Gov. Greg Abbott has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services to offer guidance to allow restaurants to sell bulk retail products from restaurant supply chain distributors to the public.
“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,” Abbott said. “This guidance gives Texans another easily accessible option to buy the food they need to support their families.”
This provides Texans another source of food outside of typical grocery stores, according to a press release following Abbott’s announcement on Tuesday.
The food can be offered through drive-thru, delivery, pick-up and curbside service.
The William George Company Inc. in Lufkin has already begun selling their bulk products to individuals who come in. The company is a wholesale distributor, not a retail distributor, that connects restaurants with suppliers from around the country.
Their product comes in ultra-bulk, general manager Daniel Webster said.
“Someone may go to Sam’s Club or the link to buy a large canister of beans, we have those, but we sell them in packs of six,” he said.
Because the warehouse is not set up to accommodate the crowds of people that retail locations such as Walmart or Sam’s Club can, Webster asked for people to be patient.
He said the company has a small area set up where they’re trying to accommodate the public during the day, but they also have a will-call area set up.
This is a system that restaurants already use to pick up goods they’ve ordered, and it allows people to pick up their goods from the warehouse in a safer manner, he said.
“We’re trying to get basic necessities to people,” Webster said. “We can’t do what you see in Sam’s Club or Walmart. But we do have products available.”
The company has adjusted the way they operate because of the changes caused by COVID-19, he said.
“We’re trying to keep local employees employed,” Webster said.