AUSTIN, Texas — Between social distancing and food shortages, Austinites probably noticed that buying groceries is not as easy as it once was, but there are new ways to get those essential items. Locals can now buy things like bleach, eggs and paper towels at some Austin restaurants.
"It was a switch, but when there's crazy times, it's OK to do crazy things," said Skeeter Miller, The County Line owner. "We're selling flour, we're selling sugar, lemon, limes, just the staples that you need at home to make the basics."
Miller said he's never done this before but they're thankful they can help people who are having trouble getting basic food at the grocery store.
"We also went as far as to freeze some of our cooked product, so people could come and buy it. It has heating instructions and they can take it home, put it in their freezer, pull it out, and then reheat it whenever they want," said Miller. "It's almost safer to come here and get it than to stand in line at the grocery store and be around a bunch of people. They just call us, they come here, they pull up, they call us on the phone, we bring the order out, put it in their truck and they're ready to go."
Austin restaurants offer grocery items to customers, hoping to boost local business income
Other restaurants, like Monger's in East Austin and Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Beer Garden, are doing the same thing.
"It threw us for a loop at first, but we adapted fairly quickly to it. Thankfully, we have this drive-through behind us, which is a God-send right now," said Kaitlyn Green, Easy Tiger assistant manager. "We have all the essentials. We have flour, which is our biggest seller right now."
"Butter, bread, dairy, cheese, milk, eggs, people said they were having a hard time getting eggs," said Shane Stark, Monger's chef and owner. "Typically, we always have our retail market, which is whatever fish we have available for sale at the restaurant."
Just a little something to make it easier for residents because it'll not only keep people out of supermarket lines, but you're giving Austin restaurants a boost.
"We wanted to make sure that we could help them out as much as possible during this difficult time. So having essentials ready curbside instead of going to the grocery store, I feel like is a really big plus," said Green.
Gov. Greg Abbott allowed restaurants to start selling in bulk last month. In a press release, Abbott said, "A vital part of our COVID-19 response is to ensure that there are readily available supplies of food and resources, whether that is at grocery stores or, in this case, restaurants."
Aviary Wine & Kitchen has also created an online menu available for pick-up or delivery that includes house-made salads, sandwiches and larger format dinners such as roasted chicken, ribs and pasta.
You can find the food Monger's is offering at their market here. You can find the food Easy Tiger Bake Shop and Bakery is offering on their website. You can also find The County Line's online ordering form and menu on their website.
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