Go” to Your Operation

Imagine a world where customers can order a high-end steak along with a pack of toilet paper. Well, now it’s our reality. Restaurants like Oceans 234 are saving their customers a trip to the grocery store by ordering extra inventory from distributors such as Cheney Brothers, Inc. and offering grocery items for purchase on their to-go menus. And while implementing this program may seem like a lot of overhead and work, we outlined a few easy steps to begin rolling this program into your operation. Save your customers a trip to the grocery store, sell off inventory, increase cash flow and attract new customers during COVID-19.


Clear Out

Clear out those walk-ins first. Plan to sell your existing inventory before you add more.


Set up a clear line of communication for your customers to order grocery items. This can get overwhelming fast so set up one
single source with a person responsible to monitor all new orders. If you use an ordering platform, like DoorDash – simply add
your grocery offerings as menu items. Using DoorDash? Follow this to add these items to your menu 

Organize your packaging

We know food service items come in larger than retail sizing. Divide your items up – be sure you are analyzing your costs
associated with those items. Use to-go bags, recycled containers from the operation to package up so you don’t add costs.

Simplify Pricing

You have enough to deal with. Don’t try to price each item out, charge for a bundle “Grocery-to Go kit” – no substitutions.
Choose items that best serve your operation and are commonly desired grocery items.


Let your customers know that they can pick up their favorite foods and groceries in one spot. Add notification on your
website, delivery service sites and social media. Also let them know they can order your product either online or call-in, pay for it and drive up to a “curbside pickup” having the restaurant owner put your order in the trunk with NO human contact for that grocery order fulfillment.

Booze it up

If your operations are in a place that permits, allow customers to add a bottle of wine or 6 pack of beer to their order. Not sure if your state allows alcohol to go? We recommend checking in on your state alcohol boards to stay up to date on permits and allowances during the pandemic.

Slim Down Your Menu

Focus your sales on the menu items that you know you are best at, and eliminate those that don’t sell or travel as well.
Promote your crowd-pleasers, especially since you probably have the necessary ingredients on-hand.


Offer a discount to customers when restaurants reopen for dine-in services. Prepare to welcome them back!

Other Ideas for implementing this program

For condo towers, coordinate with the HOA and become their weekly (or bi-weekly) grocery supplier to all the residents or part of them in the building. This prevents them from having to make a trip to the store and then get exposed. As a restaurant provider you’ll only deliver ALL orders on that date to the lobby of the condo property and the residents come down to get their order just like a food delivery now by DoorDash, or UPS, or FedEx. The residents are safer by not getting out of the building and then returning possibly bringing in more germs, the employees are also safer. This idea provides “bulk/quantity/volume” for both the restaurant and ultimately to the distributor.

Looking for more examples of operators adding grocery-to-go kits to their menus? Check out our idea hub here:

Reach out to your distributor to add these stocked items to your orders today!

  1. Bread
  2. Milk (gallon)
  3. Eggs
  4. Butter
  5. Orange Juice (gallon)
  6. Toilet Paper
  7. Potatoes
  8. Bacon
  9. Chicken (pre-packaged ONLY)
  10. Ground Beef (pre-packaged ONLY)
  11. Sour Cream
  12. Paper Towels
  13. Lysol (Spray bottle only)
  14. Laundry Detergent
  15. Bar Soap
  16. Diapers (offer 3 sizes)
  17. Canned Fruit
  18. Canned Vegetables
  19. Apple Sauce
  20. Rice