Restaurants provide alternative grocery shopping options

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Lines that allow social distancing at your local grocery store also require a lot of time.

If you want your purchases delivered – there’s often a days-long waiting list.

And it’s even if they have what you need.

Contrast the grocery line to the North Hills parking lot and you will see quite a difference.  

It’s pretty empty as most businesses are closed.

Panera Bread is not only open for menu pick-up but is also selling groceries to keep the doors open and help Americans get fresh produce.

“The most important thing we can do is keep a positive mindset and I think for me it’s just coming in to just come into the cafe and try to make it as fun as possible for everyone so that way we can be just a kind of an escape to the outside world and what’s going on” said Sarah Olsowski, general manager for Panera’s North Hills location.

The world she mentions is one that includes protection for many just to venture out for the essentials.

Customer Lenora Montgomery demonstrated.

“I do the gloves, the masks, and pretty much stay at home but just decided to get out and get some supplies today,” she said.

Montgomery also said she is glad to hear the chain now offers groceries.  

“I’ve even tried to order things online and supplies are limited online as well but I think if they offer that it definitely would be a plus,” Montgomery added.

Downtown Raleigh’s Dram and Draught converted to selling groceries several weeks ago.

Noah Radcliffe told CBS 17 it good to see that restaurants are making this change.

“The grocery stores are really overpopulated and we really do need to space out to help this stop and get it to go away. I think it’s a great idea they’re doing it,” he said.

Olsowski hopes this will also mean enough business to get all of her employees working again.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we make it right for the guests so that way they keep coming back we can get more sales into the building and we can get our employees back because I miss them,” she added.

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