What you need to know: Selling groceries at your Boston restaurant

By 2.9 min readPublished On: April 28, 2020

Covid-19 continues to have overwhelming impacts on the restaurant industry during this uncertain time. In times like these your business needs to adapt and change to continue to generate income.

The latest news for restaurants in Boston is a program allowing restaurants to sell a limited number of grocery supplies to their community. It’s a way for restaurants to make a little more money, help keep staff employed and provide convenience to its customers during this pandemic.

Mayor Walsh said. “By allowing restaurants to also sell grocery and other essential items, we can help address social distancing concerns in grocery stores while supporting restaurants and food businesses during these unprecedented times.”

While restaurants can supply supermarket staples like paper goods, meats, poultry, fish, dairy, and produce, they won’t be selling all the other essentials you can buy from a supermarket.

So, what do you need to know to get your restaurant started?

It’s actually quite easy, especially if you’re already offering take-out and delivery services at your establishment.

Follow the food safety guidelines

 Food facilities, like all work establishments, need to follow protocols set by local and state health departments, which vary depending on the spread of the virus in a particular area.

You can follow the best practices laid out by the FDA here as well as checking with your local health officials so they can offer you accurate information an guide you appropriately on the requirements in your specific area.

Key practices are as follows:

1-Be healthy & clean

2-Clean and disinfect frequently

3-Social distance

4-Manage food pick-up & delivery appropriately

Applying for your permit 

1- You will need to apply for your permit through the city’s Inspectional Services Department here .

2- You will need to submit your Health and Safety Operations Plan to the Licensing Board.

3- Follow clear guidelines for packaging and labeling of foods which you can find more info on here.

What are the benefits for consumers?

 If you own a restaurant, you most definitely have loyal customers who would rather support your small business.  You can offer your customers convenience and safety. Instead of traveling to larger supermarkets, they can buy from you to limit interactions with others and minimize essential trips outside their homes.

What are some unique offerings for your restaurant?

1-Sell higher quality food products- You can offer local and organic products with less packaging.

2- You can put together food package offerings at certain price points. For example, a protein pack offering meat and nut products, or a veggie pack with fresh produce.

3- Put together packs of foods with recipes. Send your customers home with some of your favorite recipes and all the ingredients to cook them in the comfort of their own homes.

 By allowing groceries to be sold for delivery, curbside pickup, and takeout, Boston government is importing restaurants to help their communities continue to social distance all the while helping local businesses retain cash flow and working staff. Not in Boston? Do a quick internet search on COVID-19 programs in your town, county, and state to see if similar programs are being offered in your area.

Don’t forget to market your new offerings on your social media so your consumers can keep up-to-date on what you’re doing.

Like our stories or want to hear more?

Drop us a line @ brittany@pointos.com.

See you next week!

Your devoted hostess,


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