As restaurant sales continue to plunge by nearly half compared to a year ago as fear of the coronavirus grips the nation, some eateries are taking “buy one, get one” to a whole new level.
CNBC reports restaurants are adding toilet paper, gloves and other in-demand products to takeout and delivery orders.
The news outlet reported David Goodside, owner of Beach Cafe in New York City, offers one free toilet paper roll and two pairs of plastic gloves, typically used for food preparation, with every order. Goodside estimates his restaurant is filling about 20 to 30 orders a night.
“It costs us a little bit of money, but we think it’s a good idea, and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” Goodside told CNBC. “I don’t think anyone’s coming here to get food because it’s a free roll of toilet paper, but it’s a pleasant surprise.”
Goodside is not alone.
Many U.S. consumers are eating only the food in their pantries, refrigerators and freezers and stockpiling has left shoppers unable to find goods like toilet paper and cleaning supplies. But restaurants have different supply chains.
“The supply chain on paper goods wasn’t too badly disrupted for restaurants,” John Kunkel, CEO of Florida’s 50 Eggs Hospitality Group told CNBC.
His Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Miami Beach is offering takeout and delivery. For $82, customers get two dozen pieces of chicken, mac and cheese, biscuits, a bottle of water, a bottle of wine, and a roll of toilet paper.
For him, adding toilet paper is one way to make Yardbird’s takeout or delivery experience unique, he told the station.
Still, the report said not all giveaways are a success. A Subway in Calgary, Alberta, Canada sparked backlash after it began a promotion for a free face mask for every purchase of two sandwiches.
Critics said face masks are in short supply, leaving front-line workers vulnerable to the coronavirus. Subway Canada has since apologized, and the location has pulled the promotion.