CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Restaurants have been ordered to close their dining rooms amid public health concerns with COVID-19.
While dining rooms may be empty and quiet, restaurants like Jason's Deli are transforming into mini-grocery markets.
“It helps tremendously because I’m a chemo patient so I can’t be at HEB waiting in line." Amanda Arredondo said.
Restaurants are boosting their business with more to-go and delivery options and now, selling groceries and items in bulk.
Customer, Ann Jenkins said she has had trouble finding staple items after a wave of panic buying city wide.
"I've been trying to find rice for a couple weeks and tomatoes are out. Just things you really need." Jenkins said. "I called them and they said, yeah come on in. And it made life so much easier."
Patrick O' Boyle, the franchise owner of Jason’s Deli, says their sales have been 70% of grocery sales since they made the transition to selling bulk items.
"They can call in, place the order and we'll have it ready for pick up." O'Boyle said. "We have a lot of product on hand that we use to make our products and we also have a pretty good supply that comes from our vendors." O'Boyle said.
Other restaurants are taking creative approaches to selling necessities.
Christian Bernard is the owner of Small Planet and Sugarbakers, where they are making grocery packages, complete with freshly baked cookies and toilet paper.
"We just brought in a bunch of groceries this morning, made some cookies. We just made a package, a big assortment of stuff to get people through a couple days." Bernard said.
"We felt like there was a need out there for people." Bernard said. "We are offering delivery too so if you're stuck and can't get out or if you just want to avoid the crowd in the stores, you can pull right up and we'll bring it out to you. But it also is helping keep our staff working."
Restaurants are doing what they can to keep their employees working.
"We’re here to serve the local community and quite frankly, we're trying to keep our employees employed." O'Boyle said.
Here are a list of restaurants offering alternative food items:
Taqueria Garibaldi is selling eggs -- 30 eggs for $9.
Kiko's Mexican Restaurant - Flat of eggs $10.99, 5lb Whole Chicken for $10.99, fajitas, whole beans, and rice also being sold.
Jason's Deli - Selling eggs by the dozen for $2.99...they are also selling in bulk - lunch meats, bread, fruits, vegetables and more.
Golden Corral - Selling veggie and protein packs. Protein packs for $40 and veggie packs for $20 while supplies last. They said on their Facebook that the packs have been a hit and will start selling them again this morning at 11 a.m.
Grub Burger - Selling a "Grub Quarantine Kit." Includes beef patties, chicken breasts, buns, sides, 1 dozen eggs, paper towels, 2 toilet paper rolls.
Small Planet - selling $40 pack that includes bread, turkey, bacon, 1 dozen eggs, paper towels, and toilet paper --- and more.
Fudruckers - selling beef patties (uncooked) and fresh bread.
Mudbugs Cajun Icehouse
Sugarbakers - food packages that include 1 dz eggs, 1 pound sliced turkey, 1/2 pound cheddar cheese,1 pound bacon, 1 loaf bread, 4 waffles, 2 large muffins, 4 choc chip cookies, vegetables, butter, 1 paper towel, 2 rolls toilet paper, Gallon of tea ($60).
If you own or manage a restaurant and want to be added to this list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.