The restaurant industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, and supermarkets can help out their fellow food providers. In addition to takeout and delivery from restaurants, Thibodaux, La.-based Rouses Markets is testing a program where customers can buy to-go meals prepared by some of their favorite restaurants that are being sold in Rouses stores.
“We are one food community, and much as we can, we will support each other during these difficult times,” said Donny Rouse, CEO of Rouses Markets. “Our customers visit our stores for lunch or dinner, not just for groceries. This gives restaurants another way to sell takeout, and our customers another way to support some of their favorite restaurants and chefs.”
Rouses is offering turtle soup and grits and grillades prepared by chef Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, and pita and hummus prepared by chef Alon Shaya of Saba at Rouses Markets in downtown New Orleans. Other local options include plate meals from Big Mike’s BBQ at the Rouses Markets in Thibodaux, including fried catfish for Lent. Frank Brightsen will begin selling at Rouses Markets in Uptown New Orleans in the coming days. Bread from Bywater Bakery will be available at two New Orleans locations to be announced.
“We’re also trying to help restaurants that find themselves with a surplus of inventory. We purchased a large quantity of USDA prime beef steaks from Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse. They will soon be in our stores,” said Rouse.
Rouse also encourages those in the hospitality industry who find themselves temporarily out of work to apply for immediate open positions at the stores. Several grocers are looking to partner with foodservice operations to help keep their staff employed during the pandemic as restaurants' dine-in facilities remain closed.